Clergy and Religious Leaders
Meeting spiritual needs of leaders in ministry is important for their health, and their ability to foster growth and understanding in others. The more clarity they have about calling, the better they can care for their communities. I help clergy and other ministers with calling by assisting with deeper understanding that enhances vision and leadership.
"What we need more than anything else is not textbooks but textpeople. It is the personality of the teacher which is the text that the pupils read; the text that they will never forget." (Abraham Joshua Heschel)
Intentional communities form around shared values, commitments, and rhythms. The individuals who sacrifice of themselves to grow deeply with others support, challenge, and nurture each other. For young adults, especially, such commitment can lead to amazing discovery. It can provide experiences that shape their worldviews, understanding of self and others, and future trajectories. I have facilitated the search for meaning and growth for two Washington, D.C. intentional community programs.
"As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other's stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart." (Jean Vanier, L'Arche)
It excites me when a group asks questions such as: What is church? What is our special call as community? Why not try something different? What does the inward/outward journey mean for us? I enjoy facilitating conversations that engage the theological implications of relationship and co-creation. Moreover, I like catalyzing approaches to worship that engage God, self, and others in the here and now. My desire is for church to be a space where all are open to being empowered because of their unique gifts and spiritual natures. I have pastored a church and co-led another one in discerning identity, needs, and vision at important parts of their journeys.
"What the world longs for are people and churches who have found their authentic nature ... Finding creative, life-giving ways to love God and each other as we have been loved - creating spaces in which that healing love can be expressed and extended - is the primary task set before us now." (Gordon Cosby, Church of the Saviour)
Young adults can benefit from exploring and defining calling. They need support for integrating the personal and professional to become empowered to live and serve more fully. I help them learn to act from their spiritual core, not based on others' expectations or definitions. Following a call can be hard, but can enhance well-being when an individual is creative in vocation. Young adults empowered in this way pursue better vision, policies, programs, and ministries. That improves the communities in which they live, work, and serve now - and in the future.
"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." (e.e. cummings)
We cannot avoid change and its challenges. Loss resulting from change is everywhere and is not limited to commonly accepted events such as death and separation. In reality, much of life is about dealing with loss, which can be required even with good changes. But, we have the power to honor what those times mean for us by giving attention to how we are affected. I have a gift for being with those experiencing change, loss and grief, and for helping explore needs in new spaces. I do that with individuals as well as communities.
Change = Loss = Grief
Faith and Politics/Nonprofits
I spent formative years as a Capitol Hill staffer and advocate in the nonprofit world. I know that many people in those arenas desire to help others by honoring something bigger than themselves. And I know how tough it can be in those environments to stay healthy and grounded. I support those in our political system and the nonprofit arena by focusing on balance, health, and vocational clarity. I helped facilitate an off the record, bipartisan dialogue for senior U.S. Senate staffers around poverty reduction, and co-developed a reflection group providing spiritual support for Capitol Hill staff. In addition, I have supported seminarians exploring the intersection of faith, politics, and vocation in both classroom and field settings.
"I don't know who - or what - put the question. I don't even know when it was put. I don't even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer 'Yes' to someone - or something - and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful ..." (Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General of the United Nations)
Our world needs men who are intentional about defying stereotypes and cultural expectations about "manliness." We need men who are willing to deepen understanding of their true selves, community and family needs, and practices allowing them to grow. They often need unique perspectives and supports to go against the grain in the name of authentic masculinity. Engagement with communities nurturing my transformation provides insight and desire to help others on this journey.
"The young man who cannot cry is a savage, the old man who cannot laugh is a fool." (Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation)
The natural world has so much to teach us. God is present through wild creation in powerful ways. But we have to go to those places, open in new ways, be vulnerable, and learn to welcome ourselves and God. Reading nature can teach us as much as - maybe more than - great books and techniques for learning. Being familiar with wilderness wandering and signs of creation, I help others explore this way of knowing more about God.
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness" (Matthew 4:1)