Hearts on Fire emerged as a ministry at the 2003 National Spiritual Leaders Conference, an event sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship / The Upper Room and by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry. Through conversations and in prayer, United Methodist spiritual leaders discerned a need for strengthening the ministry of spiritual direction and retreat leadership as a means of “… winning persons to Jesus Christ as his disciples” (GBOD). Several of these spiritual leaders experienced a call to move that work forward, and the fellowship was born.
What began in 2003 as a small steering committee incubated by The Upper Room soon became the Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders and is now networking and supporting United Methodists all over the country who are engaging in ministries of spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and retreat leadership. Our bi-monthly national e-newsletter reaches more than 800 persons, and paid membership continues to increase.
In August, 2009, FUMSDRL became a self-supporting affiliate organization of GBOD (The General Board of Discipleship) under the Division of the Upper Room. We continue to have a meaningful and mutually beneficial collaboration with both groups!
In October 2011, the decision was made to add a “Doing Business As” name to “The Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders” to provide a shortened way to refer to our organization. We decided on “Hearts on Fire,” which reflects the essence of formational ministries as well as our Wesleyan heritage. So now our official name is Hearts On Fire: Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders , which can be shortened to Hearts On Fire ; HOF; Or FUMSDRL. Whatever you call us, we are committed to transforming lives and deepening discipleship.
The Hearts on Fire Board of Directors embraces diversity in its theology and its demographics. Women, men, laity and clergy are represented on our board from Annual Conferences across the country, and we take delight in exploring the wisdom of many different traditions.
- To resource and network United Methodist laity and clergy who are called to ministries of spiritual direction and/or retreat leadership;
- To increase awareness of all ministries of spiritual formation and retreat leadership within and beyond the United Methodist Church.
- To have a Hearts on Fire advocate in each Conference of the United Methodist Church.
- Distribution of a bi-monthly national e-newsletter
- Web-based interactive site for Hearts on Fire members at Facebook.org
- Bi-annual national and/or jurisdictional retreats and/or trainings
- Directory of Hearts on Fire membership, organized by jurisdiction
- Publicity for members’ ministries via Hearts on Fire website and newsletters
- Resourcing and mentoring individuals and locally-based ministries
- Coaching spiritual leaders
- Workshops, worship leadership and spiritual direction as requested
- Advocacy of formation ministries at all levels of the United Methodist Connection
Want to learn more? Contact us!