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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    How Tending the Soul affirmed my calling to end-of-life ministry

    July 29, 2019 / By Rev. Tim Phelps, Chaplain Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care

    Editor’s Note: Tending the Soul, open to both laity and clergy, is a program designed to train individuals in Missional Spiritual Direction and Congregational Formation.  The two-year training program (which takes place during six retreats) offers learning and formational experiences in classroom and small group settings. Below is a reflection from Rev. Tim Phelps, who took the TTS training from 2012-2014. Click here to learn more about Tending the Soul—the next two-year session begins November 11-14, 2019.

    Since 2006 I have served in extension ministry as a hospice chaplain. My experience with Tending the Soul 2012-2014, affirmed and clarified my calling to end of life ministry. It named and gave a deeper understanding of what I was already doing in the area of Spiritual Direction, which is listening deeply to the individual and noticing the ways in which God is present in their life. I strongly recommend this two year training to anyone who wants to learn more about Spiritual Direction, becoming more aware of the presence of God in their life, and in the life of others.


    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."