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How do you go about getting spiritual guidance from a minister if you're not a member of a church?

(12 Posts)
mintysmum Wed 19-Nov-14 23:08:03

Or can you?
I am at a really emotional, wonderful and confusing point of my life due to an adoption issue. Religion is coming into it for me in a confusing way - but a potentially very positive way. I feel blessed.
I'd like to talk to a minister to have some spiritual insight about the religious feelings but as I don't belong to a church I don't know if I'm able to access that support.

My parents are members of a church so maybe I could ask their minister? I feel a bit silly though for seeking out this support - is this the sort of thing ministers are used to doing or would they think me a little strange?!

cheapskatemum Wed 19-Nov-14 23:24:02

I should firstly state that I'm not a minister, but worked closely alongside one for several years as church secretary. He would have been delighted if you had come to him for such advice. At our church the minister's phone number is on the notice board out front and people did ring for advice if not church members. If your parents are local to you, I would say their minister would be a good place to start. If not, you could still ask him or her if they know a minister who would be good to speak to in your location. Best wishes for your spiritual journey.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 19-Nov-14 23:32:27

I'd start with their minister if you feel that his spiritual beliefs would be in line with yours.

A good clergyman/woman (regardless of their religion or denomination) is in the business of helping people during a spiritual crisis or a time of spiritual seeking. Any clergy person should be eager to offer help to anyone, whether that person is a member of their church or not. If not, as far as I'm concerned, they're in the wrong job! I'm a Christian, but some of the best comfort I received after a particularly difficult death in my family was from a rabbi.

I'm an adoptee and I understand that there can be many unanswered questions for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. I hope you find what you need.

mintysmum Thu 20-Nov-14 06:51:55

Thank you both for replying. I will make contact with my parents minister as he is a very warm person. I have been feeling silly about wanting this, as though my questions and thoughts are very childish, so presenting them to a minister with a PhD in theology seemed embarrassing. A bit like asking my dentist to brush my teeth!

But I am reassured by you both that this is what they do as part of their role.

headinhands Thu 20-Nov-14 18:38:04

presenting them to a minister with a PhD in theology seemed embarrassing. A bit like asking my dentist to brush my teeth!

A minister isn't going to have any more expertise or access to information on what god is/what he wants than you do so please don't feel inferior.

adiposegirl Fri 21-Nov-14 01:26:48


i really wouldn't bother the the whole organized religion. find a good bible and study bible and the spirit will come to you.

ralgex Fri 21-Nov-14 01:31:48

I recently found the Church of England completely unwilling or unable to give me any adequate spiritual guidance, in spite of the fact that I was confirmed as an adult. I know they are tearing themselves apart, but still to be so utterly lacking seemed appalling to me. So I would echo adiposegirl. Having typed that, if you know a minister who also happens to be a good human being, then try him.

FishWithABicycle Fri 21-Nov-14 01:42:31

raglex sorry to hear you had such a disappointing experience. It would be lovely if all parish priests were reliably approachable and wise but as you found out the profession has it's fair share of duds.

mintysmum I'm glad you found someone to help you and please don't be embarrassed to ask for this sort of thing. In the CofE there is a fundamental principle that the ministers are there to minister to everyone in the parish, churchgoer or not. Helping you was very much part of this minister's job.

ReggieJones Fri 21-Nov-14 11:26:54

You don't need to feel silly about this at all. It is a minister's role to serve people regardless of whether or not they are Church goers. when you talked about a dentist brushing your teeth it reminded me of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. You can also get in touch with the minister of the parish Church or another Church that is local to you. Both of these websites may be useful for exploring spiritual issues too

FrancisdeSales Fri 21-Nov-14 14:01:47

Speaking on behalf of the Catholics (!) priests and others who are dedicated to ministering to the people of God believe that means everyone - whether baptised or not, believers or not. All those I know would be happy to be approached and make time to discuss your thoughts and feelings. I would just explain clearly your situation i.e. that you just beginning to explore your spirituality and take it from there.They are generally very relaxed and helpful. If you want to mention where you are in the country I could probably rustle up some names. Otherwise just call your nearest Catholic church and ask to talk to a priest.

There are also various places around the country where people go on retreat to draw nearer to God and they would be another good resource to approach.

Mouseymum Mon 24-Nov-14 23:57:43

You could also google 'spiritual direction in [your area]' and see what comes up.

Anthracite Tue 25-Nov-14 11:57:01

If you are in England, your local church may have Pastoral Assistants who can sit down with you.

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