Spiritual Direction during Crisis of Impasse

  • April 2 - May 13, 2013
  • Rev. Wendy Miller
  • 6-week on-line course
  • 2 CEU’s
  • $300.00
  • 3-4 hours of preparation and participation required per week

Affirm the Covenant of the Community to participate

Course description: As spiritual directors, we pay attention to God’s presence and work in all seasons of people’s lives. One of the most challenging is the season of crisis and impasse. This season can be voiced in many ways:
            “I don’t believe in God any more.”
            “God has disappeared. I feel lost.”
            “I don’t know who I am any more.”
            “I have no idea what God wants me to do in this congregation. How do I serve as a spiritual director, or tend the
             soul here? I feel blocked and frustrated.”
            “I just lost my job, my house. My husband is in the hospital. Where is God?” “Prayer isn’t working for me. What am
             I supposed to do?”
Over the next six weeks we will pay close attention to crises of impasse – those occasions when “every normal manner of acting is brought to a standstill, and . . . . there is no way out.” We will receive guidance from scripture, spiritual writings, and prayerful listening to experiences of crisis and impasse in our own lives and the journey of others.

Course reading will include selected passages from:
1. Cronk, Sandra. Dark Night Journey: Inward Re-[atterning Towrd a Life Centered in God. Pendle Hill Puhlications, 1991. Chs. 5-8
2. FitzGerald, Constance. “Impassse and Dark Night”. Essay in Women’s Spirituality: Resources for Christian Development.” Second
    Edition, Paulist Press, 1996. Joann Wolski, Ed. pp.410-435.
3. John of the Cross, The Collected Works of St John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Washington, D.C.:
    Institute of Carmelite Studies).
4. Selected verbatim/experiences from our own practice of spiritual direction.

Who may participate: This course is designed for persons practicing spiritual direction who have, or who are facing a block in their ministry, personal life, or who are aware of a crisis of impasse in the life of a person or a group/congregation, and who desire guidance as they wait and walk with others. Readings, reflective responses, contemplative prayer, listening and discernment, will form the core of our work.

Course requirements: This course is open to persons who are actively offering spiritual guidance to one or more persons, and/or who are intentionally tending spiritual formation within a congregation or other ministry setting.

Instructor: Reverend Wendy J. Miller is Emerita Assistant Professor of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, where she continues to direct the summer institute in spiritual formation. A retreat leader, and spiritual director, she teaches two-year programs in spiritual guidance in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama-West Florida, Upper New York, New England, and other locations. Wendy is author of Learning to Listen: A Guide for Spiritual Friends (Upper Room Books, 1993), Invitation to Presence: A Guide to Spiritual Disciplines (Upper Room, 1995), and Jesus, Our Spiritual Director: A Pilgrimage through the Gospels (Upper Room, 2004). Wendy is an Adjunct Faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

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