Lamb&LionSpiritualGuidanceMinistries

Resources for God's Realm of Peace

Welcome!


 


    Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries offers resources for supporting the development of inner and outer wholeness, and spirited living, rooted in the Christian spiritual tradition. We offer hospitality and companionship to those who are connected to any faith tradition and those who are spiritual sojourners.  To bring the great treasures of the Spirit to bear on contemporary life we offer ministries of spiritual guidance and companionship, small group facilitation, training and teaching services, consultation and negotiation services, and quiet days and directed retreats for individuals, groups, churches, and organizations.  Lamb & Lion Ministries is located in Evanston, Illinois, on the north shore of metropolitan Chicago. Certain services are also offered by e-mail or through telephone consultations.
 




Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries
The Rev. Dan Prechtel, Director
2135 Orrington Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
phone 847.492.9013
e-mail: dprechtel@llministries.com

 



A Directory for this Web Site:



Group, Church, and Organizational Resources:

Dream and InnerVision Group
Facilitation of group work with dreams and visioning processes.

Circle of the Spirit
Facilitation of spirituality groups for men and women.  This group process, developed and refined for over ten years, provides an opportunity for participants to gather for a ninety minute session to engage in a spiritual exercise that provides a "window to the soul" and share with and support one another in a wholistic approach to spiritual life development.  Exercises include such practices as imaginal meditation with scripture, use of chant, prayer of the heart, centering prayer, body knowing techniques, awareness practices, and sitting with icons.

Elder Wisdom Circle
Facilitation of spirituality groups for seniors.

Contemplative Prayer Group
Exploring silence and simple chant forms in listening for the “still small voice” of the Holy One.

Group Spiritual Direction
Providing spiritual direction of small groups and organizations in support of the communal dimension of acknowledging the presence and leading of God.

Discernment Group and Organizational Leadership Discernment Practices
Providing facilitation supporting individual and communal discernment of God’s will.  Individuals may wish a group to assist them in seeking God's direction in decisions they face.  A "clearness committee"  or "listening hearts" style group can be facilitated to assist the person.  Many churches and organizations want their leadership boards to explore ways to engage in communal discernment on important issues.  Guidance in this form of community discernment is available.

Leadership Training
Training in facilitation of group spiritual formation processes such as those described above.

Quiet Days and Guided Retreats
(See the description below).

Training, Workshop, and Course Study
(See the description below).

Clergy Support Group
Set up and training for peer-led clergy groups, or facilitation of clergy support groups.

Spiritual Directors' Supervision Group
Set up and training for peer supervision groups for spiritual directors.

Consultation Services
For organizational negotiations, conflict management, community healing and reconciliation, and communal discernment & visioning processes in planning.  Also, individual supervision of spiritual direction is available.


Personal Guidance:

Personal Spiritual Direction
The ancient practice of spiritual direction on an ongoing basis is available to you.  In an individual or small group setting the focus of spiritual direction is on: prayerfully listening to what is going on in your life, aiding you in identifying the presence of the Holy One in those events, and joining you in seeking God's desires for your next steps along your path.

Inner Journey Guidance
Assistance is available to you, in person or through correspondence, in exploring your rich inner resources of dreams and symbols accessed through imagery meditation.

Studies in Spirituality
Exploring classic spiritual masters and contemporary contributions to spirituality, and
identifying resources for topical studies.

Exploring Dimensions of Prayer
Assisting in identification of your primary path in prayer and meditation; providing
assistance in planning a personal retreat, poustinia, prayer vigil, or vision quest and
integrating the experience in follow-up session(s).

Spiritual Discernment
Discovering, naming and claiming inner gifts and directions for your life and work as guided
by your deep attentiveness to the Spirit.

Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Services
To assist you in resolving disputes or seeking new ways of approaching problems and
relationships.  Support in entering the peace of God's realm.

Inner Healing and Personal Growth Guidance
Providing assistance in the movement to greater spiritual healing of past inner wounds by
using guided imagery prayer and other inner journey methods to build a new framework of
shalom—deep spiritual peace and wholeness that connects us to a greater community of
divine love.


Formation Opportunities for Churches & Organizations:

WORKSHOPS & TEACHING DAYS (Can be modified for class session formats.)

            INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN PRAYER AND MEDITATION

  This workshop would introduce people to the two great prayer traditions: The Negative Way (which stresses silence and mystery, and is the source of contemplative prayer); and the Affirmative Way (meditation that stresses work with images and scripture and discursive prayer) as well as affective and speculative dimensions of prayer. Time will also be given to looking at a Via Media Middle Way approach to prayer.  This results in five Christian spiritual paths: Head, Heart, Mystic, Kingdom, and Middle Way.  Some practices will be introduced as examples of these prayer traditions. Participants will be encouraged to identify their primary prayer path, and deepen their respect for other dimensions of prayer.  You will have a chance for learning, experimentation, and sharing.  Your own prayer experiences will be validated by the experiences of others, and you will have an opportunity to deepen and broaden your own response to God.

            HOLY LISTENERS: SPIRITUAL COMPANIONS, FRIENDS, GUIDES,
                                                            AND DIRECTORS

  This workshop would introduce the broader ministry of spiritual direction in its contemporary multiplicity of forms and settings.  A background for the practices, and a brief his tory will familiarize participants with the foundations of spiritual direction.  We will look at the spectrum of ways our spiritual lives can be shared and guidance and support received and offered within the Christian community.  An opportunity will be given to reflect upon what forms of this ministry individual participants may be specially drawn and what might be required of them.

                           HONORING OUR DREAMS

  This provides an intensive introduction to various dimensions and traditions related to dream work. Participants will be given various interpretive tools, learn how to increase the vividness of their dreams (including learning about lucid dreaming), increase their recall ability, and gain a fuller appreciation of dreams as a major window to the soul.  A Christian perspective will be advanced related to dream work, but other approaches will also be respected and drawn upon.  The workshop would prepare a person to be part of a dream work group, or to work with dreams more effectively as an individual or with another person.

                    OUR BODIES AS SACRED MESSENGERS

  We will develop an incarnational spirituality and explore some potentials for embodied prayer.  Using various ways of "listening to our bodies" we will let our bodies lead us into a kind of wisdom and awareness that is often separated off from the rest of our self and devalued as a spiritual treasure.

                          EXPLORING OUR GIFTS AND EMPOWERMENTS

  Taking seriously our baptismal life in Christ inevitably leads us to a desire to explore ways in which we can more fully offer ourselves in service to God.  The language of ministry is a language of exploring our gifts and empowerments.  St. Paul writes of gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit.  The Book of Common Prayer grounds ministry in baptism and expands the term "ministry" to include laity as well as clergy.  Yet, there are barriers to discovering our giftedness and things that hold many of us back from being empowered in our ministries.   We will look at more recent shifts in the understanding of ministry, some barriers to ministry, and some possible next steps in developing our ministries.  By surveying Pauline spiritual gifts and their connection to Christ, engaging parables imaginally, and using group sharing we will explore some of the range of our gifts and empowerments from God for ministry in Christ's name to our world and for the building up of Christ's Church.

            TOWARD INNER HEALING AND EMPOWERED LIVING

  This workshop will assist participants in reflecting on the Christian life of faith and next steps in the journey to God's wholeness (shalom). Through teaching and scripture reflection, guided imagery work and meditation exercises, and small group discussion we will explore some of the dimensions of what it means to know inner healing and transformed, empowered living.

             SPIRITUALITY AND JUSTICE

  A time for exploring the interrelationship between the inner and outer world, both called to be included in God's reign of compassion.  Growth in our spiritual lives inevitably leads to concern for God's justice and reconciliation in the world, or we run the danger of falling into quietism.  Concern for the needs of our suffering world inevitably calls us to develop our own spiritual center in God, or we run the danger of cynicism and burnout.  A healthy spirituality recognizes both dimensions of life.  How do we find that balance in our lives?  What can we do to nurture our attentiveness to both the inner and outer world?

            DEEPENING MALE SPIRITUALITY

  A consideration of various dimensions of masculine experiences in a time of great challenge, and celebration of an emerging spiritual freedom.  Our time together will include formal presentations and discussions, as well as offering individual and group activities that access our creative center of consciousness and spiritual depths.  Time will be given for looking at the experience of a long-term men's "covenant" group dedicated to the growth of the wholeness of men.  This exploration of masculine spirituality is not in opposition to Christian feminism, but focuses on the development of men in this time of changing values, roles, and expectations.

            CREATION  AND CONTEMPLATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS

  An invitation to explore creation-centered spirituality themes with a focus on developing a contemplative awareness of God's presence seen in and through nature.  In a time of growing awareness of the interdependence of our human lives with the greater ecosystem of lives surrounding and supporting us we are moving to a new shift in prayer, appreciation, and apprehension of the holy.  Many have traveled this path before us, but the work of creation  centered spirituality serves to help us recognize the beautiful, challenging, and creative path we are on.

            GATHERED IN WHOLENESS
    Attention will be given to four dimensions of our life: body, spirit, soul, and mind. Various exercises will help us honor and explore these dimensions, listen for their wisdom, and seek a new level of integration and wholeness.

               SEEKING GOD'S WILL

   This workshop will introduce participants to the basic elements of spiritual discernment and give them pointers and exercises for helping them, or those that they companion, in discovering what God's desires for them may be in the life situations they face. Attention will also be given to communal decisions and seeking God's direction on a community level. Christian living holds the potential for ongoing discernment.  A more extensive exploration of discernment is presented in the course, "Having the Mind of Christ," described below.

            THE LIVING AND ACTIVE WORD

   Various experimental ways will be explored for engaging holy scripture for spiritual formation of our lives, rather than looking and studying scripture for information. This workshop provides the core of the longer course "The Word of God and Spiritual Formation."

            HABITS FOR HOLINESS

    In order to develop a personal "rule of life"  we need to consider what is foundational for our spiritual sanity and whole well-being.  This workshop will look at ancient  monastic ways of regulating communal life such as the Rules of St. Basil and the Rule of  St. Benedict, and the Franciscan Rule, consider some rules of life of some individuals and then assist participants in developing a personal rule of life.  (Hint:  "rule" comes from the latin word regula and the challenge is to find the regular, stable practices that give foundation to our spiritual life. A rule of life is supposed to free us from the many rules we impose upon ourselves as we compulsively try to justify ourselves before God.  It can change over time as we discover God leading us to new life circumstances.)  Attention will also be given to discussion of family covenants or spiritual community covenant formation.

                       THE LAMB & THE LION IN THE REALM OF GOD

   An opportunity to explore issues related to the establishment of true shalom (peace).  Possible topics include:  biblical metaphors, stories, teachings, and scripture-based imagery meditations related to reconciliation; inner integration of our God-given energies using understandings from such sources as the Desert Elders tradition and contemporary inner healing prayer and meditation practice; and conflict management practices and negotiation strategies.

COURSES OF STUDY: (Can be modified to become teaching days.)

                        ELEMENTS OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

  A symposium for people interested in learning the ministry of spiritual direction, and for those who already are directors who would like to continue their reflections on this vocation in a systematic way.  The course could be an intensive short-term program or could consist of 2-3 hour monthly sessions with the course running over an academic year.

DREAMSHARING COURSE (DREAMWORK)

  The Dreamsharing Course will introduce you to the how's and why's of working with your dreams.  The course, running over eight 2-hour sessions, will introduce various traditions that value dreams for their creative potential and their ability to give you a window into your psyche and the spiritual dimension of your life.  You will be given the tools to develop your dream recall ability, and heighten the vividness of your dreams.  You will learn ways to confront fears and develop balance in your conscious living as you look to your dreams for insight.  Biblical precedents and early Christian perspectives to the role of dreams in faith life will be presented, and other approaches will be respected and drawn upon as well.
A major component of the course, not available through the workshop, is the opportunity to do depth practice in individual and group interpretation of your and others' dreams, and explore other dimensions of dreamwork in a group setting.  The course also provides group study of a book on dreamwork.

            THE VARIETY OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER EXPERIENCE

  A six session course of 1 1/2 hours each that provides a greater depth study and exploration of the great spiritual paths and traditions of prayer in Christianity than the workshop (Introduction to Christian Prayer and Meditation) can provide.

            PREPARING FOR DEATH

  A six session course of 1 ? hours each using presentations and/or videotapes, guided imagery meditation, and other exercises and information designed to explore a variety of issues related to preparing for death, grief work, simple burial preparations, and funeral planning.  This course is poignant, creatively received, and very lively!

            THE WORD OF GOD AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION

  For spiritual directors, lay preachers, lectors, teachers and catechists, and others who are entrusted with a ministry of the Word, as well as everyone who desires God to speak to them through holy scripture.  Six sessions of 1 ? hours each will include an introduction to six techniques for spiritual encounters with the Word, and an opportunity to try these techniques out in individual and group settings.  Originally developed for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan's training for Lay Preachers.

            WINDOWS TO THE SOUL, CONNECTIONS TO THE SPIRIT

 Ten sessions with presentations and exercises designed to introduce participants to various classic spiritual formation practices.  Each session will last two hours, with a presentation, Q&A time, group exercise, and reflection period.  Homework possibilities for further exploration will be offered.  Although all the practices are used in the Christian spiritual tradition, other great spiritual traditions share in many of these practices.  The desire is to offer an environment that respects interfaith sharing of spiritual practices, and participants may be of various spiritual traditions or of no formal spiritual background.  The goal of the course is to provide participants with a theological framework for their spiritual formation; and tools for personal soul care, insight, and life with God.  Sessions will cover: exploring the soul and spirit; spiritual journalling; scripture & active imagination; depth imagery prayer; meditation with icons; prayer of the heart; chant, posture, movement; prayer of receptivity; dream work; lectio divina as a contemplative way of life.

            A BASIC GUIDE TO PASTORAL CARE AND CALLING MINISTRIES

 Six sessions of 1 ? hours each providing basic teaching and practical considerations for lay people interested in the field of pastoral care and lay pastoral visitations.  Participants should bring a notebook with them, and be prepared to touch on some of their own experiences of need and times of receiving care.  Included in the course are: developing a theology of pastoral caregiving; the central importance of "holy listening"; pastoral care in crisis situations; pastoral care to those in loss and grief; exploring various parish ministries of pastoral care and calling; discerning a focus in ministry; practical considerations in parish pastoral care and calling, including developing a team ministry approach.  This has been team taught through Whitaker School of Theology, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

            HAVING THE MIND OF CHRIST

  Four to six sessions of 1 ? hours each exploring the biblical and spiritual foundations of the practice of spiritual discernment, seeking to discover the will of God and looking at the spiritual basis of decisions. Several approaches to discernment will be presented, contemporary developments in the area will be discussed, and both individual and group discernment practices will be considered.  After this foundation course a practicum on individual and group discernment could be explored.

GUIDED RETREATS & QUIET DAYS:

    Guided group retreats and quiet days are offered to be led at your site.  Any of the formation themes noted above could be the focus for a retreat or quiet day, or many other themes could be explored using scripture and other tools for opening windows to the soul.  Another possibility would be focusing on the life and teachings of particular historic spiritual guides of the Church (or a combination of teachers) such as: Francis of Assisi, Theresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, John of the Cross, Francis DeSales, Ignatius of Loyola, Benedict of Nursia, and the Desert Fathers and Mothers.


E-mail Correspondence Services:

    The following services are available by e-mail.  An on-line service might be arranged so that some real time "chat room" type correspondence may be done by appointment.  This may also be supplemented by telephone consultations by apointment.

Spiritual Direction by Correspondence

    Dan maintains a spiritual direction practice in "real time" but is available to correspond with some additional people through the medium of  e-mail. Although face-to-face spiritual companionship is most desirable in ordinary circumstances, some people are not able to do so for several reasons such as time availability, location, physical restrictions, and lack of spiritual directors.  Some religious orders have regularly provided spiritual direction by mail for many years with associates of their order.
    In a face-to-face context the usual practice is to meet about once a month for an hour.  So correspondence would normally reflect that norm unless otherwise agreed.  Spiritual direction focuses on the directee's relationship to God and God's desire for the directee.  The primary lens is the honoring of the spiritual dimension of life, but not separated from the whole of life (body, mind, spirit, emotions, community, world).

Consultation Services

    Some consultations may be made by e-mail correspondence.  For instance, some spiritual directors may wish a consultation on particular situations and correspondence may be helpful if they are locally restricted in their resources.  Individuals that wish to explore dream work and engaging inner symbols might find consultations by correspondence helpful.


Location:

    Lamb and Lion Ministries is presently located at 2135 Orrington Ave., Evanston, Illinois.  This is at the home of Dan Prechtel on the campus of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, and is adjacent to Northwestern University.  Conveniently situated three blocks from the Noyes Street El Station, there is easy access to public transportation.  Individual sessions are hosted at the Orrington St. house, but small group programs are hosted at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church or other sites.


About the name "Lamb & Lion Ministries" and a brief history:

    This ministry began on a part-time basis in 1993 while Dan was serving as Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Charlotte, MI.  He had been trained in the art of spiritual direction and guidance ministry and had offered spiritual direction and related inner journey work since 1983.  In 1995 he moved to Evanston due to his wife's acceptance of a faculty appointment with Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and Lamb & Lion Ministries became a full-time offering. The name speaks of a desire to move toward God's "peaceful kingdom" alluded to in Isaiah Ch. 11, and in Revelation Ch. 5 Christ is referred to both as the Lion and the Lamb. Encouraging the integration of our inner forces through God's care and our growing response to that healing and empowering Presence, and supporting the building of God's shalom in the midst of the external forces in the communities and world of which we take our place by God's love is a central mission of the work of Lamb & Lion Ministries. These ministries are offered with an ecumenical emphasis, and are respectful of other faith traditions.


Who provides the services for Lamb & Lion Ministries?

    Dan Prechtel, M.Div., is the founding director of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church with over fifteen years of experience in individual and group spiritual guidance. He has done advanced studies in spirituality, taught at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, completed the Upper Room's Academy of Spiritual Formation, and is a core faculty member of a two-year training program in spiritual direction serving the metro-Chicago area, the Institute of Spiritual Companionship.  He has also received training in conflict management and negotiation consultation and has worked with churches on mission identification, communal discernment processes, and developing a spirituality of community leadership for churches. He has been a member of Spiritual Directors International since 1991. Dan served in a parish ministry as rector of a congregation for 11 years before offering this work on a full-time basis.
    Richard Wendel, D.Min., LCPC, serves as an associate of Lamb & Lion Ministries and is available with Dan in some team consultation work with churches and organizations, and in some other program offerings. He is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and provides pastoral counseling and pyschotherapy for individuals, couples, and families. He also is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Family Institute of Northwestern University and has taught at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Richard also is experienced in consultation work with churches and organizations dealing with conflict resolution, goal-setting, and planning. Richard can be reached by e-mail at  Wendel@bigfoot.com.


Interested in dreams and spirituality?

    Dan is considering offering a short course on dream work to be hosted in the Evanston area.  If you are interested in taking the Dreamsharing Course described above send an e-mail note to him at dprechtel@llministries.com or call 847.492.9013. Or if you are  interested in corresponding by e-mail for guidance about exploring the meaning of your dreams you may write to him at the above e-mail address.

Getting Started:

    Call 847.492.9013 or send an e-mail message to dprechtel@llministries.com about your desire for more information or to make arrangements for Lamb & Lion Ministries to serve you.


Payment for Services:

    There is no specific charge for spiritual direction. Rather, people are requested to give what they are able.  Typically the donations range from $25-40 per session, but some people are able to give more and some are more financially restricted and need to give less.
    Other services are provided for a negotiated fee.  Please request our fee information for the specific service that you wish to receive from Lamb & Lion Ministries.



Special Announcements!

Chicago Area:

You are invited to join a Circle of the Spirit Group!

If you are:
· Looking for a spiritual companionship group for men and women. . .
· Oriented to a spirituality that honors all dimensions of life. . .
· Wanting to explore soul care with an interfaith and ecumenical
    sensitivity. . .
· Desiring support for yourself and encouragement of others in the
    inner sacred journey and outer service toward compassion and
    justice. . .
· Seeking to discern the Holy One’s desires for you in your life
    circumstances, and want to be with others in their discerning. . .
· Expecting that a small group setting led by an experienced guide will
    provide an hospitable environment for deepening your spiritual life. . .
                                           then this group is for you!

    Circle of the Spirit groups meet for an hour-and-a-half session every other week for a series of six sessions.  Cost is $50 for the series.  Special financial arrangements should be discussed with Dan Prechtel in advance.  A Circle of the Spirit group is presently active in Evanston.  You can join this group or may wish to start up one in your location.
Send an e-mail note to dprechtel@llministries.com or call 847.492.9013 to learn more about when and where the group will be meeting.