Spiritual Director and Retreat Facilitator
My name is Steve Tollestrup and I work as a Spiritual Director and retreat facilitator supporting and companioning with individuals, couples and groups to explore and deepen the experience of the sacred in their lives, ministry, work and world.
Spiritual direction (also known as Spiritual Companioning) offers attentive support in discerning God's presence and the sacred in all of life. Spiritual Direction can help you reflect on your journey, broaden and deepen your spiritual path as you engage life with faith, curiosity, adventure, bravery and compassion.
I am a skilled but down to earth. I use a reflective and supportive style as well as creative and insightful contemplative strategies. I believe there is more value in having a lively curiosity with an open mind and adventuring heart, than fixed and unquestioning absolutes or dogma.
My faith and beliefs are very important to me. Does spiritual direction risk compromising them?
Absolutely not. A Spiritual Director is a companion. Working with you we explore and walk together in your faith journey. In that journey, new insights are bound to come - but they will always be yours and never imposed.
I'm not a Christian or religious. Is Spiritual Direction available for me?
I offer Spiritual Direction to anyone who wants to explore their understanding of the sacred in their lives; the felt connection to something larger than ourselves, and the search for deeper meaning and purpose. I understand spirituality as something that touches us all. No one needs to feel alone on his or her spiritual journey even when they have more questions than answers or aren’t sure who or what they believe in. No matter your belief or background, everyone is welcome here.
Do you provide spiritual direction for couples?
Yes. Spiritual direction is a valuable project for couples. However, my spiritual direction is not a substitute for couples counselling.
I am a leader or part of a leadership team. Is Spiritual Direction useful?
Absolutely. I work with a many church, mission and NGO leaders who are looking to deepen their discernment and sense of God's presence. I have over 30 years of experience in organisational development and community leadership and have always valued and used mentors and spiritual advisors. I understand the ups and downs of leadership and have faced most of the challenges you do. (see also www.ploughshare.co.nz)
It sounds all a bit serious and formal. . . ?
No, not all. This a good and wholesome adventure that explores the deeper places within ourselves and spiritual presence in our world. Challenging at times, but with laughs, courageous insights and a sometimes a few tears along the way.
What's meant by retreat facilitation?
I work together with groups who are exploring meaning, values and spirituality within their organisation or faith community. Taking time to collectively explore and discern God's presence among them. If this interests you please get in touch and we can discuss.
I also run group retreats where individuals join in with others for spiritual reflection and personal growth and development. You'll find upcoming dates of these events in the calendar of this website below.
How much do you charge for spiritual direction?
My charges for Spiritual Direction are based on 'koha' (Maori for gifting or donation) rather than a fixed fee. (Matt 10.8)
Do you have a location in Auckland that you work from?
I have two Auckland locations I work from. Jervois Rd in Herne Bay and Titirangi Community House in West Auckland.
I live outside of Auckland. Do you provide spiritual direction online?
Yes, I have directees that live outside of Auckland and also overseas. Some directees prefer the convenience of online sessions. I'm experienced with online VOIP platforms and I'm available on skype/messenger/ ZOOM for those wishing to use one of these.
What's the meaning of 'Sacravist' ?
I use the term Sacravist to denote that Spirituality is not private piety. True deep spirituality builds and strengthens compassion and connects us with others as sacred activists committed to peace-building, shalom and justice in our community, environment and world. To be awake to the sacred brings responsibility
Sound like you? You can contact me using the email below or phone me directly to discuss further and consider whether the Spiritual Direction I offer is valuable for your journey.
Warmly | Nga mihi nui
64 (0) 210433686
Thank you Steve. I find your direction and companioning always insightful. You help me to get and keep a deeper perspective."
"Your support and practical insight connected with me more than I anticipated."
Your approach to living in this world with radical purpose and loving-kindness absolutely spoke to me."
A bit more about me:
I have over thirty years’ experience in pastoral care. I studied theology at Laidlaw College receiving a Bth (hons) and later Spiritual Direction through Spiritual Growth Ministries. I am a member of the Association of Christian Spiritual Directors and appointed to its governing body. I also receive Spiritual Direction as well as having a strong personal commitment to ethical accountability through professional supervision.
I maintain my own regular spiritual practice of daily contemplation, meditation and study and I stay informed of current developments in spirituality and spiritual direction. I remain active and engaged with my community through a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice
I was previously the Executive Director of Industrial Chaplaincy for the Auckland Region as well as CEO of TEAR Fund NZ. I have served as an Elected Member of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board of Auckland Council. I attend City-side Baptist Church in Auckland and I am on its leadership team.
I’m married to a wonderful life companion. We have 4 awesome adult kids and 5 grandchildren and live on the bush-covered slopes of the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland.
Programmes , workshops and Events
Discovery is your retreat time; as a church, mission, youth group or community group. Discovery provides time out to explore what God might be saying to you. It's a time to reflect, spiritually build as team, explore next steps, plan for the future or face a challenge. Working together with you I create your unique retreat experience. If required venue and catering can be arranged. Thinking of doing your own personal retreat? I'm available to meet daily with you either in person or through ZOOM.
The Contemplative Pathways is a workshop designed to introduce a variety of contemplative practices. Participants will safely have the opportunity to engage in a range of methods including: meditation, Ignatian reflection, mindful movement, centering prayer, creative arts lectio divina, metta (loving-kindness). Pathways is also available to individuals who want to develop and deepen a particular contemplative path of interest
Throughout history, contemplatives, mystics and prophets have had an active concern for the poor and disadvantaged. In this participatory workshop we explore the themes of presence and deep spirituality that can be found in activism and the pursuit of justice, as well as contemplative tools for practice and response. It will be especially useful for those individuals, organisations and churches concerned for social and environmental justice and who wish to explore further where spirituality and activism meet positively and constructively for tranformation and social change. Enquire by email for times when this workshop is available or contact me about providing this full day workshop for your church mission or organisation.
Contemplative Pathways workshop : Nov 7th Titoki Retreat Centre Whakatane
(Postponed to 2021 - dates to be advised)
The Contemplative Pathways workshop, is designed to introduce a variety of contemplative practices.
Participants will safely have the opportunity to engage in a range of practices including:
- Ignatian reflection
- mindful movement
- centring prayer
- creative arts
- Lectio Divina
- Hesed/Metta (loving kindness)
Phone:07 308 6503
Workshop participant comments
"Thanks so much for your workshop. It was thought-provoking and informative from both an inward
and outward perspective."