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Carolyn Shimabukuro, Ministry of Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is a companioning relationship purposed in experiencing the presence of God. God being the Guide and the spiritual director being the listening traveler, companion on the journey. It is an on-going relationship in which one person (the directee), desirous of being more attentive to her or his spiritual life, meets with another person (director) on a regular basis, specifically for the purpose of becoming more attuned to God's Presence in order to respond more fully to the Presence in all of life.

Eugene Peterson, a pastor, author and professor of Christian spirituality, describes spiritual direction as

..."teaching people to pray, to discern the presence of grace in events and feelings, affirming the presence of God at the heart of life, sharing a search for light through a dark passage in the pilgrimage, guiding the formation of a self-understanding that is biblically spiritual instead of merely psychological or sociological."

He goes on to say that it is "space to explore the everyday ordinariness for the presence of God and workings of grace" ? precisely at those times when "nothing seems to be happening."

It should be noted that there are distinctions between spiritual direction and therapeutic relationships. In general it might be said that therapy and counseling deal primarily with problem areas of one's life and attempt to bring healthy resolution to issues. Spiritual direction is concerned with finding and responding to God in the midst of pain or disorder as well as in the rest of life. Problem/issue solving is not the primary focus of direction.

What has drawn me to this ministry ~

My heart and Christian faith experience has been significantly shaped by the relational ministry of spiritual direction. I have found it to be a relationship of grace. In the sacred space of quiet and openness to God, it is a place where I have the freedom to "be". It is a safe place to express and seek understanding of self, God, and others. I have been met at a deep and authentic level. Through quiet contemplation, I am tending to my soul and find myself experiencing greater depth in my relationship with God.

Because of the richness of what I have experienced, I desire that many others might enter into this grace.
I am open to establishing a relationship with those who are desiring to grow deeper in attentiveness to the movement of God in their life. I am accountable to both a spiritual director and a peer group of certified spiritual directors on a regular basis. I share some of my background with you to give you a context of who I am, however, the most important thing I offer is my desire to be used as a servant of God in prayerful listening and discernment. My education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Park Management from Western Washington State University, a Masters of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a certification in Spiritual Direction from Christian Formation Spiritual Direction Ministries. I have been serving as the Director of Japanese Evangelical Missionary (JEMS) Pacific Northwest since 1989 and Regional Director for JEMS Campus ministry: Asian American Christian Fellowship.

I am an ordained minister with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and a member of Japanese Baptist Church, Seattle Washington. I have two children, Kristen and John. I'm a native Washingtonian and have lived in Southern California for nine years as well as in Japan during a one year mission.

What to expect when we meet. A session is usually 60-75 minutes. I use my home or other quiet spaces for appointments. It is most helpful to arrive at the scheduled time. If a situation arises, please do your best to communicate if there is a need to reschedule.

Prayer is a privilege. I covenant with you to pray specifically in the context of what you have shared. If there are specific needs that come up in between sessions, please feel free to email me at jemspnw@gte.net or call me at 425.885.3032.

I believe that this is God's work and I am joining Him, as well as you in this journey. Usual fees for spiritual direction range from $35-$75, but I believe that cost should never be the decisive factor in seeking support or assistance with one's life with God. I do not charge a set fee. Instead I ask that you consider a contribution, when you are able, to the JEMS ministry that supports my spiritual direction work. Monetary gifts can be sent to JEMS, 948 East Second Street LA, CA 90012, designate my name in the memo: Carolyn Shimabukuro. These gifts are not tax deductible. The JEMS ministry is part of the Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability.

I hold the following in my heart as I serve in this ministry of spiritual direction ~
  • That you would experience the unconditional love of God
  • That you would experience being listened to whole heartedly in prayer
  • That together we would tune our hearts in attentiveness to God in our midst

    My commitment to God and to you is to be prepared interiorly in a posture of peace. I will be fully present to listen, notice, and be prayerfully responsive to you with a deepening trust in God as we meet.

    If you are sensing that this is God's invitation to you as well as your desire, I encourage you to inquire. Please feel free to contact me to learn about this ministry service or to make an exploratory appointment. God bless you as you tend to your soul.

    "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
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