Peggy Mindrebo managed her husband’s medical practice for over ten years before she decided to attend seminary. Her whole life was characterized by a love of theology and this shift in her career path was a natural extension of that. A mother of four with a strong tendency toward nurturing and extroversion, Peggy was especially drawn to spiritual formation and to working with others. “I think it’s always been in my DNA to be collaborative and to be communal in my caring,” she says.
As a member of Kaleo, a Christian group focused on connecting women’s talents and passions to best serve the greater Indianapolis area, Peggy arranged exploratory meetings with various organizations around the city. One day, she and a friend met with Clinic Executive Director Chris Purnell. Although she was eager to see where the Lord might be calling her, it wasn’t until her friend said, “You should do spiritual direction here,” that Peggy saw her role as a Clinic volunteer take shape in her mind.
She mentioned the idea to Chris, and he loved it. Soon—for those on staff who were interested—Peggy began to offer monthly one-on-one spiritual direction sessions. She explains that these meetings look very different from person to person and warns that the title itself may be misleading. “It sounds hierarchical, that there’s a director telling you what to do, but it’s actually the opposite. The one who leads is the other, not the director,” says Peggy. “It’s a position of humility, of listening for the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of another.” Of course, the form that this listening takes is also varied. Peggy may sit with someone in a room and pray with them. She may take walks with them by the Monon. Or else she may simply listen while they share what is going on in their life and heart.
Despite the typically tranquil setting of these meetings, the atmosphere of spiritual direction can sometimes be intense. “One of the biggest successes of spiritual direction is helping people interpret their past, their present, and their future through the lens of God’s loving gaze. And that’s not easy,” says Peggy. “But for those who are open to it, I think it can bring a sense of not being alone in their life.”
Peggy’s way of volunteering for the Clinic is unique and specific to her skill set. Her work is of great value to the staff and she plays an important role in helping to maintain both spiritual and social health within the office. But this role that she plays would not exist if she had not conceived it. “Spiritual direction was not a stated need in Chris’ mind. It was a suggestion from me,” she says. “So sometimes there’s a risk in offering what you have to offer. It may be accepted by a ministry or it may not be—and that’s okay. Know what you have.”
For now, she believes she is where the Lord wants her to be in providing this service, and she is grateful for the opportunity. “I respect the ministries in the city that do that kind of caring for their staff,” says Peggy. “It’s valuing the whole person, not just what they contribute.”
To learn more about volunteering for the Clinic, please visit our website.