Beginning in February 2019, Rolling Ridge will offer Gateways to God: Training in Missional Spiritual Direction. Over the course of two years, participants gather with others who sense a call to listen deeply for and respond faithfully to the ways the Spirit is moving in their own lives, in their faith communities and in their neighborhoods. The program is not only for those who desire to be spiritual directors, but for anyone committed to strengthening their personal spiritual practices and developing skills to be more present to others in their ministry.
During six 4-day residential retreats at the Ridge, the community (lay and clergy) engages in learning and reflection that deepens their knowledge and experience of the ministries of spiritual direction, congregational formation and a missional, listening presence in the world. Large group learning sessions are guided by Dr. Heidi Miller, a spiritual director and Director of the Neighborhood Seminary at Duke Divinity School. She will introduce people to the riches of the Christian contemplative tradition, to ways of listening to others in deep and purposeful ways, and to means of discerning God's call to them and to their community as they seek to serve faithfully in the midst of a changing church and cultural landscape. People also engage in small supervision groups, where they put into practice what they are learning.
Here is how past participants describe their experience.
“My experience in Gateways has cared for my spiritual formation in so many ways... most profoundly in working with my own spiritual director, and through the connection and support of my small group and supervisor. We developed deep trust and openness with one another as we returned retreat after retreat, to learn, grow, worship together and support each other spiritually.”
“Gateways has made a profound shift in my spiritual formation, from knowing about God, and attempting diligence in Scripture reading, prayer and intercession … to coming to know the Beloved Healer, and turning the corner to deeper knowing and connection with the Giver of Life.”
“A miraculous, gentle, loving transformation has transpired. God has become the primary source of loving energy in my life. Gateways to God has given me the faith needed to trust, to listen and to respond to my call to establish a sober house in my community.”
If you feel drawn to being part of this learning community, take a look at the Gateways to God brochure, and consider applying. For more information about Gateways please check our website. If you would like to talk with someone about the program or your own discernment, email Rev. Beth Garnaas-Holmes, Gateways Director, at GatewaystoGod@rollingridge.org to set up a time to visit. Early application deadline is November 15. Applications will be accepted until January 15, or until the class fills.
If you have already been trained in spiritual direction and would like to explore Advanced Training in Missional Spiritual Direction or in Supervision of Spiritual Directors, see the brochure for Gateways to God Advanced. This is a 10-month program offered in 2019.
In God's peace,
Gateways to God Director
660 Great Pond Road, North Andover, MA 01845
Endorsed by the Massachusetts Conference, UCC Clergy Development Council