Preparations for my last residency with Jubilee are underway. It will be a week of learning that I know will give me memories, skills and preparation for the next phase of my life and I hope it will include being a spiritual director.
The bags are packed. Casual clothes for five days, a jacket in case it gets cooler, comfy shoes, my journal and note book. I’ll need my computer for keeping up with the outside world and doing my blog and of course my camera.
This week I will meet people I’ve come to know well over two years. This is the fourth time we’ve spent a week together, learning, eating and socializing. The nervousness of meeting new people is all gone. Now we look forward to this final week of our program with excitement and a twinge of melancholy.
It is wonderful to be with like-minded people. We all have a deep faith and a deep desire to support others who want to enrich their own faith walk. We all love nature and laughter, learning about spiritual things and singing. We are even getting better at dance. Of course we all enjoy good food, good sleep and time to reflect. It is a week of never feeling alone.
It will be a week with some learning. Our team of teachers and a few mentors who will join us off and on, will continue with the practices we have developed. Early morning contemplative prayer this year will be at the river side on good days. We will dance and lighten the day together for while. There will be time for rest and contemplation too. Early evenings are mostly for learning but there is likely to be a camp fire and some wine one night. The outdoors is also a big part of the day. Walking the trails and the labyrinth or just sitting in the sunshine for a while make sleep come easier at the end of the day.
In this segment we will be talking about discerning our call to ministry and service, the practicum in spiritual direction (accompanying others on their spiritual journey) and integrating spiritual direction into our lives. One 24 hour stretch we will spend in silence. This a contemplative practice I have come to enjoy even though I’d rather be doing a million other things. It is good discipline and reminds me to take time to listen to the Divine.
The hardest part will be saying goodbye to people we have come to love and cherish. Some of us have stayed in touch through Facebook. We can only hope we will have more opportunity to gather again but with people from Newfoundland/Labrador and Saskatchewan that may not be possible.
We don’t know where this learning will lead us but hopefully when we part Friday afternoon we will be more confident in the plans the Divine holds for us and in the path we will be going down.
Peggy Guiler is responsible for communications for Ontario Jubilee. If you have any questions or comments about this blog contact Peggy at pguiler(at)execulink(dot)com
The Jubilee Programs offer practical learning in spiritual growth, soul development and the art of spiritual direction. We explore the contemplative life through spiritual practices including the enneagram, integration of head/heart/body, silent retreats, “holy listening” in journey groups and contemplative prayer and meditation. Read more about spiritual direction by clicking on our 3 national programs: Ontario Jubilee, Pacific Jubilee, Prairie Jubilee