Gateways to God: Story-listening anywhere, any time

Rev. Wendy Miller

July 11, 2016

The Rev. Wendy Miller is a lover of stories: She loves to tell stories and she loves to listen to others' stories. Her most recent book, Come with Me: Daily Living with a New Monastic Rule of Life, flows out of her spiritual formation work with the Academy for Missional Wisdom, a group which focuses on practicing Christianity through a lifestyle of hospitality, prayer, and humanitarian work in local neighborhoods.

The book takes a look at the United Methodist vows of “Prayer, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness,” seeing in them a powerful impetus to living a life of generous hospitality to God, one's deepest self, and the people and communities where we live.
Rev. Miller, a noted teacher and author and a member of a Missional Wisdom community in North Carolina, will be with us in the New England Conference over the coming two years, as she teaches in Gateways to God, a training program that invites people learning Spiritual Companionship to listen to story, and to see the scriptures as revealing the Great Story of God in which our own story is held.

We learn to listen for what story we are living in, and to turn toward God as we listen. Story-listening of this kind is missional, can happen anywhere, and with all persons, formally and informally. Story-­listening in community is monastic as we become contemplative in our presence to Jesus and to others.

The deadline to register has been extended to Aug. 1, 2016; the first session is Sept. 12-15, 2016.
This training in missional, monastic spiritual direction invites people to ask, “What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus in this time and place?” Over two years, participants engage in six training retreats, held at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover, MA.   Each training retreat is a response to the call of Jesus to “Come away for awhile and be with,” and invites participants into a weave of worship, group presentations, solitude, small-group experiential learning, practice of spiritual disciplines, readings and reflection.
The at-home practicum between retreats follows the rhythm of 'being sent out' to be a God-bearing presence in the neighborhood and world.  

Participants engage in: 
  • living a rule of life and prayer
  • discerning and engaging with one’s missional community/ church / ministry
  • receiving spiritual direction
  • practicing spiritual direction and reflection
  • engaging with assigned readings.
The training includes an intentional component of companioned learning and formation.  From the outset participants will be part of a small group, journeying together under the guidance of a trained supervisor/companion.
Does this kind of supported, group learning with a focus on story and listening for God in your community and life call out to you? Visit the Rolling Ridge website to learn more. For more information, contact Rev. Beth Garnaas-Holmes, Gateways director, at