Hi, I'm Susan.
I'm Taylor's mom!
I have a deep passion for creating spaces for women to encounter God’s transformative love in the community of other women. For much of my life, I hid behind something or performed for someone. I excelled at achieving external goals but was completely detached from my own inner world of emotions and desires. I knew there had to be more.
In my late 40s, I had an intensive spiritual formation experience that awakened my heart, and I encountered God and myself in a way that over the last 10 years has changed the trajectory of my life and relationships.
I long to create a similar life-changing experience for YOU.
Encounter is for you if...
You are feeling stuck or stale in your walk with the Lord.
Life feels mundane and monotonous.
You struggle, searching for a safe place to breathe.
You need a new perspective.
You feel lonely in your spiritual journey.
You want to experience God in a fresh way and to hear his voice.
You are willing to experience God outside of your own cultural comfort zone.
You long to be fully seen and known by others on a similar journey.
You want to grow in self-awareness and understand how your story has shaped you.
You are not alone.
“The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.”
Soul Preparation Before Thailand Retreat
JUNE - OCTOBER
Virtual Spiritual Formation Community Group
JUNE - AUGUST
These bi-weekly 1.5 hour SOUL ENCOUNTER group sessions will begin with a simple connection question, which you will know in advance.
We will then slow our pace, quiet our hearts, and connect more deeply with our souls through a simple activity. Last, we will encounter God through a new or old spiritual practice connected to a scripture passage
- Soul Encounter Session 1 - The Condition of My Soul
- Soul Encounter Session 2 - My Stuffed Emotions
- Soul Encounter Session 3 - God’s Transformative Love for ME
- Soul Encounter Session 4 - My Losses and the Mounting Grief
- Soul Encounter Session 5 - Intimacy Between Me and Jesus
- Soul Encounter Session 6 - Examining My Day with God
Soul Encounter group sessions will start in June and meet on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 7-8:30pm EST.
Your preparation experience will be rich in personal reflection and cultural preparation. Individual preparation will include:
- A resource PDF with a checklist designed just for you!
- Links to several songs to listen and reflect upon with journaling prompts.
- Links to Youtube videos preparing you for your cultural encounter with Thailand.
- Scripture passages to meditate on with provided journaling prompts.
- Links to a few podcasts to begin exploring your soul and create a longing for more of God’s heart.
- A few short articles to read and respond to journal prompts.
This preparation is self-paced. You will have opportunities to share with our community what God’s is beginning to do in your heart.
Encounter Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand
OCTOBER 22 - 31
10-Day Retreat in Chiang-Mai Thailand
Many of us our taught about God so that we have great knowledge of Him, but we long to know Him and His love experientially. In the loud chaos of our modern lives, we struggle to quiet ourselves to hear the Father’s whispers. We want to escape the messiness of life, but Jesus promises to be with us in these hardships.
This retreat is specifically designed to help you slow your body, mind, and soul to encounter God in the reality of your story:
- Daily sessions incorporating old and new spiritual formation practices
- Guided Silence & Solitude spaces
- Facilitated journaling & reflection
- Group processing
- Opportunities for individual spiritual direction, soul care coaching, & counseling
- Depth of spiritual friendship
Cultural Immersion Experiences
- Pottery course – In this 4-hour workshop you’ll learn how to build your own piece of pottery! Suitable for beginners. No experience necessary! Includes basic materials, clay, glazes and kiln firing.
- Foot massage - One-hour experience to relax and to experience tender care.
- Cooking class - Make famous Thai dishes from scratch and then enjoy eating them.
- Night Market experience & dinner - Explore the artisans and souvenirs of Chiang Mai and dine at an Thai-style outside food court.
- Buddhist temple tour - Hike to a traditional mountaintop Buddhist temple
- Ban Tawai wood village - Visit several shops to purchase Thai wooden bowls, spoons, plates, wall hangings, etc. So much fun!
- Elephant petting, feeding, and photographing! - Enjoy a refreshing drink in the mountains while interacting with elephants,
- Transportation by songthaew (enclosed pick-up truck taxi)
Your Soul Care Facilitators
ENCOUNTER Soul Care Facilitator
Susan's background is in curriculum and instruction, with a PhD in Professional Development. She is an ICF certified life coach and has spent the last 25 years creating spaces for soul care and spiritual formation. Susan has lived overseas for the last 16 years and currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Taylor Joy Murray
ENCOUNTER Soul Care Facilitator
Taylor Joy Murray is an author, podcast host, and speaker who writes & speaks on the intersections of spiritual and emotional heath. She has a ministry degree from Liberty University and is currently completing her training to become a licensed therapist. She currently lives in Lynchburg, VA.
ENCOUNTER Admin Coordinator
Scott has served in pastoral and overseas ministry for the past 30 years. He graduated with a masters in Biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate in Spiritual Formation from Liberty University. He currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
What is my commitment to Encounter?
How many women will be in our Spiritual Formation Intensive?
What if I feel scared and uncomfortable coming by myself?
When & how do I register?
When & how do I pay?
Who will facilitate the intensive?
What do I need for the Soul Encounter Virtual Groups?
What will I do for the individual soul & cultural preparation?
Do I need a visa in my passport?
When exactly is the retreat in Thailand?
How long does it take to fly to Thailand?
Does my Encounter experience include my airfare and travel insurance?
Where will I be staying in Chiang Mai?
What kinds of food will I be eating?
How much walking will I do?
What will the weather be like? What clothes should I bring?
How much money do I need to bring?
What will we do during the final Reflective call in November?
If you have any questions, we would love to connect with you! Please feel free to contact us at [email protected].