42 Masonic Street
Rockland, Maine 04841
Spiritual Discernment - What does it look like?
My intention is to provide a safe place in which to reflect on faith questions and discern the signals of divine presence. I meet with those inside, outside or at the edge of the church. Common questions include: What words do I use to talk about this? What is the nature of the divine? How do I connect, pray, meditate? What gets in the way? How do I discern the Spirit's leading? What does it mean to follow it, to ignore it? What does divine love mean, really? Have I gone too far to find my way back? How do I find a faith community?
Christian teachings and spiritual practices form the foundation of my spiritual orientation. I was raised as a Protestant, was enriched through years with Quakers in Meeting for Worship, and benefitted from worship & retreats at Weston Priory, in the Benedictine tradition. I have also been influenced and changed by the understandings and practices of other faith traditions and perspectives, when they share the universal desire for the same treasure, the capacity for justice and love through a faithful relationship with that which created us.
It is not necessary to have experience in a church or faith community to benefit from spiritual discernment. We all have an internal personal theology/cosmology that makes meaning in our lives, and from which we make choices. Spiritual discernment simply brings this internal meaning-making to light, and invokes the presence of the holy as we notice and wonder about what emerges. (Check Fees page and ask for negotiation if needed.)
90 minute sessions: If you travel to Rockland easily, you may want to meet at 3-6 week intervals, or as the Spirit moves. It is helpful to meet 2 or 3 times, then check with each other on how it s going. Joan will gladly refer to other spiritual directors when needed.
Intensive Discernment day sessions: If you live at a distance, an overnight discernment retreat is not possible, or you are in a particularly complex crossroads, consider scheduling a day-long intensive, from 9:30-4 p.m. This allows a longer morning session, time out for a walk, lunch, sketching, nap, etc, followed by an afternoon session.
Residential Discernment retreat: Combine restorative rest and a return to your spiritual practice with one or two discernment sessions with Joan. Come for the length of stay your body and soul knows is right for you.
For Churches and/or Spiritual Leaders
Pastoral Consulting to church leadership and clergy in transitions. Prayerfully discern where the Spirit may be encouraging healing, suggesting new purpose, reinterpreting traditions and reinventing church structure. Two sessions minimum.
Pastoral Coaching for church pastors to discern, navigate and sustain through major church transitions.
Group Spiritual Direction for clergy, churches or spiritual leaders to deepen their spiritual awareness and relationship with God through the challenges and joys of their spiritual leadership. Joan can help a group create and settle into its form, eventually identifying a natural facilitator in the group or developing peer leadership.
My twenty years of preparation for spiritual discernment comes from training in both individual and group spiritual formation at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Md. Shalem is an ecumenical, Christian program based heavily on interfaith contemplative practices, both verbal and nonverbal. I am also an Affiliate of the Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation in Maine, a member of Spiritual Director's International, a monthly spiritual director's peer supervision group as well as my own individual spiritual direction.