It is with grateful hearts that ACSD acknowledges Andrew Dunn as he enters a well earned retirement.
Jeannie Martin Blaker writes…
Joyce Hugget wrote a letter to Andrew in 1990: “We are looking forward to discovering more about SGM. It seems to me that you in NZ are streaks ahead of us in the UK in leading people deeper into quiet prayer and into God. We are looking forward to learning from you …”
Andrew and his wife Margaret were involved in the original training videos enabling overseas students to take part. Andrew became convenor of SGM from 1988-2002. He was aware of the need to offer more retreats and spirituality courses in theological colleges and promoted these.
In 1990 SGM offered a 10 day silent retreat called the Emmaus Journey in which Andrew and Margaret were spiritual directors. The demand for retreats increased nation wide. In 1992 Andrew and Margaret left Presbyterian ministry to set up Oasis, a retreat and study centre which has blessed many over the years.
Margaret and Andrew attended a 3 month training event for spiritual directors, in Auckland 1990, run by Father Bill Connolly and Sister Madeline Birmingham from USA. Discussions there between SGM, the Catholic retreat committee and the Anglican Spirituality group resulted in a committee proposing that an association of Christian spiritual directors be established in NZ. The balance of funds from the above training event became the seed money for this organisation.
So ACSD was birthed with an initial meeting in Wellington in 1991 discussing the goals of the network and the criteria for accreditation. The national steering committee was established with Andrew, Mary Concannon and Sheila Pritchard on this joint Catholic- Protestant venture.
The meeting declared the purpose of the network:
‘That an association of Christian spiritual directors be established to actively promote and encourage spiritual direction The Association will promote the on-going formation of directors including the encouragement of supervision.’
Thank you Andrew for your part in both the training of spiritual directors and the establishment of this national organisation. We have been blessed through your service.