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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Meet the Spiritual Directors

    Meet the Spiritual Directors: Rev. Tim Phelps

    October 24, 2019 / By Rev. Tim Phelps

    Hi; this is Tim Phelps and I offer this brief introduction as a Spiritual Director in the UNY Conference. My wife Liz and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this past summer. We have two young adult children. Liz and I live in Falconer, New York in the Cornerstone District

    Across the years, I have been aware of the presence of the Living Christ in my life. Attending Tending the Soul training 2012-2014 grew in my understanding of Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Formation. As an ordained elder in the UNY Conference, serving local churches, I have encouraged spiritual formation through offering prayer centers, prayer vigils, small group studies in spiritual formation, and church leadership retreats. On the District level, I have taught classes on breath prayer and end-of-life issues.

    I am now in my 14th year serving in extension ministry as a hospice chaplain. I have had the blessing of journeying with hundreds of individuals and their families at the end of life. This has been a ministry of Spiritual Direction, listening deeply to what gives the individual meaning and helping them be more aware of the mercies and presence of God with them at the end of life.

    For the past year, I have been meeting with the Conference-trained Spiritual Directors. We have been talking about our expanding role at Annual Conference and on the District level. In these uncertain days of wondering about the future of the United Methodist Church, Spiritual Direction is a resource that can help us with our anxious moments, encouraging prayerful listening to the movement and leading of God for the Church. Let’s continually be mindful of our core mission, which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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    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."