Why a Spiritual Direction Panel?
As a spiritual director, I often find myself explaining what I do for work. A simple job title doesn't quite cut it – for obvious reasons. In general, most people who I interact with have never heard the term "spiritual direction" until they meet me. A couple minutes into the conversation about what spiritual direction is, I might hear something like this as a response, "Oh, I see, so you are a bit like a counselor for matters of faith? Hm. That's cool." Some people ask for more, and this can lead into a lovely conversation about their own spiritual journey.
On the one hand, I like the "mystery" of the term because of the wonderful conversations I typically have around it. And on the other hand, I so wish spiritual direction as a practice was more known, and hence available to more people.
I am not the only spiritual director who rehearses their answer about their vocation before social events. Last fall, a new spiritual director friend of mine, Carin Huebner invited me for a cup of tea to chat about an idea of creating a platform where we could create space for people to learn about spiritual direction. My answer was a resounding "yes!". Carin gathered four directors, and we started planning and hosting panels.
Who are the Panelists?
Let me introduce you our four panelists who all bring their unique backgrounds, interests and gifts to the conversation.
Carin Huebner – Fodr Carin is an artist and spiritual director. She is a co-founder, together with her husband, of a spiritual and mental wellness brand Fodr. She is based in Denver but serves a global community via online spiritual direction, "I Contain Multitudes" audio production, and other curated resources for spiritual wholeness.
Rachel Parsons – Fratres Dei Spiritual Direction and Ministries
Rachel is a founder of Fratres Dei Spiritual Direction Ministries. In her work she seeks to help people find connection with their body, mind and soul. She does this through the practice of one to one spiritual direction, leading of ecstatic dance workshops, and teaching on the physicality of spirituality.
Raul Cruz – Open Window Spiritual Direction
Raul is a minister of Christian Formation at Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church, and a founder of Open Window Spiritual Direction – his private spiritual direction practice. Raul is a seasoned soul care professional, and has a deep love for nurturing a culture of listening in a culture of noise and busyness.
Kaisa Stenberg-Lee – Kutsu Companions
Kaisa (I), offers spiritual direction to both adults and children. She also serves faith communities through offering guided prayer workshops, teaching, and through writing. Her interest in accompanying children in their life of faith has led her to develop tactile listening tools that she sells on Etsy.
Who Is the Panel for?
Whether you have heard of the practice of spiritual direction before or not, you are welcome. The panel event is an open, safe space for anyone regardless of your faith background or convictions. It is for anyone who is interested in exploring and deepening their spirituality, relationship to the divine, self, and others. Here are some examples of who we had in mind when creating the panel.
You have never heard of this thing we call Spiritual Direction but something about it makes you curious. We would love to meet you and explore your interest together.
You might have heard about Spiritual Direction and feel drawn to it but are not quite ready to schedule a meeting with a director. Come join us. This is a great next step for you. There will be both space to just listen, and also a chance to ask questions and meet others who are currently receiving direction.
You want to start meeting with a director but don't know where to find one, and how to know if he/she is a right fit for you. At the panel you get to chat with different directors who can tell more about unique things to their practice and help you to find a director that you are looking for.
You are currently engaging in spiritual direction, and would like to have a place where your significant other, friend, coworker, or neighbor could learn about it too. Feel free to bring anyone along!
You are a parent and seek new, fresh ways to support your child in their spiritual journey and life with God. Spiritual Direction is for children too! Come and learn what that could look like and mean for your child.
You are a pastor, a person in vocational ministry, or any other spiritual leader, and you want to explore additional resources for fostering the spiritual health of yourself, the team you oversee, or the people you pastor. We would love to have you join and answer your questions. Many directors offer additional services to groups (such as prayer retreats, workshops and group spiritual direction).
When, Where, and How Can I Sign up?
The panel takes place at a creative co-working and event space Converge Denver 3327 Brighton Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80216.
We meet every first Monday of the month at 6.30 - 8pm.
The event is free, and you will be welcomed by friendly faces, hot drink and treats.
You don't have to register ahead of time, but if you know that you are coming you can let us know either by singing up via our Facebook event page or by sending me a message via the contact form. This will help us when setting up for the panel.
This All Sounds Great, But I Don't Live in Denver
No problem! Our main desire with the Panel is to create a wider awareness and understanding about spiritual direction in the community at large. In order to facilitate this, (and thanks to Carin's resourcefulness in audio production!) we have decided to make the panel events available through an audio podcast. Here is the first one titled:
Stay tuned for the February panel on "What Does Spiritual Direction Do?"
If you would like to engage with the conversation from afar, please feel free to send me a message via the contact form. You can send comments, feedback, questions or theme requests for the future panels. We would love to hear from you!