|Photo by Joshua Brockway|
|The network of spiritual directors held its annual retreat at Shepherd’s Spring, a camp and retreat center near Sharpsburg, Md.|
Twenty-two spiritual directors and leadership recently gathered at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Sharpsburg, Md., for an annual retreat. From May 13-15 the spiritual directors spent time in keynote sessions with Roberta Bondi, professor emeritus for Church History at the Candler School of Theology.
Bondi shared her experiences of studying the early desert monks, bringing to life their understandings of the spiritual life through her own personal stories. Much of Bondi’s material came from her books on the desert tradition, “To Love as God Loves” and “To Pray and To Love.” The challenge for the spiritual life, regardless of time or place, said Bondi, is the “perfecting of love of God and love of neighbor.”
Attendees also spent about half a day in silence and prayer. Many took time to walk the grounds of Shepherd’s Spring, including a labyrinth mowed into the grass alongside the retreat center. Each spiritual director was asked to meet and pray with another attendee during the retreat as well as gather for group spiritual direction. As a time of renewal and learning, the silence and peer learning offered Brethren spiritual directors the opportunity to meet with peers and explore the practice of spiritual direction from within their shared tradition.
The Spiritual Director’s Network of the Church of the Brethren is a resource of nearly 60 spiritual directors who have received training in the practice and offer direction to both groups and individuals. The network often is called upon during denominational conferences to offer one-on-one direction for attendees as well as workshops on the practices of the spiritual life. The network’s next retreat will be May 19-21, 2014, at Shepherd’s Spring.
If you are seeking a spiritual director, or would like to inquire about the practice of spiritual direction, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 304.
— Joshua Brockway is director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren.