“The Answers, My Friends, Are Blowing in on the Winds of the Spirit”
For months now, the Spirit seemed to be nudging me towards a revision in my priorities as a spiritual director. This week that nudging became an emerging call that I must respond to. I had hoped to travel to Albany on the weekend for the funeral of Sister Lois Barton. She was a member of the board of my spiritual formation ministry and a strong partner in promoting my recent book and its message. We had already cancelled in-person events in the diocese of Albany last spring and were forced to do this again for rescheduled events in October—all because of the changing predicament of covid.
Covid, and the various ways I and others are responding to it, has forced me to cancel plans to attend Sister Lois’ service. This is a deeply felt loss.
Millions of people are experiencing similar losses and grief, and much worse. Extreme climate, and other intersecting predicaments, are propelling us towards the greatest spiritual and emotional health crisis in human history. I have known this for a long time and continually find other voices attaching their exclamation points behind this insight.
In this context, I have been experiencing God’s prodding, sometimes pushing and jolting, to shift my priorities away from “going on the road” to make book presentations, speak about climate chaos and lead retreats. In fact, to my surprise, I have reconnected with Baptist Climate Justice leaders, nationally and globally, and founded the Baptist Resilience and Adaptation Community. This group is simply a support group ministry for Baptist leaders who are on the front lines of addressing the current and growing threats to all of God’s creation.
More and more spiritual leaders and dedicated care givers (counselors, therapists, pastors, educators, medical professionals and more) are facing challenges (fear, grief, anger, despair, hopelessness–that are all to quickly becoming deeper, more painful, more frequent) within themselves and their clients.
I need to re-prioritize my ministry. Ministry must become both more local and more on-line. I am experiencing the call to become more available to these professional care givers and others living with the trauma being unleashed by un-fixable predicaments facing humanity. Faith, hope and love are, as always, the way through and beyond the current and coming suffering—but the coming suffering, fear and grief will be beyond anything we have ever prepared for or can imagine.
Yet, God has been preparing me for many years for this work and I know I am called to provide spiritual direction, friendship, pastoral care, companionship and insight to the care-givers that the Spirit will send my way.
I would deeply appreciate, first, being in your prayers as I seek the wisdom and make decisions related to this call. Then, as opportunity arises, send referrals for spiritual direction my way. I can work out of my home near Lancaster or out of available space in Columbus, or on-line. Other spaces and places could emerge. I would be honored to talk further with any of you receiving this letter about my call and the current and coming spiritual and mental health crisis.
If you want to know more about our spiritual formation ministry, I suggest you check out our web site, where you can sign up for our spiritual formation newsletter, or our You Tube Channel or my Amazon.com author’s page. All of these can be accessed via the links below. Feel free to use my contact information below to personally get in touch.
If you have actually read through to the end of this letter, thanks! You have blessed me just by becoming more familiar with my “post-retirement ministry.” If I can return the favor, please let me know.
In Christ’s Love,
RR1 Box 571, Sugar Grove, OH 43155
Amazon Author’s Page…
Traces of God Ministries Web Site
You Tube Channel