The Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation is an ecumenical community that seeks to encourage and support all who desire growth and deepening in their spiritual lives.
The origins of the Northeast Guild hearken back to 2002, when seven of us – clergy, spiritual directors, educators and a psychologist – met at a local café hoping to find possibilities for collegiality in our work. We did find the collegiality we sought, but more profoundly, we also discovered mutual support for our spiritual journeys. Gradually, as our communion deepened, we felt called to offer that network of support to a wider community.
From the beginning, the purpose of the Guild has remained steadfast – to offer mutual support for our spiritual journeys by offering opportunities for deepening our life of prayer in the context of a practicing spiritual community. Grounded in the contemplative Christian tradition, we welcome all, from any tradition or no tradition, who seek to live and learn from the path of self-emptying Love.
We tend not to draw distinctions among members with regard to our professional experience. In part, this may be due to the fact that, as a medieval contemplative said, “In this work, we are all beginners.” We come together, leaving behind our titles and professional identities, and taking up a piece of the journey together in order to, in Bruno Barnhart’s words, find wisdom in “participatory knowing.”
There is also a core sense that we are all called to leadership and that leadership is grounded in a gift of God in each of us. Our hope is that our programs offer members a place where they can offer their gift in the confidence it will be received with gracious esteem.
We do acknowledge two categories of membership within the Guild. Friends of the Guild are those who financially support the Guild’s vision and work, with a basic membership gift of $25 or more annually. (Click on “Become a Friend of the Guild” to the left on this page.) Guild Associates are those who – desiring to be part of a network of contemplatives for spiritual support, growth, collegiality, and accountability – have chosen to experience the Associate application and discernment process. (Click on “Guild Associates & Offerings” at the top of this page, scroll down to and click on “How to Become a Guild Associate”.)
Board of Directors
Members of our Board of Directors are stewards of the Guild’s philosphy and vision. They oversee the programs, staffing, and legal and financial aspects of the Guild. Each member is commited to practicing the Guild Rule of Life, which involves participating in spiritual direction or guidance, abiding by the Guild Ethical Guidelines, following the Guidelines for Small and Large Group Conversations, and financially contributing to the life of the Guild.
Stewards of the Guild Vision are:
Rose Mary Dougherty