Mary Ellen's Spiritual Growth Group has been a sanctuary for exploring my spirituality in a deep and personal way. The content, respect and compassion that Mary Ellen brings to the group has allowed us to give and receive authentically. One of the greatest gifts I have received from this group is to listen more deeply and to trust what God speaks into my heart.
— Jeanette, Bellevue, Wash.

Mary Ellen has made me aware of how to go within to access and honor God's truth. Through prayer, meditation, scripture, poetry, and ritual, she creates a safe environment in which we can share and benefit from the wisdom of one another.
— Leigh, Bellevue, Wash.

Mary Ellen has a wonderful ability to tune into the needs of a group and deliver exactly what they hunger for. Her compassion and humor create a warm and loving space in which to explore, learn, and grow.
— Elizabeth, Redmond, Wash.

Spiritual Growth Groups

In a world where technology makes it possible to share our every move with a wide network of "friends" or contact a long lost kindergarten buddy, it would seem that we are more connected to one another than ever before.

Yet many of us hunger for a deeper level of connection that is often hard to find in the fast pace of our lives. We yearn for a sense of true community and belonging — where we can know and be known by others.

Spiritual growth groups satisfy this hunger in a safe and supportive way. Small groups gather to explore topics related to spirituality, to pray, and to find meaning in life experiences. Through the sharing of our stories and our lives, we grow in relationship with ourselves, with one another, with God and all of creation.

As facilitator, I prepare each weekly or monthly gathering around the chosen topic of the group. Sometimes the content is structured around a book. I weave teaching, individual self reflection, group discussion and contemplative spiritual practices (meditation, poetry, scripture, lectio divina, music, art, labyrinth walking and SoulCollage®) throughout the sessions. Groups may meet for a specific number of weeks/months or decide to be ongoing.

Some of the topics of groups I have facilitated include:

• Forgiveness
   (using The Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu)
• Living from the Inside Out: Reflections on Contemplative Living
• Discovering the Sacred in Everyday Life
   (using An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor)
• Mindful Self-Compassion
   (using Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff)
• Reflections at the Intersection of Science and Spirituality
• Interfaith Spirituality
   (using Religion Gone Astray by Mackenzie, Falcon, and Rahman)
• Themes of Advent: Darkness, Longing, Preparing a Space, Hope

If you hunger for authentic, supportive community, consider gathering a group of friends and acquaintances and contact me to help create a spiritual growth group where you can connect in ways that nourish your spirit and feed your soul!