Rev. Sharon Seyfarth Garner, Director & Founder of Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction & Retreat Ministries LLC, is a pastor, author, spiritual director and retreat leader. She has written Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice (Upper Room Books 2016) and is working on a second book entitled Mandalas, Candles and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent (to be released in fall 2017). She was ordained as an Elder by the United Methodist Church in 1997 and is ecclesiastically endorsed for the specialized ministry of spiritual direction. Sharon has graduate certificates in Spiritual Direction (Ignatian Spirituality Institute of John Carroll University), Diversity Management (Cleveland State University), and Ecumenical Studies (World Council of Churches). She is also is a member of Spiritual Directors International and the Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders.
"I consider it a personal joy and a professional privilege to meet others wherever they are on their journey of faith and partner with them toward a deeper, more meaningful and revitalized spiritual life. There are so many wonderful ways to walk more closely with God - a few of my favorite spiritual practices are spending time in sacred silence, contemplative coloring and exploring Ignatian spirituality. In addition to the joy of ministry, I also love spending time with my family, playing cards with friends, visiting our little cabin in the woods, kayaking, making pottery, singing loudly and talking walks with my husband and our beloved dog, Bear."