I value substance and transparency, poetry and rhythm, stories of courage, humor, wilderness, and the human spirit.
Teens and college students inspire me. For dozens of years I’ve led retreats, leadership programs, and help people make meaning from whatever life brings. I’m a rather simple person, but my “yes” brings many extraordinary opportunities and people into my life.
Adventurous and creative, I trust the unknown, and know through tough personal experiences that there is always a reason to hope … no matter what. I hope to connect with you through blogging, books, social networking, and my website.
In August 2011 I began working with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as a Communications Specialist. During a visit to a small village school in Port Graham, Alaska, a group of first and second graders asked, “What do you do?” Sitting on the classroom floor with them, I smiled into their faces of curiosity, paused, then replied, “I’m a storyteller.”That’s my favorite part of my work with KPBSD; in addition I am responsible for critical communications and social media, among other things.
Where do you experience the significant in ordinary, everyday life? I look forward to a conversation, and to your stories.
Become curious. Be brave, believe,
Pegge (Bernecker) Erkeneff
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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A little more:
Quite simply, spiritual direction is spiritual care in the form of compassionate listening, discerned action, and embodied presence. My continued work with Spiritual Directors International as founding editor of Listen: A Seeker’s Resource for Spiritual Direction, the media review editor for Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, and the video editor for the “SDI Learns From…” YouTube series of educational videos offers me valuable insight into spiritual direction from a global perspective across tradition, within an international learning community. As a supervisor and former trainer of spiritual directors I am often awed by how the Spirit calls and draws people into service and deep knowledge of Self.
Campus and Youth Ministry
During the seventeen years I spent in pastoral ministry, most recently as director of campus ministry, I learned the importance of incarnational spirituality: greeting the spirit in daily life, in ordinary and unexpected places and times. While in parish ministry I formed student leaders, led over eighty weekend retreats for teens, young adults and women, designed curriculum, and served on numerous councils and committees. My work at Colorado State University with leadership programs in the Student Leadership and Civic Engagement office broadened my perspectives of inclusiveness, privilege and leadership development.
A degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and advanced biblical studies through the Denver Catholic Biblical School contribute to my love of learning and expression in literature, poetry, and the written language. Discernment of a monastic vocation initiated a profound appreciation and understanding of the contemplative life and movements of the Spirit. When I volunteered as a Restorative Justice facilitator I witnessed the intersection between healing and forgiveness that occurs when people share their stories and listen to one another. My concern for abused women and children inspired me to become a foster parent, and continues in volunteer presence with people on the margins.
Trauma, Grief, and Loss
On January 24, 2006, my only son Justin died unexpectedly by suicide. I continue to listen and discern how I am invited to work in new ways with grief, unexpected trauma, suicide and mental illness, suffering and healing, images of God, and young people.
In 2007 my husband, dogs, and I moved to the wildness of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska from Northern Colorado, USA. The vast land provided me a sturdy outer landscape that helped me to make difficult choices. In 2011 Jim and I divorced. I live with my Chesapeake Bay Retriever in a log home, and changed my name to Pegge Erkeneff.
My gratitude for the beauty and wildness of creation deepens every day.