I believe God uses us to meet the most common, primal need shared in every community on earth: belonging.
The very first thing Jesus asked his soon-to-be disciples was, “What do you want?”
Carmen's Journey Through Discernment
My trusted friends and the discerners of WOW! were my lamp posts that guided me out of darkness during the 9 month discerning process. They asked deep questions to help me reflect about the road map at that point in my life. They reminded me of my gifts and the skills God had equipped me from teaching and serving in youth ministry. They reassured that God’s grace is like “walking in a big field and not on a tight rope.” They prayed with me. They never rushed me nor did they pressure me to take any immediate action but gave me just enough of a push to take the leap of faith to enroll in grad school.
What is discernment?
So many of us live our lives on autopilot. We often take the prescribed next step, then the next, until one day, the road ahead is not so clear. Sometimes we feel stuck at a dead-end; sometimes the crossroads are confusing; sometimes we wonder how we got to where we are in the first place.
Discernment is like the bench placed at the cross section of the many roads walked in our lives. Here, we can pause, rest, ponder, get our bearings, and create a personal compass. A compass with your passion, values, gifts and purpose. We will get curious about who you are and what you truly desire.
Our spiritual discerner will sit alongside and journey with you as you tell your story, reimagine your personal compass, and live the life you long for.
Group Discernment: Invite friends to join
90 min. session
Individual Discernment: One-on-one
60 min. session
As life affects us, God affects us and as we react to life we react to God. Fostering discovery rather than teaching doctrine is their [the spiritual director’s] purpose.
-Barry & Connolly
Spiritual direction is a ministry of loving listening and meaningful questions offered in a safe setting that allows us to notice God’s presence and activity in our lives, creating opportunity to respond to God’s invitation. This creates the space where you (the directee) can listen to yourself reflect on your journey with God in the presence of a compassionate and skilled witness (the director) whose only purpose is to help you recognize God’s current promptings and how you’re responding.
This type of companionship is offered in both individual and group settings. For individual direction, this relationship develops through regular, one hour conversations over the course of a committed time frame agreed to by the director and directee.
“ [In] spiritual direction… I felt heard. [The spiritual director] brought some good insights after hearing me share and connected some dots for me.”
Group spiritual direction is a small group of people committed to meet together with a trained facilitator to provide spiritual direction for each other. Members of the group are given an opportunity, one at a time, to be the directee and the group responds prayerfully to whatever the directee chooses to present.
This format of intentional group listening offers each participant more awareness of God in their lives, for the sake of others; helping individuals grow in their faith, love others more fully and participate in the mission of the Church more effectively. Group spiritual direction is a form of listening that is sacred and confidential, with a commitment to regular monthly meetings for 2 hours each for 8 months. There is a maximum of 8 participants in a group.
“I genuinely felt cared for in this special small group of women – I am so grateful for everyone’s vulnerability and openness in our discussions and carry with me a more intimate knowledge of God’s love for me and His daughters.”
If you have a group of 3 – 5 people you would like a spiritual director to facilitate for, please contact us email@example.com
Refresh: Silent Retreats
It’s remarkable that solitude always calls us to community. In solitude, you come to know yourself as vulnerable and broken, yet beloved by God. In solitude, you realize that you are part of a human family and that you want to be together with others.
– Henri Nouwen
Our retreats lead us into an intentional time of communal silence and solitude, inviting us to unplug, listen, and hear God speak. We are reminded that the world is charged with the grandeur of God as we slow our pace, revel in the nature around us, reflect with a spiritual director, or engage with God through creative and literary mediums.
We offer guided Winter and Summer in person retreats annually and themed virtual half-day retreats quarterly.
Our in person retreats offer the following:
- Introduction to silence and three guided group reflections on the retreat theme offered by our team
- Printed resources with suggestions for prayer & meditation
- Spiritual direction or spiritual discernment
- Ample space for personal quiet & reflection
- Gathering of the graces and communion (communal sharing & listening) as we close the weekend
“We come together in intentional silence, inviting God in our journeys to speak and show us in our experiences. “ – Refresh Retreatant
Refresh Silent Retreats
Soul Care Cohort
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.
Contrary to the constant doing that most of our lives reflect, it’s the resting, receiving, that are often the true gifts to our souls. The WOW! Soul Care Cohort is our invitation to female ministry leaders to trust God to tend to the ministries and people we care for as we submit and allow ourselves the time to be with our Lord.
We aim to foster a community of grace for women in ministry to share, listen, connect, and grow in a safe setting. We connect you to practical resources to care for yourself and others in your communities through sustainable rhythms of self-care and spiritual discipline. Our desire is that you leave nourished and better equipped to fulfill the work you are called to.
Soul Care Cohort
Prayer… is a gift we receive from God that allows us to participate in the work of love which God is doing in our lives and in the world. Sometimes as we pray, we sense that the Spirit is inviting us to stop our hard rowing, pull in the oars and let God guide the boat. We receive, rather than make something happen.
– Alice Fryling
Our contemplative prayer gatherings invite us to pray, alone, yet together, intentionally pausing to see where God guides us. We introduce and practice various forms of prayer such as the Examen, Lectio Divina, Imaginative Prayer, Visual Journaling Prayer, and Breath Prayer. We invite those who are versed in these forms and those for whom these practices — or prayer itself — may be new, or anyone in between.
We also host seasonal cohorts dedicated to deepening these practices in a communal setting.
Join us in the journey of collective discovery that contemplative prayer offers us.
In the Beginning God made man and woman to reign over creation.
To rule and relate is a reflection of who God is. (Gen 1:26-28)
We believe the kingdom of God flourishes when there is room for men and women to lead equally. In marriage, ministry, or any relationship, the call and value of one is not diminished at the cost of the other.
The WOW! seminar series aims to sharpen and expand the understanding of God’s design for women in leadership through sound biblical teaching. These monthly seminars affirm God’s call to leadership and discipleship for every individual with the hopes of men and women being able to lead alongside one another to further God’s kingdom here on earth.
Each seminar highlights and explores women and Scripture in ways that encourage and challenge you to seek God in applying these leadership principles in your own context of family, work, community, church, and self. We offer a space where all can safely discuss culturally held ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ ideas of leadership within the redemptive biblical narrative to further partnership and collaboration towards a flourishing church.
We invite you to learn and engage with us. Subscribe to our podcasts.
Share this with a friend and be ready to be surprised by deeper insights!
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New York, NY 10002
WOW! is a 501c3 Nonprofit organization, Tax ID 45-3705920