Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Time of Spiritual Renewal in Huron

As reported in the Huron Church News (June 2016), in her address to Synod Bishop Linda Nicholls declared that there are no “quick fixes” for our diocese or the church.  She declared that, “We do need spiritual wisdom and revelation.  My prayer is that God will provide that wisdom as we come to know him as we pay attention to our own spiritual lives”.

To put this in action Bishop Linda encouraged each person in the room and by implication every Anglican in Huron, “to commit to one new way of deepening your knowledge of Christ this year!”  Bishop Linda suggested ways of doing this such as joining a bible study, participating in an Education for Ministry group, and going on retreat.  Bishop Linda also suggested that people find a spiritual director.  It is my experience that many people in Huron are not familiar with spiritual directors and spiritual direction.  I thought it would be helpful to some readers to provide an introduction to the practice of spiritual direction which I hope will encourage people to explore this spiritual practice as a way of enhancing their experience of God.

First I will share with you a bit about my background which is relevant.  I am an Anglican priest in Huron who retired from full-time parish ministry a few years ago.  I am a graduate of the spiritual direction program offered by the Haden Institute through the Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre in Niagara Falls completing the program in 2013.  Through the auspices of the Rev. Canon Todd Townshend, Dean of Theology at Huron University College and working with Rev. Canon Greg Smith, Director of Field Education, Worship, Community & Formation I have been offering spiritual direction to students in the faculty of theology beginning first as part of training and continuing once I completed the program.  I also work with lay and ordained people outside the Huron College context.

With that let me give you some information about spiritual direction and spiritual directors. A spiritual director is somewhat misnamed as a spiritual director doesn’t actually direct. It is the Holy Spirit—the third person in the room who directs the session.  A spiritual director is a companion on your journey as you deepen your relationship with God.  Here are some of the things which a spiritual director/companion may help you with on you journey:
·         Identify and trust your own experiences of God recognizing God’s unending love for you
·                        Acting with continued integrity and participation in your religious tradition
·                         Integrate spirituality into your daily life
·                         Discern and then make difficult choices
·                         Share your hopes,  your struggles and your losses
·                         Develop a sensitivity for justice and the concerns for the poor and compassion for those you               meet in everyday life

Most important thing in your journey is LOVE.  The spiritual companion can help you to understand and appreciate how the love of God in Jesus Christ can be recognized mire fully and shared with others. 

As St. Paul tells us there are many members but one body.  Each of us will have different ways in which we are open to the Holy Spirit. A spiritual companion can help you to identify the ways in which God through the Holy Spirit is active in your life and how you can be open to deepening and expanding your experience of the divine.   Blessings of you journey.  

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