Spiritual Direction as Prophetic Ministry
Thursday, April 22, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Lerita Coleman Brown. Ph.D. | Rabbi Amy Eilberg | Sister Alison McCrary
Ravi Verma | Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev
As we listen to God’s call to us as individuals and to the people we serve, we sense a profound awakening moving many to respond to the injustice and immorality all around us. What is our role as spiritual directors to honor these callings?
This Institute will help us develop and sharpen our skills to become more deeply committed to social justice work in our own lives and in our work as directors - including supporting our own directees in their own explorations, seeking ways to serve more people on the margins and activists in need of spiritual support, and claiming our own spiritual leadership in the public square. We will explore our privileges, deepen our understanding of anti-oppression work, and learn the socio-political analyses and spiritual underpinnings associated with anti-racism work. Returning again and again to the core of our ministry, we will explore and experience the spiritual practices that can strengthen us and those we serve in these terrible times.
We invite you to join us in listening to Spirit and to prophets from all times to assist us in greater liberation for ourselves and for all people.
Ravi is a spiritual director based in Los Angeles, and served on SDI’s Coordinating Council for six years, with the past two years serving as the Chair. He’s been a leader and steady presence at SDI for a long time. Ravi has dedicated his life to the work of spiritual companionship and has given much of himself to SDI, living out his belief that the life-changing modality of spiritual companionship can transform us, and can change the world.
Sister Alison McCrary, SFCC is a Catholic nun, Spiritual Director, reiki practitioner, social justice attorney, non-profit consultant, movement strategist, and community mediator based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has ministered as a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row for the past 16 years. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana and a Movement Capacity Building Strategist through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative supporting formerly-incarcerated-people-led movements for criminal justice reform. She recently served as the Campaign Manager for the Unanimous Jury Coalition abolishing a 138-year-old Jim Crow law in Louisiana. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the National Police Accountability Project, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and founding Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation. She works on issues related to the future of religious life, social justice and spirituality, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, international human rights, cultural preservation, voting rights, and disaster recovery locally, nationally, and internationally.
Lerita Coleman Brown
Lerita Coleman Brown, Ph.D., is a happily retired psychology professor, spiritual director/companion, author, retreat leader, and speaker. A graduate of the Shalem Institute, Lerita promotes contemplative spirituality, the living wisdom of Howard Thurman, and uncovering the peace and joy in one’s heart on her website, peaceforhearts.com and other social media platforms. Relevant publications include, “Dissecting Racism: Healing Minds, Cultivating Spirits," in the edited volume, Living into God's Dream: Dismantling Racism in America and her book, When the Heart Speaks, Listen—Discovering Inner Wisdom. leritacolemanbrown.com
Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev is a teacher, scholar and long time spiritual director. For many years his teaching has focused on exploring how the wisdom of the Hebrew Prophets can energize and guide liberation initiatives. The fruit of this teaching appears in his recent book, The Liberating Path of the Hebrew Prophets: Then and Now. In recent years, he has become increasingly interested in how spiritual direction can be infused with prophetic awareness. Nahum founded and leads Beit Midrash of Santa Fe, a multi-faith sacred learning community. He has led workshops at retreat centers, synagogues, churches and seminaries across the United States. Nahum is the Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM and a Fellow of the Rabbis Without Borders Initiative.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She serves as a spiritual director and interfaith justice activist in the San Francisco Bay Area and as Senior Faculty for The Mussar Institute. She most recently served as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization. Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2016.