We hope you enjoy this free issue of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction.
Presence is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes thought-provoking articles on topics of interest to spiritual directors and everyone interested in creating healing, peace, and justice through the ministry and service of spiritual direction and companionship. Presence also includes book reviews specifically of interest to people involved in spiritual care as well as reflections, artwork, and poetry.
"I would like to suggest that sacred companioning is also about entering the sacred mystery of the moment, with the same humility and surrender that art and poetry ask of us.
Simply listening for the still small voice to be heard. When this hyper stillness appears within one’s capacities, one can recognize its gift as the undeniable opening and expansion of the heart space as the primary organ of divine hearing, seeing, and being."
— Andre van Zijl
Spiritual directors help me listen for God and reflect on my spiritual life. When I began a class with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation on leading contemplative small groups and retreats, the instructors recommended we participate in regular spiritual direction. I interviewed several graduates of the program and visited with one for two years. When she retired, I felt myself drawn to Loretta Farmer, another spiritual director trained by Shalem.
After a year of grieving for the losses from catastrophic fires in both Australia and California, mourning the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many other Black brothers and sisters, surviving the most contentious political season in my lifetime, and being required to spend most of my days sequestered in my 900-square-foot condo, I don’t have much capacity for more trauma.
Cover Art Spotlight
"Altar to the Four Elements" — Lisa Palchick
by John Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, and Dennis Linn
Reviewed by Greg Richardson
by Kaitlin B. Curtice
Reviewed by Donna Erickson Couch
A collection of media reviews exclusive to the web version of Presence
by Anneliese A. Singh
Reviewed by Kathryn Madden, rc
by Mia Birdsong
Reviewed by Karen Erlichman, DMin, LCSW
Publisher: Spiritual Directors International
Executive Director: Rev. Seifu Anil Singh-Molares, MTS
Editor: Nick Wagner
Media Review Editor: Pegge Erkeneff
Art Editor: Matt Whitney
Web Designer: Ann Lancaster
Graphic Designer: Tobias Becker
Founding Editor: Susan S. Jorgensen, MA
Poetry Editor: Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann
Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is published in March, June, September, and December. Presence offers a forum among diverse people and spiritual traditions for the exploration of present and future trends in the art and ministry of spiritual direction. Presence is grounded in the belief that our deepest calling is to be present to one another as we share the gift of ourselves. Presence strives to articulate the essential elements of contemplative practices, formation, and training; to encourage accountability; and to develop clear ethical guidelines. Presence supports a global contemplative dialog of spiritual care and compassion for others, ourselves, and the whole cosmos. ISSN 1081-7662.
Opinions expressed in this journal are the opinions of the authors and advertisers and may not represent the opinions of Spiritual Directors International, the coordinating council, or the editors. All biblical quotations are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted.