Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing is a field, I'll meet you there.



Regional Director with Corporate Chaplains of America for the North Central Region. Experienced hospital, police, and corporate chaplain. Certified Spiritual Director. Former business banker for 15 years prior, to entering full time ministry, ordained with Assumblies of God. My have B.S. in Economics and an Masters in Theology, happily married, father of three daughers, Grandpa to two granddaughters.

Poem – “Not Waving but Drowning”

By Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

CDC Guidelines for Holding Funerals during COVID

What & Why of Spiritual Direction

Within each of us dwells the desire to find meaning beyond the moment…

to discover our true selves…

to grow closer to God

and to one another.

A spiritual director can help

You satisfy that longing.

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction encourages you to explore a relationship with the Mystery that many name, God. In the midst of the busy life, many people find it difficult to notice God’s action in their daily affairs. Yet, at the deepest level, all of us long for a more conscious experience of God’s presence and love.

What does Spiritual Direction attempt to accomplish?

Discerning God’s Presence

In spiritual direction, you reflect deeply on the experiences of your daily life. Gradually, as you contemplate, you may begin to recognize God’s presence and grace in your life. You may come to realize how God’s spirit is truly with you every day and everywhere. You discover that God has seen waiting for you to seek this closer relationship.

Spiritual direction is not about being directed. Rather, it is about being encouraged to draw closer to God. If you are uncomfortable with God language, you are not alone. You are free in spiritual direction to speak about spirituality in language that is significant to you. Spiritual direction invites you into this relationship whether you attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple or none of these. God seeks you where you are.

Gifts of Spiritual Direction

You might come to spiritual direction for a variety of reasons, including to:

• Identify and trust your own spiritual experiences

• Integrate spirituality into your daily life

• Discern and make difficult choices

• Share your hopes, struggles, and losses

• Develop a sensitivity for justice and concern for others

• Discover the essence of your spiritual affiliation with integrity

Who is a Spiritual Director?

The privilege and responsibility of a spiritual director is to journey with you as you deepen your relationship with God. The journey takes places in the context of confidential one on one or group sessions with your spiritual companion.

Most spiritual directors have formation and training and are seasoned in the art of spiritual direction. Spiritual directors continue tending their spiritual life by engaging in ongoing education, confidential supervision, and also meeting regularly with a spiritual director.

You and your spiritual director will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour.

After three or four sessions, you will have the opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Whether you relationship with the spiritual director continues for many years or for only a short a period of time, it is very important to be comfortable with the spiritual director you choose. What is shared between you is held in confidence (there are only two exceptions to the confidentiality rule: if you state you are a harm to yourself or another person, or if any abuse of a minor is reported).

Seinfield on Eulogies


“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”


― Jerry Seinfeld

Cutting up an OX

“Cutting Up an Ox”

There are spaces in the joints;
The blade is thin and keen:
When this thinness
Finds that space
There is all the room you need!
It goes like a breeze!
Hence I have this cleaver nineteen years
As if newly sharpened!
True, there are sometimes Tough joints.
I feel them coming.
I slow down, I watch closely
Hold back, barely move the blade,
And whump! the part falls away
Landing like a clod of earth.
Then I withdraw the blade,
I stand still
And let the joy of the work
Sink in.
I clean the blade And put it away.

The 3 A’s of Triaging Crisis Conversations

Objective: Provide Festival Store Directors/HR Managers guidelines for handling difficult personal situations/crisis that associates bring to their attention. The purpose of these guidelines is to fulfill Festival values while not over burdening leaders emotionally. The of goal of these conversation guidelines is to direct the associate to other resources such as Chaplaincy or EAP while maintaining empathic engagement.

Problem: Often an associate will bring the SD or HR Manager a personal crisis that is not related to operations but possibly effecting the job performance of the presenting associate. Because the values of Festival encourage “listening generously” (B.B. 16) the SD and HR Managers will offer an extensive amount of time to hear out the associates’ personal crisis, draining emotional energy. Our culture also encourages associates to “have each other’s backs” (B.B. 18) and to “always remember that we’re a family” (B.B. 22). Though these ideals are important to the continued success of Festival. How are leaders to maintain a balance between honoring the associate in crisis and accomplishing daily performance standards? Both caring for associates in crisis and maintaining performance standards are culture priorities.

Solution: A method to guide the crisis conversation that will honor the associate in crisis while not overly entangling store leadership emotionally. The following conversational guide in intended to guide conversations with associates in crisis.

3 A’s of Triaging Crisis


It is important to first acknowledge the thoughts and feelings of an associate’s crisis.

Listening skills are called for in order to communicate genuine empathy.

Listening generously does not mean it is necessary to listen for long lengths of time, it is the depth of our listening that is important.

The difference between sympathy and empathy is determined by your response to a shared crisis. Empathy communicates that you are with the one in need, sympathy says I care but I am not able to connect with your emotion.

In order to relay concern without going too deeply into an employee’s crisis, it is helpful to use the following “pivot” statement: “This (circumstance) is very hard to for you to deal with. I am wondering how you are coping?”

This pivot statement acknowledges the pain and moves into step two: discovering anchors.


Anchors represent the support systems an associate has that help in times of crisis. The objective is to help the associate begin to process ways to navigate the crisis. During a crisis, emotions hinder one’s ability to be rational about next steps.

Ask: “What are the ways you have coped with crisis in the past? What is helpful?”

Attempt to talk through three support systems or resources that the associate is aware of. This is where leaders can suggest possible anchors by sharing about ways they have navigated personal crisis in the past. It is important not to tell the associate what to do, but merely share what has worked for you. The ideas that they will eventually decide on need to be their choices, otherwise follow through will be minimal.

Once three possible anchors have been discussed (or if it is not possible to come up with three) the leader can suggest either chaplaincy or EAP as additional anchors.

Hopefully leadership has a relationship with the store chaplain and is able to say, “I have gotten to know our store chaplain and I feel they would be a safe, confidential anchor for you right now.”

This leads into the third ‘A’ in triaging crisis, assigning tasks.


The leader can now “pivot” the conversation to action steps by gently stating, “based on our conversation what do you feel would be the best thing to to do next?”

Once the associate has mentioned their next best step in solving their crisis, the leader can state what they are willing to do, such as, “I am willing to contact the chaplain and have them reach out to you if you want.”

To conclude the conversation, it is helpful to make a short summary of what you have heard and then commit to following up with the associate in the near future to see how they are coping.

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