We work with the religious leadership of progressive congregations to bridge the divide between the traditional church and the spirituality of contemporary culture by putting the practice of spiritual direction at the heart of congregational life. Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction inspires a spirituality that has individual as well as communal dimensions. It expands the awareness of God’s presence in everyday life, increases the sense of belonging in a congregation, and connects us to where we hear the call to serve the world.
According to Angela Reed, author of Quest for Spiritual Community: Reclaiming Spiritual Guidance for Contemporary Congregations, congregation-based spiritual guidance incorporates practices that attend to person, community, and mission. The Center for Congregational Spirituality promotes this threefold approach to spiritual direction in a variety of ways:
- We attend to the person through the Clergy Seminar Series in Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction, a certificate program that builds on the gifts clergy already possess and adds the training, knowledge, and skills needed to confidently engage in the ministry of spiritual direction…
- We also work with individual congregations to train qualified congregants as group spiritual direction leaders who weave the ministry of spiritual direction into the fabric of congregational life…
- And we help congregations through a process of individual and collective spiritual discernment so they can respond to who they are called to be and what they are called to do in their communities as people of faith.
Our goal is to bring a spiritual formation focus to the ministry of progressive congregations.
What people are saying:
I recommend this program to anyone who is looking for a strong, healthy structure for their spiritual life, and a simple process to provide spiritual guidance, perhaps even transformation, for large numbers of people in a congregation.
—Rev. Deborah Cayer, Lead Minister, Eno River UU Fellowship
This seminar re-ignited my passion for a deeper conversation. Bringing Spiritual Direction into the congregation system can only bring a deeper sense of community and healing.
—Rev. T. Michael Rock, Pastor and Teacher, Robbinsdale United Church of Christ
This program made me reflect on my own spiritual life,…and made me truly think about how I might engage/direct/facilitate/stir up the spiritual life of both the congregations that I serve.
—Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk, Mesabi UU Church & Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship
This timely clergy seminar has brought forward aspects of what “church” in its new age can become. There is great power in listening with the heart to one another, and only churches in our hectic culture can provide safety and space for that type of listening. As stories are shared and acknowledged as sacred, lives are changed. The hunger to go deeper in faith journeys and relationships can be more fully explored. Connecting church communities in spiritual direction groups can bring those valuable assets together, deepening the experience for those in the groups but even beyond by inviting a sense of the holy into their midst. This is without a doubt, one of the most important ways the church can serve—thanks Sue and Phil for meeting what the world needs with your gifts!
—Lori Alford, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry at St. Anthony Park UCC
Your seminars are a great example of what I hope will happen in more places in the future.
—Dr. Angela Reed, author of Quest for Spiritual Community: Reclaiming Spiritual Guidance for Contemporary Congregations