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 Cindy Force, Spiritual Director
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SpiritPath NowSpiritPath Now
Pacific Northwest spiritually progressive calendar of events


2013 Northwest Spiritual Directors Fall Conference

North West Spiritual Directors
A Healing Journey:

Trauma and Spiritual Direction

All of us have had moments when we were overwhelmingly frightened. These experiences don't necessarily traumatize us - and, in reality, our bodies and brains function under these fearful circumstances as if our experience was traumatic. Trauma happens in our homes, at work, in our communities, and around the world.

Our directees seek to heal from tragedies and the traumas they have experienced. Our own experiences can be a tool and become a skill to serve and bring healing to those we accompany. We are pleased to focus our attention upon this theme. You are invited to join us as we explore these questions:

What is trauma?
How is the spirit wounded in traumatic experiences?
Why don't we "just get over it?"
What does the traumatized person bring into the spiritual direction relationship?
What is it about spiritual direction that can facilitate healing from trauma?

The model we will use is based on the work done by the Conflict Transformation Program and the Institute for Justice and Peacebuilding of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. It is overlaid with the Phases of Disaster as described by the National Mental Health Information Center.

Join us as we explore each aspect of the Trauma Healing Journey: Sanctuary, Lament, Mystery, Sabbath and New Life.

Picture Caroline WallesFeaturing: Caroline Walles, B.Th.

Caroline is a spiritual director, currently working with inmates from the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. She is a certified trainer for STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience).

In her work with Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, she recruited and trained pastors to provide spiritual care in times of disaster. She worked with the chaplains from the Nebraska National Guard to foster an understanding of the need for spiritual care for returning military personnel.

Her background and personal experience give her a unique ability to assist others in understanding the nature of trauma and how we might support the person as he or she moves towards healing.


Friday - Ancient Ways of Treating Trauma
For over 30,000 years the spiritual traditions of indigenous peoples recognized and treated the effects of trauma. They lived in a world where trauma occurred frequently on both an individual and collective level. The tribal Shaman, responsible for restoring health, balance, and wholeness conducted ceremony to treat what we now call PTSD. These practices still offer an effective adjunct or alternative to other treatments. Phil presents the history and practice of shamanism, its approach to healing the wounds of trauma, and offers participants an opportunity for a personal experience.

50% presentation, 35% discussion, 15% experiential

Phil Morgan
Phil is a Shamanic Practitioner and Reiki Master. He offers workshops around the world and provides support and direction in spiritual and physical healing and growth for individuals. Combining his knowledge of many different therapy methods, he provides a safe, compassionate, and sacred space for clients and students. He has extensive experience in hospice and spiritual ministry working with persons who have cancer and AIDS. He is a member of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Friday - HelpIng Trauma Through Movement
A workshop that is part Brain Gym, part yoga, part holistic biomechanics, and part Self Healing.  You will explore how nurturing our parasympathetic nervous system can help the effects of trauma and how it contributes to a peaceful and joy-filled life.  Because of previous traumatic events and our fast paced and stressful world, we often find ourselves in fight or flight.  Stress and anxiety can become our constant companions.  Strengthening the connection of body, mind, and spirit by working with the brain and movement calms our stress level and nurtures our parasympathetic nervous system thereby creating more peace in our lives.

75% Participation, 15% Lecture, 10% Discussion

Suzanne Congdon
Suzanne is a Spiritual Director, a liturgical dancer, former yoga instructor, massage therapist, and has studied the body/mind/spirit connection for 40 years.  She is certified in Brain Gym and is presently becoming certified in the Fajardo Method of Holistic Biomechanics. 

Friday - Discernment: Finding God’s Presence in the Dark Hours
A simple Examen practice, based on the theology of Fr. Bernard Lonergan SJ, helps to tease apart the Good, Bad, and Redeemed in our complicated lives. A helpful tool for both directees and ourselves as you take personal time to reflect upon and apply the Examen to a specific moment in your life, and discover the possible threads of God’s way forward. For spiritual direction and our own faith journey, the intent of this workshop is to help individuals discern how the Divine works toward good in all things that are found in the daily life.

20% presentation with slides of paintings, 40% discussion, 40% experiential

Carolyn Wilhelm
Artist and Spiritual Director, Carolyn was raised a Quaker. She has the Masters of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University. Carolyn participated in, and led, SEEL retreats and has led pilgrimages to Chartres Cathedral, France. She owned a gallery of spiritual art. She teaches painting, drawing, and portraiture to adults and is currently on the staff of the Franciscan Spiritual Center.

Saturday - The Healing Power of Poetry
Poetry reaches us at a feeling level and has the potential to comfort, inspire, transform. Like sacred scripture, poetry’s universal quality expands our vision and connects us to our common humanity. We realize we are not alone. Through Quaker Worship Sharing, an open-ended, meditative way of listening, we will experience the works of some of the world’s great poets and perhaps find healing balm for ourselves, directees, or loved ones. 

10% presentation, 10% discussion, 80% experiential

Carol Giantonio
Carol is an artist and spiritual director. She has been a member of the Religious Society of Friends for nearly thirty years. She received her spiritual direction training from Sr. Antoinette at Shalom Prayer Center in 1997-99. 

Saturday - Remember the Body:  Gifts for the Healing Journey
Every trauma, whether it occurs in a physiological, cognitive, emotional, spiritual or interpersonal form, affects the physical body.  The body is an accurate history book of our experiences. Eastern thought has long agreed that the body holds on to memories and emotions. We will learn about the affect of trauma on the muscular and nervous systems and explore practical tools to use in the spiritual direction experience. We will conclude with an experience of meditation and restorative yoga for their own well-being.

20% presentation, 20% discussion, 60% experiential

Sharon H. Edwards
Sharon has been a Presbyterian Pastor for 24 years. She has a M.Div from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas and received her yoga training from Samarya Center, Seattle. She has led seminars, retreats and workshops for a number of years. She presently teaches yoga and meditation at Live Well and is visitation pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis.

Saturday - Revealing Archetypes: Healing the Soul via Deep Play
After trauma, the soul navigates a murky torrent of memories and feelings. Simple collage, music, and writing exercises open pathways through which archetypes—traditional and surprising—might lead a shy soul into the light. Using creative techniques for revealing archetypes and encouraging self-expression, we’ll explore patterns, motifs, and themes that reveal truths about the wounded soul’s innate wisdom for healing. We will discuss how patterns/themes arising from this intuitive exploration of archetype can help directees gain insight into the soul’s trauma and pathways towards wholeness. A hands-on workshop—materials provided.

16% presentation, 67% Experiential, 16% Discussion

Ruba Byrd
Ruba is a spiritual director, improvisational singer, and certified SoulCollage® facilitator, InterPlay leader, improvisational singer, and composer. She offers spiritual guidance through the expressive arts to help seekers uncover their own unique inner wisdom and journey of the soul. Ruba holds a Master’s of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling, bringing over 30 years of facilitating individuals and groups in exploring the transformative intersection of creativity and spirituality.

Claire Nail
Claire is a spiritual director, artist, and authorShe is a student of indigenous healing, including the Mexican-American art of curanderismo. Alumna of Marylhurst University, Claire wroteSaint Sullivan’s Daughter (Abbott Press, 2012) to incorporate her extensive research and her experiences of curanderísmo and healing trauma. She has learned that story can be medicine. Devoted to transformative creativity, she has led workshops in the public schools and Quaker settings for over 20 years.

Conference Information

Conference Program: You will have time to rest, be in silence, browse craft tables, attend exciting workshops, and visit with friends as you make new ones. We hope you join us as we build and deepen our community.

Who is invited: All are welcome! Spiritual directors, pastors, therapists, counselors, chaplains, hospice workers, those who tend the souls of others, or anyone interested in this focus are encouraged to attend. All faith traditions are welcome!

Conference Purpose: The purpose of our conference is to honor the Sacred, empower our practice, broaden our skills, nurture our being, and connect our community.

When: Friday and Saturday, October 18 & 19, 2013

Registration desk opens at 8:30 a.m.
Conference begins Friday at 9 a.m. and closes Saturday at 4 p.m.

Where: NEW LOCATION: Murray Hills Christian Church, 15050 SW Weir Rd., Beaverton, OR 97007

Registration Fees      
  Early Bird Registration Late or at the Door

Whole Conference     

$175 $195 $215
Friday $105  $125 $145
Saturday              $95 $115 $135

NOTE! Meals and Lodging are NOT included. A restaurant list will be provided that includes gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan menus. Motels are located within two miles of the church.

Registration Deadlines:

September 30  - Early Bird discount CLOSES. Mailed registration checks postmarked by September 30th will receive the Early Bird price.
October 15                 Online Registration CLOSES
Registration is available at the door.

Refunds: If requested by September 15, a full refund is given.  Beginning September 16, a $50 fee is retained and refund requests are considered individually. No refunds are made after October 15.

Financial Assistance: If you feel called to attend and need financial assistance, please call 541-543-3181. We are delighted you want to attend and are happy to help that happen.

Unable to Attend:  Please consider sending a Gift of Gratitude for the beauty of your spiritual direction ministry. Your gift assists others in attending and supports us in making these events possible. Make your check payable to Sacred Path Ministry and mail to 1430 Willamette, #504, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also make a donation online at www.sacredpathministry.org. 

Sacred Path Ministry has applied for 501 C 3 status and is awaiting IRS approval. According to our legal counsel, upon receipt of IRS approval, all donations will be granted tax-deductible status retroactively to March 31, 2010, the date of our incorporation.

Questions:  Elaine@sacredpathministry.org