As SDI moves forward and looks to the future, there are three main goals: to broaden the definition of a spiritual companion, to invite in those who have traditionally been excluded, and to bring together diverse voices from a wide variety of backgrounds for honest, thoughtful, and meaningful dialogue around spiritual direction.
To further those goals, SDI began a new initiative to empower and commission ambassadors for the organization. The ambassador program will be a reciprocal partnership between SDI and individual spiritual guides who are selected. The ambassadors will be given the opportunity to share their unique perspective and story at the SDI annual conference, and in turn, will share in their local communities about the charism of spiritual direction and how SDI supports spiritual guidance across traditions. Each partnership will be tailored to the ambassador gifts. This program is evolving and taking shape—stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
The 2017 ambassador is The Reverend María R. Barrera, EdD, LPC, CRC. Maria comes from a multi-cultural background, is Native American, and speaks several languages. She has worked with persons from diverse socio-cultural, linguistic, racial, and ethnic background in government, public, and private sectors. She holds numerous degrees including a doctorate in special education from George Washington University. She is a Native American traditional practitioner and ordained interfaith minister from All Faiths Seminary International. Maria is currently assigned to provide ministry in state and federal prison facilities in the Washington, DC, USA area.
As the SDI Ambassador program takes flight, we are excited to see how Maria’s story and perspective will add richness to the SDI community, and to watch Maria share about SDI in the communities in which she is connected.
For questions about the SDI Ambassador program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.