About Yonce

About Yonce Shelton

Called to Calling

I calm people and help them listen.  I support exploration of how God is present in their lives, pulling for them to know God, self, and others in deeper ways.  I am a Christian who is comfortable helping people of all faiths - or no faith.

My calling to help with the inward journey came after a decade focusing on the outward journey via politics, faith-based advocacy, and bridge-building with diverse political and theological stakeholders.  My career began as an aide to U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher (Virginia).  Later, I was the senior policy director for Sojourners, integrating advocacy and organizing work with relationship building and policy formation on Capitol Hill.  Believing more dialogue was needed to honor diverse viewpoints and improve policy making, I pursued consensus building with Search for Common Ground and Convergence Center for Policy Resolution.  As I became more interested in gifts and needs of individuals in the political and nonprofit worlds, I shifted my focus to helping others with inner work.

I am a certified spiritual director.  My graduate degrees are a Masters in Theological Studies (social ethics focus) from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Masters in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University (Maryland).  I help individuals discerning calling in ministry and nonprofit work, and have a heart for helping leaders find meaning in professional pursuits - and all of life.  In addition, I work with intentional communities to structure life together around values, commitments, and rhythms.  I am also affiliated with The Carpenter's House and Coracle.  

Past experience includes providing leadership in two churches, serving one as pastor during a time of transition.  Clinical counseling training includes N Street Village homeless women's shelter and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, where I helped individuals and groups with grief, loss, trauma, and life planning.  

Professional and personal experience integrating unconscious awareness into spiritual growth is critical to my way of understanding life.  I am familiar with self exploration tools and exercises that assist in the spiritual journey.  I value the role of contemplative practices, silent retreats, and listening to nature.  In addition, I welcome a range of approaches, questions, and insights that contribute to understanding, doing, and being prayer.  

The spiritual life is about honoring experiences, gifts, and desires - and being available to new ones.  My range of experiences, ways I have found or been led to them, and continued openness call me to help others with calling.  

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with desire.  What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." (Ronald Rolheiser)