Janet C. Schiering
M.Div. Spiritual Studies
Trained Spiritual Director
It is a privilege to assist others in exploring their relationship with God, noticing where God is at work in their lives, and inviting a deeper relationship with and awareness of the divine. I am an ordained pastor, with an M.Div. and an M.A., and have been trained by Christian Formation and Direction Ministries. I have an in person office in Hood River, Oregon. I am also available for spiritual guidance via telephone and video conferencing.
Mindfulness and meditation have been practiced for centuries both within and without the Christian community. These practices within a divine context can be transformational in terms of experiencing deep relaxation and connection to the divine. When one opens up to the practice of intentional silence in the presence of God, or a guided meditation by the spiritual director, one feels the sacred presence in a safe, unique way. This is not an “emptying of the mind”. This is an intentional focus on the divine nature of the Creator and unconditional love.
Grief and loss can be a result of a death, divorce, loss of a job, a physical disability, retirement, aging, and letting go of something that has been important in your life. It can also be connected to how one identifies oneself, a chosen or perceived role, or occupational change. Spiritual direction is one way to verbalize feelings associated with transitional change and to assist the seeker in discernment for next steps on life’s journey.
In certain countries and cultures, reaching the age where one is referred to as an elder brings joy and a feeling of accomplishment, even respect by others. In western society, being referred to as an elder often conjures up feelings of abandonment, sadness, and rejection. Spiritual direction can help you as an elder to find contentment, peace, and acceptance and to learn how to share acquired wisdom with others as you navigate a new developmental stage of life.
Divorce is a type of death, the death of a relationship. One difference between divorce and physical death is that in divorce, both partners are still present. With physical death, the partner is absent. Navigating what it is like to live alone is often a topic for spiritual direction. Learning to be by oneself after a period of partnership takes courage and development of a resiliency to life. Spiritual direction can be a way to gain perspective on how and where God is present in this transition.
Working with chronically ill people and their families has given me a compassionate perspective on the challenges of daily life for those living with a disability or a life limiting illness. Spiritual direction is one way for people to explore a “new normal.” Inviting God into this process can facilitate ways of starting over and letting go.
Serving as a hospice chaplain has taught me about the special challenges and even joys of transitioning from this life to the next. Being a survivor after a loved one has died is hard work and spiritual direction is one way for people to explore their futures and discover where God is present in that process.
I mostly assist family members of those who are suffering from substance abuse or other areas of addiction. Spiritual direction and 12 step work for people who love someone who is struggling can be most useful in learning how to understand the hurting person and integrating how God’s presence can be healing and transforming. I also do 4th and 5th step work with those struggling with addictions.
Discerning a Call
Those who are engaged in ministry know the special challenges of being there for others. Unfortunately, this call can come at the expense of physical, emotional and spiritual health. Ministers need to intentionally set aside time for themselves to rejuvenate and fill their own wells. Spiritual direction is one way to improve personal connection to God, and maintain healthy balance. I work with those currently in ministry, those discerning a new call to a new ministry, those initially discerning a vocational call, and those who are in seminary. I also help clergy wrestle with burnout and compassion fatigue.