Euopean / UK Survey
THANKS FOR HELPING OUT!
About fifteen years ago a realization began to take hold. It didn’t happen in a flash but came in waves over the course of a few years, building into a deep and rooted conviction that our world desperately needs wise, compassionate, loving listeners. I was convinced that it was an indispensable part of the Church’s health and a needful correction to the driven and fast-paced business-like model the Church had adopted. I wanted world to be seeded with people who valued silence, were attentive, listened carefully, loved well, and prayed with and for the people they accompanied, believing that those they met with had everything they needed to make sense of their own lives. Critique, judgement, problem-solving and advice would have no room in this space.
So I started training people in my living room. And then someone invited me to offer this training in another city … and then another city … and another. Those steps beyond my living room eventually led to Amsterdam where I met Elizabeth de Smaele, a talented and wise woman whom I knew could offer spiritual direction training in the Netherlands with enough encouragement. It was a privilege to work with her for two years and see her grow the ministry and find connections in the U.K.
And then she connected to Natalie Baxter-Strange, another wise and competent practitioner in spiritual direction and Ignatian spirituality. Together they had a fruitful partnership until Elizabeth’s passing.
In what now strikes us as God’s providence and provision, several months prior to Elizabeth’s passing, Sustainable Faith affirmed Sara Carlisle’s calling to Europe. (Sara is one of Sustainable Faith’s most competent and seasoned facilitators and teachers.) Although we intended for Sara mostly to explore opportunities outside of the Netherlands, Elizabeth’s illness and eventual passing made it clear that an important part of her work would involve carrying with Natalie what Elizabeth had started.
Sara’s role is to nurture Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction in Europe and the U.K., forming new cohorts, establishing a collective of trained spiritual directors, and developing further training opportunities … which leads us to this survey!
We would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete it. It will help us get a clearer picture of what you’re up to, what your current needs and interests are, and how we can serve you. With a macro-view of the work, we can work more wisely toward growing a supportive, relationally rich collective. (As you fill out the survey, imagine a pre- or post-Covid world.)