Monday, September 25, 2017

Purpose and History

In 2015 Potter's Touch became a Network of Spiritual Directors. Our objective is to encourage and support clergy in the tending of their spiritual lives in order to become more effective as pastoral leaders.

Clergy are encouraged to consider the ancient practice of spiritual direction:

  • Reflecting on one’s life of prayer, one’s longing for God and speaking of it to another person of faith in a sacred space.
  • Spiritual direction is not counseling or therapy.  It is a conversation in which one reviews one’s prayer life with another in order to discern God’s prompting within. 
  • Having a spiritual director helps one to listen more faithfully, to distinguish more carefully, and respond more freely to the invitation of God in daily life.
  • Spiritual direction typically occurs in one of two formats: individual direction or group spiritual direction. Each format offers its own benefits.

Potter’s Touch has available:

  • Individual spiritual direction
  • Group spiritual direction
  • Clergy groups based on the Parker Palmer Circle of Trust model
  • Clergy organizational/administrative concerns groups
  • Art and group spiritual direction (clergy and laity groups)
  • A Leader’s Spiritual Assessment—available for clergy to download and complete privately. Clergy are invited to “taste and see” by completing the inventory and then schedule an individual session with a spiritual director of your choosing. The Potter’s Touch Board will provide one complimentary session for clergy wishing to use the assessment.

Laity are encouraged to participate in spiritual direction as well and may participate in either individual and/or group spiritual direction.

Six spiritual directors currently provide services for The Potter's Touch. If you are seeking spiritual guidance, please call the provider of your choice directly (see Spiritual Directors page).  Funds may be available in the form a subsidy to offset the cost of spiritual direction for those in financial need. Spiritual direction fees are set by individual providers.

The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Districts of the WNC Conference support this spiritual guidance service.

Potters Touch was launched in 1994 by the Reverend Fred Macon. He saw the need for support of spiritual and emotional needs of pastors and their families. Rev. Macon gathered together those who could help, and by the fall 1995, three experienced professional therapist and spiritual directors provided services to United Methodist in Western North Carolina.

A board of nine reviews and approves our providers and offers leadership support. The Potter's Touch board is comprised of representatives from each district and the District Superintendents. In addition, a liaison from the providers facilitates communications. Payment for services comes from self-pay and limited subsidies, based on need. District apportionments support the subsidies, which are for those with financial need.