Spiritual Practices

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP 225)


As Christians, we are continually learning and growing in our understanding of God and faith. We call this spiritual formation. The way we are formed spiritually happens primarily within a community of faith (our churches and small groups) and through the Spiritual Practices we use. These spiritual habits, sometimes called “disciplines,” put us spiritually in a place to better hear God, be led by the Holy Spirit, and experience a deeper faith and practice in loving God and loving others.

There is no single way to grow in faith or one single practice and so “trying on” different practices can be helpful to find what speaks to you. Here are resources that may be helpful to you in your spiritual life.



Online Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and Daily Prayer for All Seasons are prayer books used by the Episcopal Church.

The Daily Office – With Morning, Noon, and Evening Prayer available to read in English. The Daily Office is also available in Spanish, or a sound version, including eclectic music, with Daily Office Radio.

Other daily prayer sites with short meditations include Pray as You Go, and D365.

Meditation Chapel


The Online Meditation Chapel is an online multi-faith community of contemplatives- that calls its members to find the sacred in the stillness. The chapel invites meditation groups from every faith tradition to use its online chapels. Recordings of meditation sessions with Bishop Marc Andrus and the Rev. Vincent Pizzuto are available, as well as many others.  Learn more about the meditation chapel here.

Discernment as a Spiritual Practice

Discernment is a practice for all Christians and is not just about ordination. Discernment is about trying to listen for God’s direction and guiding in our life for any decision making.

The Episcopal Brothers of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) have created a five-part video series on the art of discernment in prayer.  The series is meant to help us learn to hear God’s “voice” as it comes to us in the silent places of our hearts and through our interactions and experiences in the world, especially the questions: “How can we bring God into the realm of our decision-making?” “What does it mean to pray about a choice we are facing?” and “What do we hope or expect will happen when we do see God’s guidance in our decision-making?”

Other resources for discernment are the books and programs through Listening Hearts Ministries, and their lovely collection of Meditations for Individuals or Groups.  The Collegeville Institute offers extensive resources to explore vocation and calling in a congregation. And the Church of England has a variety of helpful resources for exploring lay and ordained ministries.

Spiritual Direction


Spiritual Directors help others to better pay attention to God, growing in faith and living out their faith. The diocesan office cannot recommend individual spiritual directors but encourages people to seek out spiritual guidance — formally or informally — in dialogue with their clergy.  Spiritual Directors International is a useful place to learn more about the ministry of spiritual direction. Locally, Mercy Center in Burlingame offers individual and group spiritual direction, as well as training for people called to the ministry of spiritual direction.

Retreat Centers


The Diocese of California is blessed with outstanding camp and retreat facilities. St. Dorothy’s Rest and The Bishop’s Ranch are both in Sonoma County. St. Dorothy’s Rest, founded over 100 years ago, provides welcoming facilities and gathering spaces in the redwood hills of western Sonoma County. The Bishop’s Ranch, a gift to the diocese from its original owners, is located near Healdsburg in wine country. The Ranch offers a range of accommodations for a variety of retreats and events. Both facilities accommodate individual or group retreats throughout the year. St. Columba’s Retreat House, Inverness, also offers space for retreats and events.