Renewing Life... Deeper Life

MEET OUR STAFF & DIRECTORS

Spiritual Formation

and Direction

SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS

I was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in Florida. At 15 I became a Christian and my journey of faith began. At eighteen I attended Urbana, a world missions conference for college students from over 70 different countries. It was there I heard for the first time the GREAT COMMISSION and during the closing communion service felt deeply called to “going” wherever God would send me to participate in the sharing Jesus Christ to my world.

I finished an undergraduate degree and Masters Florida State University and took a position at Occidental College in Los Angeles. My opportunity to come to Los Angeles introduced me to Fuller Seminary located in Pasadena, Ca.

I left teaching to attend Fuller, starting in the School of World Missions.  I met my husband, Doug, at Fuller and we graduated together with Master of Divinity degrees which directed us to ministry in the local church.  We were ordained together, ministered in California for six years and then came to Las Vegas to plant a church.

In 2004 I felt strongly led to begin what is now the Renewing Life Center.  I prayed for a year over its design and mission and then opened the Center in 2005.

During these years from 2005-2019 God has consistently led me into Spiritual Formation and Direction, culminating in the Institute in which you have begun.

My training led to a Doctor of Ministry, doing a dissertation, HOW FAITH DEVELOPS IN THE ADULT CHRISTIAN.

I spent four years in Spiritual Direction with William Barry, learning and growing in my own journey as a directee.  It was here that God birthed in me the need and vision for the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute.

I have two wonderful adult children, David, who is entering into ministry in California and Kristin, who lives in Oceanside, Ca., married to a Marine, and the proud mother of our first grandchild, Axel Robert Steenerson, born November 6th.

Patricia Meye

 

Currently I am in full time ministry serving as a Care Pastor at a local non-denominational church in the southwest part of Las Vegas. I have been married since 1986, have two married adult children and two grand-daughters that make my heart full. At this stage in my life, God has called me into spiritual direction for myself and to serve others as we seek to discern God’s wisdom and guidance in our lives. I have been a Christian for the last 32 years and have stepped into the most exciting time in my spiritual journey in the last 3-1/2 years as I have been intentional about creating rhythms to connect with God.

“To know God’s will is to actively claim an intimate relationship with God.” Henry Nouwen

I know for myself that is exactly what I desired in my life, to know God’s will and to live into that relationship with Him. Wanting an intentional spiritual journey and longing for quiet spaces to connect with God, and my soul, led me into seeking spiritual formation and direction. I was able to participate in two transforming communities simultaneously. One through the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute here in Las Vegas under the teaching of Dr. Pat Meye, and the second through the Transforming Center in Chicago taught by Ruth Haley Barton.

I understand the practice of spiritual direction to be the ministry of holy listening that involves three persons, the Holy Spirit, the spiritual director and the directee. The Holy Spirit is active and moving in a person’s life. The spiritual director serves as a holy listener for the directee who is listening to what’s happening in their life. The director’s role is to help the directee to grow in their relationship with God. This is done by inviting them to notice God at work in their day to day and prayer lives, helping them to gain awareness of what inhibits their growth in God, as well as helping to discern God’s invitations during their time spent together.

“Perhaps giving up our efforts to fix things in our own strength and through our own ideas about how things should be done is one way we are called to lose our lives in order to find them”-RHB.

If God is inviting you to seek Him more intimately, spiritual direction can be one way to accomplish this. It would be my honor to journey with you.

Laura Balch

 

Matt Lewis is the Executive Pastor at Beachpoint Church, located in Fountain Valley, CA. Matt has been married to his wife, Molly for nearly 10 years. Matt and Molly have a ten-month-old son; Rocco whose smile is contagious. Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Hope International University, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from The Institute for Spiritual Formation.  Matt received his training as a spiritual director from The Institute for Spiritual Formation and practices spiritual direction in person and also remotely via Skype.

Matt Lewis

 

 

I have lived in Las Vegas for 34 years, where I met and married my husband of 27 years. God continues to love and shape me through my marriage to Scott and, through my parenting and relationship with my 4 adult daughters and their beautiful families. I also have 6 amazing grandchildren, that fill me with complete joy! I have been a Christian for 25 years. Although my upbringing did not include Jesus, or Church, I am confident that He was always present, even when I was unaware. I have worked in full time ministry for 19 years at a non-denominational Christian church in Las Vegas.

In 2015, I enrolled in the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute, through Renewing Life Center in Las Vegas, under the teaching of Dr. Pat Meye. Through this program, God gently and slowly opened my eyes and my soul to what I now know and understand is spiritual formation. As my spirit grew, so did my desire to see that same hope and transformation birthed in other’s lives. This desire led me to complete the training and receive my certification as a Spiritual Director.

Spiritual Direction is the art of holy listening. It is the soul companionship of the Holy Spirit, the director and the directee. Spiritual Direction offers an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with God, discern the movement of the Holy Spirit, to enrich and deepen one’s communication with God.

I seek to provide a safe, welcoming space for each person to come just as they are. I hope to offer you an invitation to slow down, rest in the quiet and become more aware of God’s loving presence. I value listening deeply and accompanying you in discerning the voice and activity of God’s Spirit in your life. I love the richness of using God’s word in direction and allowing Him to use His truth to guide and direct our time together.

It would be my privilege and honor to journey with you in spiritual direction.

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Connie Whaley

 

Scott Whaley is a pastor, speaker, and leader. He’s been pastoring in the Las Vegas valley for over twenty years and is currently on staff as an Executive Pastor at The Crossing Christian Church. Scott has a DMin in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from George Fox Seminary and enjoys employing his education in varied environments and to diverse people groups. In addition to leading spiritual retreats for church staff, Scott has taught on spiritual formation at conferences in the U.S. and Cambodia. Scott is a member of the teaching team at The Crossing as well as enjoying his role as a faculty member for the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute.

Scott’s passion for spiritual formation comes from his own journey of seeking to experience the mystery of God personally instead of merely being one who studies God. He is committed to the idea that followers of Jesus must never “traffic in unlived truth” but must constantly engage in the struggle to subject their own lives to the rhythm of grace they call others to embrace. Scott has been married for 28 years to his wife, Connie, a spiritual director who is, in his words, “…the best woman I’ve ever known and the first person I want to spend time with.” When Scott isn’t working or attempting to corral his many grandbabies, you’ll likely find him in his backyard reading or listening to podcasts.

Scott Whaley

 

 

 

Currently I am in full time ministry serving as a Care Pastor at a local non-denominational church in the southwest part of Las Vegas. I have been married since 1986, have two married adult children and two grand-daughters that make my heart full. At this stage in my life, God has called me into spiritual direction for myself and to serve others as we seek to discern God’s wisdom and guidance in our lives. I have been a Christian for the last 32 years and have stepped into the most exciting time in my spiritual journey in the last 3-1/2 years as I have been intentional about creating rhythms to connect with God.

“To know God’s will is to actively claim an intimate relationship with God.” Henry Nouwen

I know for myself that is exactly what I desired in my life, to know God’s will and to live into that relationship with Him. Wanting an intentional spiritual journey and longing for quiet spaces to connect with God, and my soul, led me into seeking spiritual formation and direction. I was able to participate in two transforming communities simultaneously. One through the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute here in Las Vegas under the teaching of Dr. Pat Meye, and the second through the Transforming Center in Chicago taught by Ruth Haley Barton.

I understand the practice of spiritual direction to be the ministry of holy listening that involves three persons, the Holy Spirit, the spiritual director and the directee. The Holy Spirit is active and moving in a person’s life. The spiritual director serves as a holy listener for the directee who is listening to what’s happening in their life. The director’s role is to help the directee to grow in their relationship with God. This is done by inviting them to notice God at work in their day to day and prayer lives, helping them to gain awareness of what inhibits their growth in God, as well as helping to discern God’s invitations during their time spent together.

“Perhaps giving up our efforts to fix things in our own strength and through our own ideas about how things should be done is one way we are called to lose our lives in order to find them”-RHB.

If God is inviting you to seek Him more intimately, spiritual direction can be one way to accomplish this. It would be my honor to journey with you.

Available : First Wednesday of the month 3:30pm, 4:30pm & 5:30pm

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Pastor Laura Balch

 

Spiritual Direction is active listening and companioning with someone who truly desires a deeper relationship with God and His will.  A spiritual director can be a quiet presence collaborating with the Holy Spirit to assist a directee in personal discovery.  The directee can be encouraged in his/her prayer life and be open to the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes the directee shares what is going on in his/her life and the director is listening. Sometimes there is silence in a session and both are listening for the Holy Spirit.  Most importantly, God is the greatest Spiritual Director and He ultimately leads both the director and directee in each session.  My desire as a Spiritual Director is to join someone in his or her life journey and be a servant that God uses to reveal His encouragement and lovingkindness.   The greatest joy for me is to witness the work of the Holy Spirit and see someone discover God is personal and caring.

Have you ever wondered- is there more to my relationship with God or more to life as a Christ follower?  Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction is a place to begin.  It would be my pleasure and a joy to have the opportunity to be a companion with you on your path of discovery.  The Holy Spirit is for you and He will make His presence known to you as you journey deeper.   

Available : First & Third Thursday's at 7pm & 8pm

 Dannette Kirk

 

I am one of those people raised in the church who cannot really date when I came to Christ. I can remember knowing Jesus well enough to want to go to church, pray and read my Bible in 6th grade. By the time I was in High School I had already taught Sunday School to little ones and helped with the Jr High Youth Group. As an adult, I have been involved in children’s and youth ministry, launched and lead small group ministries, lead women’s Bible studies, helped plan retreats and even spoken at a few of them. I have been married to my husband David for 40 years in June 2019 and we have one grown son.

When I was invited to train as a spiritual director, I thought at first that I would do it for myself, to grow in Christ and the spiritual disciplines. I did not think that God could use me to help others because of the things I struggle with and I struggle mightily!  Amazingly, I found my niche and calling the more I trained. Now, I enjoy helping directees become more aware of the Holy Spirit and helping them strengthen their relationships with Christ through prayer, conversation and the Spiritual Disciplines.

Additionally, I have always been curious about Spiritual Formation and at a particularly bad place in my life, I began reading on formation and transformation. I was seeking God earnestly and I discovered some authors who had a major impact on my life. I began wondering what else I could do to grow in my faith and draw closer to God. With my interest piqued in Spiritual Formation, I sought out the master’s program at Portland Seminary and I am now an online student there.

I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him and others. I received my certificate from the Renewing Life Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute in December 2018 and look forward to directing others wanting to help deepen their walk with Christ. If you are looking for direction, I invite you to consider me. I will do my best to walk with you as you improve your relationship with Christ and help you find the joy in our Lord that I have found.

Available : First, Second & Third Monday's 9am - 8pm; First, Second and Third Friday's 5pm, 6pm & 7pm

Chelle Miller

 

 

I have lived in Las Vegas for 34 years, where I met and married my husband of 27 years. God continues to love and shape me through my marriage to Scott and, through my parenting and relationship with my 4 adult daughters and their beautiful families. I also have 6 amazing grandchildren, that fill me with complete joy! I have been a Christian for 25 years. Although my upbringing did not include Jesus, or Church, I am confident that He was always present, even when I was unaware. I have worked in full time ministry for 19 years at a non-denominational Christian church in Las Vegas.

In 2015, I enrolled in the Spiritual Formation and Direction Institute, through Renewing Life Center in Las Vegas, under the teaching of Dr. Pat Meye. Through this program, God gently and slowly opened my eyes and my soul to what I now know and understand is spiritual formation. As my spirit grew, so did my desire to see that same hope and transformation birthed in other’s lives. This desire led me to complete the training and receive my certification as a Spiritual Director.

Spiritual Direction is the art of holy listening. It is the soul companionship of the Holy Spirit, the director and the directee. Spiritual Direction offers an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with God, discern the movement of the Holy Spirit, to enrich and deepen one’s communication with God.

I seek to provide a safe, welcoming space for each person to come just as they are. I hope to offer you an invitation to slow down, rest in the quiet and become more aware of God’s loving presence. I value listening deeply and accompanying you in discerning the voice and activity of God’s Spirit in your life. I love the richness of using God’s word in direction and allowing Him to use His truth to guide and direct our time together.

It would be my privilege and honor to journey with you in spiritual direction.

Available : First, Second & Third Saturday's 9am & 10am

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Connie Whaley

 

Present Life

Perhaps a baseball analogy, “rounding third and heading for home”, best describes both my personal and professional life. On the personal level, this means that I am exiting my middle age years and am entering my senior years.  On a professional level, this means that after 40 years of work, retirement is right around the corner.  However, in my spiritual life, that baseball analogy doesn’t fit.  Rather, I believe/sense that I’m running towards second base ready to “fly home”.

My family is composed of my wife of 35 years and a 21-year son.  Both of these relationships are, after Christ, the most important things in my life.  With my wife, because I love her.  With my son, not only because I love him, but also because he is a child with Down Syndrome who has brought nothing but unconditional love and joy to my (our) life.

On the professional level, I’m the Manager of Financial Planning for Clark County, Nevada.  My responsibilities involve managing the County’s long-term debt and the financing of the Raiders Stadium; coordinating the County’s property taxes function; overseeing policy analysis for the Clark County Fire Department; and assisting in preparing the County’s Budget.

I have been a Christian for 30 plus years.

Journey Into Spiritual Formation and Direction

Although I have constantly read and studied scripture over the past years, my journey into Spiritual Formation began about about 10 years ago.  The journey first began with helping the Renewing Life Center introduce a program called Transforming Life.  During this time, I read a book called Renovation of the Heart.  This book showed me how far I had to go and one of its conclusions, that Jesus offers the best way of life, sparked something within me.  The next milestone was another book by Dallas Willard, the Divine Conspiracy.  This book, and its conclusion, that we can be transformed enough that the major pattern of our life is one of doing right as naturally as we breathe.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus describes this as even our left hand doesn’t know (realize) what our right hand is doing.  These two milestones lead me into the journey/tool of Spiritual Direction as a way of helping me reach my desire for a more complete spiritual transformation.

Understanding of Spiritual Direction

My understanding of Spiritual Direction is helping others discern and be attentive to the prompting and direction of God in their lives.  It’s not telling others what God is doing in their lives or what they should do or experience, but rather walking besides them to help them see/make sense of what is happening and thus know themselves and the Lord better leading to a more transformed/whole life.

Invitation to Spiritual Direction

To anyone who thinks it would be helpful to speak with another about their walk with the Lord, I’d invite you to consider Spiritual Direction with either myself of someone else.  You’ll find a compassionate companion for your journey.

Available : Fourth Saturday 9am, 10am & 11am 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward M. Zagalo

 

 

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