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Our Team

Who We Are

Spiritual direction is an ancient practice of Christianity, and as directors continuing within this tradition, we seek to bring integrity and competence to our work.


We have a love of listening to others and a desire to offer a compassionate presence to each person we meet with. We recognize the sacredness of each person, knowing that everyone we meet with is a unique individual with their own inner wisdom and truth.

We have each completed an intensive study program. Becky, Cindy, Deborah, Jeanie, Leslie, and Sheila received their training through the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI.


Michael is currently training through this program and is available now for work with the Enneagram.


Jenny received her training through the program at Spirations Institute for Interspiritual Formation.


Additionally, we participate in continuing education opportunities, peer supervision, sessions with our own spiritual directors, and our individual spiritual practices.

Read through our introductions to get to know us better. Then email an individual director to set up a time to meet or to find out more about spiritual direction. Individual directors will be available in different forms; Online, by phone, in person, etc. These options can be discussed directly with the directors. The "cost" of Spiritual Direction is also determined by each individual director, for more information on this, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

If you are unsure who might be a “good fit” for you, you are welcome to contact Deborah ( or 319-365-1494) to learn more.

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Deborah Hansen

Each of our lives is a sacred story, but life is full of complexities, transitions, and even tragedies.  Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate our way through life, and God seems to have vanished.  As a compassionate listener, I am a guide who walks with you as you search for God’s fingerprints in your life.  I will invite you to look deeper and consider new possibilities through questions, observations, and gentle challenges.  When life is hard, I can sit with you in the pain as a praying companion.  When prayers are answered, I can sit with you in joy and thanksgiving.  Our times together will nurture your spiritual growth, healing, and deeper connection with God, others, and yourself.

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Becky Knudson

All my life I’ve appreciated hearing people’s stories.  Through my training I’ve learned to listen in a deeper way, with the belief that God is present in the encounters.  Through compassionate listening and questions I can help you pay attention to your life.  Maybe you’re in a time of transition, such as a job change or retirement, or a move, or the loss of a loved one.  These things can be disorienting and heartbreaking, but taking time to look at them can be a good thing, a chance to take stock of the joys, or challenges, heartaches, and hopefulness.  

I have worked at Hospice of Mercy for 8 years, and before that in other human service leadership roles, serving people birth to adult.  I am married to Steve and we have three adult children and three (soon to be four) grandchildren. 

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Cindy Dunn

I believe that each of us has questions or longings and that by retelling or exploring our own stories we can look at them from different angles to find loving answers, release fears, guilt, anger, and many other feelings. Like many of you I’ve experience many joys, love, hurts, and losses.  These lived experiences are our true education. Turning lived experiences into insights, seeing the connectedness of these stories and the choices we have in how we react to this unfolding journey is truly holy. I would be honored to compassionately listen as you explore your questions, experience your own spiritual unfolding and to be a loving witness to that journey as you move from the roles you “do” in life to your soul’s mission.

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Leslie Schwarting

Compassionate Listener, Seeker & Companion. This journey of life is not for the faint of heart. Some days the life path is filled with joy, excitement, and anticipation. On other days, grief, sorrow and uncertainty prevail. I am a BIG believer that LOVE is present in & with us whether the life circumstance is good, bad, scary, or peaceful. I’d be honored to walk beside you, listen with intention, be present as you look inward, and explore your path. I’m a wife, mom, healthcare worker, trained spiritual director, and here for you.

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Sheila Anderson

I serve as the Visitation Chaplain at First Lutheran and am blessed to visit members who are home bound and those dealing with a serious illness.  My training in Spiritual Direction was good preparation for this ministry as I am honored to listen to people’s stories and appreciate how special and beloved they are to God.  Knowing that God is always working for good in our lives, it is helpful to reflect on how God is speaking to us whether it be through scripture, dreams or the people in our lives. 

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Jenny Flieder

Prayerful Listener, Creative Spirit and Thoughtful Friend who honors the sacred path of each person.  Your story matters because it is the unique way in which God speaks to you.  As a spiritual director, I am here to listen and be present to the miracle of you! Together we can laugh, cry, wonder, question, listen, and celebrate what God  is doing in your life.  Spiritual Direction nestled deep in my heart because of great mentorship, training and an insatiable  longing to see God in the broad and colorful life spectrum.  It is a way of thinking about my spiritual life amidst being a parent, middle school teacher, daughter, sister, musician, kayaker, traveler and friend.  Serving others, as a spiritual companion, at First Lutheran is my greatest fortune and desire.  Please join me in this one-of-a kind experience and feel the beauty of being heard. 

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Michael Beckmann

I was introduced to the Enneagram as part of a continuing education retreat. I was so inspired by my encounter with the tool that it sent me on a path of earning my certification as an Enneagram coach so that I could help others dig deep into the benefits of the tool.


Since that time my ongoing studies on the topic have given me exposure to varying approaches to the Enneagram, which provides me with a well-rounded understanding of the many useful ways the tool can be approached and coached. I have found it particularly useful in ministry as I get to use it with families and individuals to help them grow spiritually and personally.

This fall (2022) I look forward to adding an additional component as I begin the process of becoming a Spiritual Director through a 3-year intensive training. I look forward to using these new skills, alongside my enneagram coaching to serve, support and coach others on the journey.


We do not provide spiritual direction as employees of First Lutheran Church.  Because we are trained “professional listeners,” we are compensated for our work.


  • There is no cost for your first session.  This gives you a chance to meet the director and to see if spiritual direction is what you are seeking.

  • We have a sliding scale of $50-$70.

  • If the cost is too much, talk to a director about this.

  • First Lutheran Church has several programs for which there is NO cost that might be of help to you if you cannot afford individual direction. 

    Click Here for First Lutheran's Calendar of Spiritual Transformation Ministries.

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