BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Restoration Ministries is incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and as such we are governed by a Board of Directors which is instrumental in safeguarding our legal requirements, ministry distinctive, and program development. The Board of Directors is involved in the oversight of our strategic decisions and alignment of ministry initiatives with our vision and mission. We are a praying board and each time we meet we gather around the presence of Christ to listen together. From this time of listening we discover and discern how God is leading us as a ministry.
 

Julie Schewe

Founding board member
 

Who listened to you?
I first received the gift of being listen to by a pastor also trained in spiritual direction, who listened well and mirrored God’s delight for me in her smile and her words. As I experienced healing and found it safe to be known in community, God set me into a community of men and women who listened to me and allowed me to practice listening to them.

Why do you value the ministry of spiritual listening?
By holding, as sacred, the story of another we give them a taste of God’s love and delight that makes it safe for their soul to come out and be known and loved.

What vocation has God guided you into?
I run a small business and also work as a nurse in sexual and reproductive health where I sit with and listen to patients throughout the day.
 

 
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Kim Isaak

Executive Director, Founding Board member
 

Who first listened to you?
My Grandma. She was old and gentle, always having time to sit and listen to me tell her whatever was on my heart. I also remember my dad and I often beginning the morning in quiet silence or simply being together watching storms from our front porch. While I did not have words for this at the time, my initial meetings with a spiritual director in my early 30's were prompted by this desire to simply be with someone who was intentional about listening to me.

Why do I value the ministry of spiritual listening?
Because it is a safe and confidential place to be vulnerable with parts of my story and wrestle with God. A good listener gives me courage to be quiet and listen and also discern what action is being called for.

What vocation has God guided you into?
Spiritual listening and companionship, and encouraging. I also support leaders in their own formation and the subsequent health and vitality of the organizations they serve.

 
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Kim Bryan

Treasurer
 

Who listened to you?
My spiritual director, Karen.  A wise, christian woman, who walked alongside me.  Helping me to pray and listen more closely for God's voice in my circumstances. 

Why do I value the ministry of spiritual listening?
Meeting with someone on a regular basis who prays to have God speak through her to me; in my questions, concerns, and weighty issues is so valuable in living out my christian journey.  She listens to and asks questions to make me think and pray differently, sometimes more clearly, about whatever matter we are addressing. I have grown closer to God and in relationship with Him. 

What vocation has God guided you into?
I currently work in Accounting for an Insurance Agency and serve as the Treasurer of Restoration Ministries. I love reading and going for walks with my dog, Milo. 

 
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Debbi Luedtke

spiritual director
 

Who listened to you?
It was about 20 years ago that "doing church" or working at being a Christian had lost it's hold on me. Yes, I wanted God to be near but the busyness of life in church had become stale and I had slowly become disillusioned with spiritual life. Someone suggested I might benefit in meeting with a spiritual director. That suggestion turned into a life-long journey with various spiritual listeners. The listeners' gentle presence provided a sacred, safe space to unpack my own questions, understandings, experiences and doubts. These conversations guided me back to knowing God's ever presence in my life and the value of living a life of being with Christ. This great adventure has become far more than I ever hoped or imagined.

Why do I value the ministry of spiritual listening?
I continue to meet with a spiritual director because I've learned that God has much to teach me and the journey on earth is a long hard one to do alone. A spiritual director can come alongside another to listen and point the way towards understanding God's desire for you. I want others to have the opportunity to experience this same gift.

What vocation has God guided you into?
I retired from a 40-year career in education and now experiences greater freedom in being a spiritual director and spiritual mentor.  I have a growing heart in meeting with people from all ages and experiences in finding their place of grace in God's kingdom. I am a grandmother of two precious girls, love to travel with my husband, and recently discovered the slow art of weaving.

 
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Brenda Henry

spiritual director
 

Who listened to you?
My best experiences of being listened to have happened in the company of either a good friend or a spiritual director. Each time has left me with a profound feeling and awareness of being known, loved, and valued. In turn, the edges of my upward, inward, and outward gaze seem to soften and allow for a more consistent grace-filled way of living—with God, myself, and others. I value the ministry of spiritual listening for this gentle, yet powerful, capacity it extends.

Why do I value the ministry of spiritual listening?
Since I’ve come to realize that all of life is embodied in a kind of spiritual direction of sorts—always listening and paying attention to what my Lord may be saying or doing, I most experience Him in the outdoors, preferably with a pair of tennis shoes on.

What vocation has God guided you into?
Given my proclivity for keeping my feet moving, my vocation as a Physical Therapist has proven a good fit. Since my workplace gives me an opportunity to listen and to pray with patients, it provides a great opportunity to tend to holistic wellness—a passion of mine.

 
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Tony Kroening

board member
 

Who listened to you? 
My youth pastor listened and took interest in me and my spiritual growth.  He wasn’t judgmental and he wasn’t trying to win me over.  He was a friend and he cared through his availability and his willingness to hear my story and my struggles.  A mentor pastor when I was the young idealist, was one of the most caring and compassionate people I know.  He was truly engaged as he listened and interacted with me in my vision and my idealism.  He cared, he didn’t judge, and he heard my heart and not just my words.

Why I value the Ministry of Spiritual Listening:
Listening can be a deep spiritual gift to others and it is transformational when it is done with the heart and compassion of Christ.  Listening takes time, thereby it is a gift and an act of service.  We all so busy and we have so much to say, but to truly have someone slow down and tune in to our lives is healing and validating.  

What vocation has God guided you into?
I assist Churches, Faith Based Non Profits, and some Corporations (the ones with real heart) in defining, identifying and recruiting the best leaders. I coach leaders in job fit, change, and spiritual discernment. My hobbies are remodeling, hunting, and fishing while my heart is for my family, their growth, and their pleasure in life.

 

BOARD OF REFERENCE

Those on our Board of Reference have been invited to serve as a reference for Restoration Ministries as one willing to attest to our soundness in Christian theological thought and ministry methodology, and have agreed to have their names listed as one of our ministry references. They also have agreed to gather with our Board of Directors on a periodic basis for sharing of insight, information and ongoing discernment.

Each has been invited to serve in our ministry in this way because of their impact and influence on us and the ministry as it has developed. We value their wisdom and insight in the disciplines of Christian spiritual formation and direction ministries.

 

Rev. Jean Leih, M.Div., D.Min.
Founder of Restoration Ministries

Our founder, Jean Leih, has transitioned into a season of northern living. While she is not currently adding new directees, please feel free to read her bio. Jean has shepherded and guided so many in their gift of spiritual companioning. We, the board and spiritual directors at Restoration Ministries, are grateful for her leadership and life lived simply for God's glory.
Follow Jean's writing on her blog Dancing with Beauty.


Dr. Glenn E. Myers, Ph.D

Glenn was a founding board member of Restoration Ministries. He serves as Professor of Church History and Theological Studies at Crown College. Dr. Myers is the author of Seeking Spiritual Intimacy: Journeying Deeper with Medieval Women of Faith and has written numerous articles for the Zondervan Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.
He shares his wisdom and writing on his blog Deep Wells.

Jeannette A. Bakke, Ph.D

Author: Holy Invitation: Exploring Spiritual Direction

Marji Karjalahti, M.Div.

Marji has been active for many years in leading manuscript studies and guiding others into the big story of God.