presenter bios

DEBORAH CHERNICK was a finance professional in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. For many years Deborah has served on the Board of the Trust for the Meditation Process and chairs the Investment Committee. The Trust’s mission is to encourage meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative prayer.

In 1993, she began to practice Christian meditation. Since then, she has taken many classes in meditation, attended meditation retreats, and currently facilitates Christian meditation offerings at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality. One of her particular interests is the desert mothers and fathers.

SUSAN OEFFLING, a Sister of St. Joseph (CSJ), has been an educator, CSJ community leader, and spiritual director. A long-time meditator in the Christian tradition, she currently facilitates a weekly meditation group and meditation days and retreats through Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Susan learned to teach meditation at the School for Teachers sponsored by the World Community for Christian Meditation. She believes that meditation is a form of prayer that should be accessible to all who wish to awaken more fully to the presence of God.

CATHY STEFFENS, as a Sister of St Joseph, taught children ages 5 to 14 in schools that included prayer in classrooms. Her background includes a personal practice of daily meditation for over 50 years. She has written articles for children’s religious magazines and designed learning activities for the Easter People religion book series.

After attending classes and workshops on Group Spiritual Guidance and Teaching Meditation to Children, Cathy has guided groups and individual children, young and older adults in prayer and meditation. A 6 year-old, on seeing Cathy a year after her teaching, said excitedly, “Are we going to meditate?”

workshop presentation

There’s much noise, and little silence, in the lives of children and youth. Like many adults, children yearn for the experience of an interior way of being that helps buffer the hustle and bustle of a harried world. Young people have a natural capacity for meditation, and they love it!  When their capacity meets the ancient practice of Christian Meditation, the exciting benefits are a deepening of their relationship with God, an increase in their sense of well-being, and a mindfulness that helps them reduce stress.  When we teach children to meditate, we are at the same time fostering their sense of being valued and loved.

This workshop will cover the tradition, teaching, and practice of Christian Meditation. It will provide practical guidance – with resources – for how you might introduce Christian Meditation in the classroom, religious education and Sunday school programs, congregations, and camps.