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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    Perspectives: Meet the Spiritual Directors

    Meet the Spiritual Directors: Pastor Cheryl Hine

    November 18, 2019 / By Cheryl Hine

    My name is Cheryl Hine. While reading books, I often came across the phrase “spiritual direction.” I wondered, “What exactly is spiritual direction!?” Then I had an opportunity to be a student in the UNY Conference’s Tending the Soul spiritual retreat program, and my relationship with God brought me to remarkable, unexpected opportunities!

    The first change I noticed in myself is that I approach conflicts and emotional situations with a calm demeanor. Also, my personal meditations, especially when using Lectio Divina or the Ignatian method of prayer, discern Holy Scripture differently. My spiritual formation practices continue to grow beyond my personal meditations. I am now part of a group of people who experienced their own transforming experiences through Tending the Soul spiritual retreats. We are the UNY Conference’s group of Spiritual Directors. We meet regularly; we covenant with each other as we continue along our personal spiritual paths; we worship together and we continue the contemplative practices that each of us learned when we studied spiritual direction. Together, we create ways to be a calm presence for all people—individuals as well as entire congregations. Your Conference’s spiritual directors are the ones who are in the Prayer Tent and Prayer Room at Annual Conference, and our presence at AC is just one way we can be with you in prayer during busy, difficult times.

    I often teach contemplative prayer practices that provide a calm understanding and an inner joy. Along with another spiritual director, I offer one-day retreats to diverse church groups. I especially love teaching the Growing with God retreat series which is open to laity, clergy, and anyone in the community. I recently had the opportunity to teach contemplative prayer practices to people who are in recovery from drug addiction. I also bring short (30 – 60 minute) spiritual retreats to elderly people who are home bound. God continues to place me in situations that are filled to the brim with occasions to share the remarkable love that IS God. Thanks be to God!    

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    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."