- March 12, 2021 - March 14, 2021
2:30 pm - 1:30 pm
People are yearning for deep, trusting connections, like those available in intentional spiritual communities; but these can be hard to find. Offering group direction can allow a director to expand their abilities and provide a cost-effective option to their clients to seek and find guidance and a spiritual community.
Group spiritual direction is a unique application of a director’s skills. This experiential workshop will teach you to adapt your skills, teach you a new process for working in groups, and expand your ability to offer new opportunities to your directees. Participants will immerse themselves in the contemplative grounding central to this work – deep listening, prayerful silence, and being fully present.
During this training you will:
- Learn to adapt the art of sacred listening to a group setting
- Find the essence of spiritual community through instruction as well as first-hand experience
- Expand your capacity to attend to the movements of God within individuals and within a group as a whole
- Personally experience and observe group spiritual direction each day in small groups with your instructors, all experienced group directors
- Explore the intercessory nature of prayer
- Deepen your group prayer practice through authentic sharing and sacred listening
- Explore ways to start a group and offer this life-giving ministry in your community
Through experiential learning and an immersion in spiritual community, you will have time to learn, question, and discern. You will experience and practice creating space for the listening and sharing that encourages a spacious heart, deepening trust, and transformative healing in individuals and groups. Certificates for training in Group Spiritual Direction will be awarded.
Friday, March 12
Welcome and settle in from 2:00 to 3:00 pm
First Session from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Dinner 5:00 in dining hall
Second Session: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Silence into the night through breakfast
Saturday, March 13
Breakfast in Silence: 7:30 to 8:15 am
Third session: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Lunch 12:00 pm in dining hall
Fourth session: 1:00 to 3:30 pm
Silent Retreat: 4:00 pm
Dinner: 5:00 pm in Silence
Silence through the night
Sunday, March 14
Breakfast: 7:30 to 8:15 am in dining hall
Fifth Session: 8:30 to 9:00 am— Opening Prayer
Sixth Session: 9:15 to 10:00 am— Questions in the whole group
Group: 10:10 am – 11:45 am
Closing prayer and photo 11:45 am
Lunch: 12:00 to 1:15 pm
Departure by 2pm
Meals and Lodging: The weekend training and retreat will take place at The Welcoming Place in Akron, PA. All meals are included (Fri. supper through Sun. lunch). Lodging is in shared, double rooms; each room has its own bathroom. If you are registering with someone you know and would like to room together, please let us know. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate you.
The retreat is led by experienced group spiritual directors and trainers Patience Robbins, Caz Tod Pearson, and Marlin Good.
Patience Robbins has been a Spiritual Director for over 30 years and has been involved with Group Spiritual Direction for 25 years. She has a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute and has been on the Associate Staff of Shalem Institute for 24 years. She has written a booklet entitled, Parenting: A Spiritual Path.
Caz Tod Pearson is a New Zealander who came to the US to participate in Mission Year, a one year volunteer service program, back in 2004. She went on to work for Mission Year in various roles for 14 years before moving to Philadelphia to pursue community with The Simple Way, where she has shepherded the work since 2014. Early on, Caz found that her own Spiritual Direction was a way to sustain herself. She pursued Spiritual Direction training through Kairos in 2009 and attended her first Group Spiritual Director training with Salem Institute in 2015. She offers spiritual direction for both individuals and groups, and leads various retreats and currently participates as a student in the Living School.
After retiring from teaching and administration for 30 years, Marlin Good trained as a Spiritual Director at the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation where he served on the faculty and as Program Director. He has his own practice of individual and group spiritual direction in Lancaster, PA. He also serves on the faculty of Shalem Institute’s Group Spiritual Direction Workshop in Lexington, VA. He has been facilitating Group Spiritual Direction for 10 years. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is married to Barb and they have three adult sons and 3 grandchildren.
CEUs are available for pastors from the following denominational bodies:
- Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren
- Donegal Presbytery
- Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church
- Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA
- Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
- Southern PA District of the Church of the Brethren
Venue: The Welcoming Place at MCC