What do a Mennonite and a Unitarian Unversalist have in common? by Joy Collins

Do you look skeptical at the notion of Spiritual Direction? I sure did. Being a “fallen away Catholic”, I find that I have developed an aversion to following an authoritarian religious leader. I was lead astray once, and why wouldn’t it happen again? When I heard of “spiritual direction” I was quite doubtful because it sounded like just one more person who would be telling me what to do. I had had enough of that.

What a delightful surprise to find that I, as a UU, am completing my second year of being wisely “directed” by a Mennonite! I was clear upfront when I met Eileen, that I am agnostic at best, and that I view my religious journey as an organic one. Eileen has gone through specific spiritual direction training and was not surprised at my concern.

What I found out is that, just like there is a spectrum of beliefs among UUs, there is also a spectrum of beliefs and open-mindedness among Mennonites. As a trained Spiritual Director, Eileen listens deeply to me, asks open-ended questions, affirms the historical kinship of being in spiritual struggle, occasionally shares her own experience, and gently prods me about what I might do differently as a result of our conversation.

This is exactly what I try to do as a UU! The beauty of spiritual direction is the focus, empathy and discipline of being in a one-on-one dialogue with another person on the journey. Their own unique path only adds to the richness.

If you want to know more about spiritual companionship check out these links below.

What is Spiritual Direction? (from Spiritual Direction International) and a spiritual direction Wikipedia definition with some additional links

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