Residents continue their spiritual journey with The Search Continues
Readers may remember we began our spiritual program The Courage To Search in the summer of 2014. The Courage to Search, which was featured in our Fall 2014 newsletter, is a seven week program residents of our Treatment and Transitional program can participate in after their first 90 days at The Women’s Home. The program begins with a Meaning System Interview (MSI), developed by The Women’s Home collaborator and Vice President of the Institute for Spirituality and Health, Stuart Nelson, and his mentor, Dr. Ann Taves, which helps residents map their spiritual belief system at the start of the course and is done again midway through to mark their progress. The MSI is designed to allow open exploration for all belief systems, whether an individual is a devout member of a particular religion, a nondenominational theist, or a strict atheist. The course engages participants in exploring what spirituality is for them, how they see not only themselves but others on a deeper level.
The Courage to Search program has received such positive feedback from residents that The Home is developing a continuation of the program called The Search Continues. The Search Continues will pair residents who’ve completed The Courage to Search with their own trained spiritual companion to help them further their individual journey. Stuart Nelson is working with staff to develop The Search Continues with the help of community volunteer Mary Gracely, an ordained interfaith minister who first heard about The Women’s Home when she was invited to deliver the invocation at our Women of Substance afternoon tea. Exploring opportunities to become involved Mary was invited to become a part of the trained volunteer team that organizes and develops our spiritual program.
When Mary sat in on one of the Courage to Search sessions she was “absolutely blown away by everyone in attendance.” Mary who became an interfaith minister through the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary spent two years studying the practices of many faiths including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. She enjoys working with people who are seeking spiritual growth and helping them reconnect with the divine part of themselves. “We trip up in our humanness, but I think when we return to that divine remembrance we live life in a more joyful way…The payoff is absolutely grand.”
Staff members along with Mary and Stuart will meet with residents who’ve completed The Courage to Search to hear their feedback and what they are seeking from The Search Continues in order to develop the best program for their needs. For more information contact The Women’s Home Development Manager, Debra Richmond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-328-1950.