An Invitation to a Discerning Lifestyle
Franciscan Retreat Center  |  Phoenix, AZ
  January 31 - February 3, 2022

We Invite You to Join Us!

Testimonials from 2020

"The ESDA Gathering provided a great opportunity to meet and share with other Spiritual Directors. I learned so much from the speakers and other Directors that will enhance my direction skills."
"This was to me a drink from a cold sweet well! To be able to take off my “cross cultural” hat and just speak freely and listen and understand was amazing."
"It’s always special to be with a group of like-minded people that you don’t need to explain yourself and your career to. Continuing education is definitely a perk of ESDA."
"The ESDA gathering was a great time to make friends and learn from other spiritual directors. I enjoyed every minute."
"What an impactful time gathering with other Spiritual Directors from across the nation who share the same heart and language. It was a beautiful time of fellowship, learning, and sharing that renewed my heart and soul."

We are excited to return to the beautiful Franciscan Renewal Center in Phoenix, Arizona for our 2022 ESDA Gathering. What a joy it will be to gather again in person! The Franciscan is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, has easy access to Phoenix Sky Airport, and is about 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix.

  • What: ESDA's 2022 Gathering 
  • When: January 31 - February 3, 2022
  • Topic: An Invitation to a Discerning Lifestyle

Our 2022 Gathering provides an opportunity for personal development, networking, and retreat-in-community as we explore what it means to engage in a discerning lifestyle in our lives and in the lives of our directees. 

Our schedule of events is designed with flexibility for those who desire the time to ponder alone with God, and for those who love to process with others in a group. We hope you will join us as we worship, wonder, reflect, and share together on this important topic to our direction ministries.

Important Note: Generous ESDA members have helped to create a scholarship fund (as of December 15th one scholarship remains) in an effort to offset some of the expense of attending. Scholarships are offered to active members of ESDA, are limited, and offered on a first come, first serve basis. 

Please contact Carolann prior to registering if you desire a scholarship to confirm availability and registration process.

Use the following links to learn more about your registration options for the ESDA Gathering and the pre-Gathering Conference:

  • 2022 ESDA Gathering - Event Overview: A review of the specific topics we will be exploring during the Gathering.
  • Pre-Gathering Conference - Overview: Additional information on the one-day conference Grafted Life is hosting for church leaders and spiritual directors immediately prior to the start of the ESDA Gathering.
  • Accommodations: Information on the accommodation options available during your stay at the Franciscan Retreat Center, including pricing for "commuters" who are not planning to stay at the Franciscan.

Once you have made a decision on which event(s) you want to attend, use the following links to register:

  • ESDA Gathering + Pre-Conference Registration: Register to attend both events. Prices include an extra night stay (January 30th) at the Franciscan. Room check in is at 4pm on Sunday for those attending the pre-conference and dinner begins at 6pm.
  • ESDA Gathering-Only Registration: Register to attend only the ESDA Gathering event. Room and event check in begins at 4pm on Monday, January 31st.

If you need some help understanding the options and/or registering, call Carolann at 214-919-4145.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2022 ESDA Gathering - Event Overview

Monday Evening
January 31

Monday is a day for arrivals, settling in and a time for connection.

  • If you are not attending the pre-conference, registration for the ESDA Gathering will be from 4pm-5:30pm.
  • We officially begin the Gathering with dinner together at 5:30pm.
  • After dinner we will gather for a time of connection and fellowship with other spiritual directors.

Tuesday and Wednesday February 1-2

Tuesday and Wednesday will include time in God’s word--reflecting on Biblical stories that describe a discerning lifestyle, group discussion, networking with other spiritual directors, guided personal reflections and community worship. Each evening there will be a closing spiritual exercise and an opportunity for social engagement.

February 3

Thursday will provide time to reflect with others in small groups to review new ideas and identify what you are taking home from the week. We close the Gathering with Communion together as we celebrate what God has done.

We will conclude our Gathering by noon followed by lunch. We appreciate you booking your travel in order to be with us through our closing time.

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Pre-Gathering Conference -
Where Prayer Meets Action:
A Discernment Model for Boards and Leadership Teams

Monday, January 31

Grafted Life Ministries (GLM) is hosting a conference for board members, Christian leaders, and spiritual directors who work with them. This event precedes the start of the ESDA Gathering. The conference will begin at 9:00 am and end at 3:00 pm. (Registration for the ESDA Gathering begins at 4:00.)

This conference explores several aspects of team discernment--how we seek God’s will in our work together. Team discernment is more than a set of principles and practices. It is an approach to working that recognizes God’s presence in all that we do. Our time together will include illustrations, real-world experience, and practical ideas to help your leadership team and/or board be with God in the actions you take and the decisions you make.

This event will explore:
  • What it means to be a discerning team and why it is important to your mission
  • Understanding six impediments that keep us from practicing spiritual discernment
  • A process for team engagement that integrates best spiritual practices with best business practices
  • Practical tools for growing your "with God" work-style

For more information on this conference, or to register for this conference ONLY, click here!

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Payment Options

Payment for registration:

  • Pay in Full: Registrants may register by paying in full now. Fees include accommodations, meals, and all materials. (at this time, the 50% deposit option is no longer available.)

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Three accommodation options are offered during registration:

  • Single Occupancy: Select this option if you are interested in staying in a private room.
  • Double Occupancy: Select this option if you are interested in staying with another spiritual director and/or spouse. ESDA will do its best to accommodate roommate requests.
  • Commuter: For people who live in the Phoenix area, or who are managing their own accommodations, the commuter option includes meals and the Gathering fee, but an overnight room at the Franciscan Retreat Center will not be reserved.

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Combined Gathering + Conference Registration

Prices are per person and include meals.
Occupancy prices include an additional night stay for the GLM Conference.
The deadline for registration is December 31, 2021.

When selecting double occupancy, you will share a room with another ESDA Gathering guest. 
Please contact us if you intend to share a room with a particular guest.

ESDA 2022 Gathering + Conference

Name/Email of Partipant Besides Yourself


Click here to visit the Franciscan Renewal Center website.

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Gathering-Only Registration

Prices are per person and include meals.
The deadline for registration is December 31, 2021.

When selecting double occupancy, you will share a room with another ESDA Gathering guest.
Please contact us if you intend to share a room with a particular guest.

ESDA 2022 Gathering

Name/Email of Partipant Besides Yourself


Click here for directions to the Franciscan Renewal Center

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