What happens in a SD session?
All directors are different but the first session with me follows a basic pattern. This changes as we go along, depending on your needs and personality.
- We'll settle and begin with a short prayer.
- God is watching us, smiling. He's the real director. We notice that.
- I tell you a bit about my own training, supervision and spiritual direction.
- You talk about what has brought you here, what life/God prayer is like.
- We think about about how you bring that to God in prayer, in your way.
- The session lasts about 60 minutes. It closes with a brief prayer.
- You go away and think about whether you'd like to come back.
It seems so simple but the experience of space in spiritual direction, of being listened to and of realising - maybe slowly - that God is listening, can make such a difference to you. I use my training and experience to help you notice how you really are but essentially what I am doing is helping you be yourself with God. This might sounds easy but it often isn't. We're in a culture telling us to "Be Yourself!!" while every screen and soundbite is whispering to us "Not good enough. Be Someone else!!"
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What might bring you to spiritual direction?
- You want your prayer and relationship with God to grow and google threw up "spiritual direction". You've no idea what it is and are curious.
- A crisis in life, job, health, family, community makes you wonder where/who God is. You feel lost and unsure of what to do, who to turn to. God might feel silent, distant, absent.
- Your prayer feels dead, no longer comforts. Familiar certainties ring hollow. It feels like losing faith, when everyone else in your group is doing just fine. In reality this is a healthy growth but it can feel isolating and lonely. The support of a director is key at such times
- You've been to a quiet day/retreat with me and it has given you an appetite for prayer. You want to find out more for yourself.
- You are looking for "more" and have not idea what that means or where to look...you just have this itch.
- You are working in ministry in anxious times and want to know the God who is with you and value support to bring how things really are into conversation with God.
- You want to make wise decisions which don't rely on people/external signs but give you some inside trustworthy sense of where God is leading you in life.
How often do I come?
- I don't do advice, or spiritual "prescriptions". You don't need fixed. One session might give you the insight/experience you need to get on with God yourself.
- Sometimes a few sessions are helpful. Once a month is usual. We might start with 3 sessions and decide if more would help.
- Some people come monthly for a period of time. Some in professional ministry find it an essential ongoing part of their support structure, especially in these anxious times when people expect them to have answers and they find that God is not that simple.
Is there a cost?
Spiritual directors will never get rich but we do have training, supervision and other expenses so a donation is welcome. £20 - £30, is usual, probably less than the price of a hair cut.
Money is never an issue with me. Some folk give me a few ££. Others have brought me tomatoes from their garden. All is received with great appreciation.