The mission of SoulStream is to nurture contemplative experience with Christ leading to inner freedom and loving service.
Real, honest experience — all the daily stuff with its endless opportunities to open to God’s love, the beautiful surprises to savour, and all the brokenness that we share in common and that calls forth compassion.
We seek to live authentically with Jesus by encouraging one another to receive the gift of God’s intimate and loving presence in all of life.
To that end, SoulStream offers courses such as Living from the Heart, spiritual direction training courses and workshops, a committed contemplative community of partners, and other ways to nurture an awakened, receptive, trusting experience in the face of all the opposing pressures of the world we live in.
God’s Constant Initiative in Love
God is good! God is constantly coming to us in love and inviting us into loving communion with the Trinity and with all creation. Jesus is the expression of God in our experience, and our spiritual life is centered on intimacy with Jesus in all the affairs of our lives.
A Receptive Orientation
Our basic stance in life and toward God is one of receptivity rather than achievement. This is the heart of the contemplative way: receptivity to God who is always coming to us in love.
We are one in God, although we express God uniquely through our created personality. Every person is made in the image of God and therefore carries the presence of God at the very heart of their existence. Our very identity is freely given to us by God. We are God’s dearly loved children. We do not have to achieve our identity. We simply receive it. Therefore every person has dignity and worth regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual identity or orientation, religious beliefs or any other distinction, and every person is to be treated as the bearer of God’s presence in our world.
Authenticity in Community
SoulStream places a strong emphasis on the call of God to be in community with others for the sake of remaining true to the way of Jesus and the task of working together for the healing of the world. This relationship is built on love, a growing process of being grounded in God, and a growing openness with regard to expressed emotions, thoughts, or concerns. Speaking the truth in love about God, faith, ourselves, and the wide diversity of human experiences is affirmed.
An Embodiment of Grace
Grace is the loving activity of God’s presence in our lives. We are fully embraced in grace and we are learning to live in such a way that we embody God’s loving presence at work in our world. By our lives and actions we bring life and hope and a sense of wonder and integration into all our relationships. We call people to notice the beauty of God’s work in their own lives and in the world at large.
Justice and Peace
As God’s people, we seek to embody and evoke the gift of God’s presence in all situations including right relationships (justice) and peace (shalom).
God being our helper, we will endeavour to:
- approach our divine call to care for the world positively and lightly, knowing that our response will be a natural outflow of our life in God.
- become more aware of our own complicity and our own inner landscape in terms of attraction and aversion around responding to the world’s beauty and brokenness.
- support one another in our community, as we continue to converse about our anguish and helplessness around what we see and allow God to move us into hope.
- join God in healing the world in ways that are true to our own gifts and limitations.
We trust that, despite all evidence to the contrary, God will accomplish God’s loving and redeeming purposes toward the fulfillment of all things in Christ.
The Basic Commitments Of The SoulStream Partners:
Observe regular times of prayer and solitude to nurture our life in God’s love.
We covenant together to find time to pay attention to our life with God, seeking to claim our true identity as God’s beloved children and growing in the freedom God offers.
Attentively respond to the Spirit’s presence and action in our daily choices.
We covenant together to become increasingly receptive in body, mind and emotions to God’s loving action in every area of life. We will seek to let go of our lurking tendencies to self-effort and control and surrender to God’s initiative in our lives.
Help nurture healthy community within the web of relationships in which we live.
We covenant together to live together in our relationships with vulnerability and trust, embracing our weakness and the weakness of others, and trusting God’s restorative action among us.
Create a welcoming space for others without distinction.
We covenant together to offer respect and blessing to all people – regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual identity or orientation, religious beliefs or any other distinction – providing a safe place where the beauty and struggle of each person’s experience can be honoured and celebrated.
Act with compassion for justice and peace within the whole of creation.
We covenant to embody God’s presence in our world, promoting care for creation itself in our consumer choices and offering compassion for those who are broken or without power and voice in our society. We will also seek the courage to witness to and act against injustice, exclusion, and exploitation.
Support the mission, activities, and community that are the life of SoulStream.
We covenant together to support the life of our dispersed community by our actions, by our prayers, and by our regular financial contributions in a manner appropriate to our personal circumstances.
Doug Schroeder assumed the role of Executive Director of SoulStream January 1, 2015, following a foundation well laid by Steve Imbach and John Kiemele. Doug’s life was dramatically awakened to God beginning in 2005 through An Introduction to Spiritual Direction led by Jeff and Steve Imbach. Upon completion, Doug was invited to train as facilitator for Living from the Heart and has been deeply honoured to bear witness to the transforming work of God in the lives of others as the course has been offered in Calgary over the past several years.
Doug trained in theology (MDiv. Providence 1979) taught Bible and Theology for 10 years (Foothills Christian College) spent 16 years in sales management (Parmalat) and 11.5 years as senior pastor (Crossroads Community Church Calgary – January ‘03 – July ‘14).
Doug loves co-facilitating retreats, offering spiritual direction, teaching the Enneagram, hiking in the Rockies, golfing, pottery, reading, playing with his 3 grandkids, and hanging out with his wife Dorial and his 5 kids (3 & two spouses).
Audrey Hoehn is the administrator of SoulStream. Audrey discovered spiritual direction and the contemplative lifestyle about 6 years ago and has found it to be a blessing and compliment to the natural rhythm of her life. Audrey is a personal counsellor with an office in her home, where she also does her administration work for SoulStream. Audrey has three adult children and four grandchildren. Audrey loves reading, cooking for her family and friends, and traveling.
Jeff Imbach was the founding president of the Henri Nouwen Society of Canada and was one of the co-founders of SoulStream. He a long-time pastor in Calgary and has offered spiritual direction for thirty years. Jeff is the author of two books: The Recovery of Love: Christian Mysticism and the Addictive Society, and the award winning book, The River Within: Loving God, Living Passionately. He also edited Words of Hope and Healing: 99 Sayings by Henri Nouwen. Jeff completed an M.Div. He was personally mentored in spiritual direction by Sr. Nora Cummins, F.C.J. and Sr. Lily Quintos, R.C. Jeff continues to walk with others on their spiritual journey through the practice of spiritual direction along with working alongside the leadership team in giving leadership to SoulStream courses.
Carrie Dickman has the unique position of being the Board and Leadership Team Liaison for SoulStream. Carrie began her contemplative journey about 9 years ago when she recognized a restlessness and deep longing for a more contemplative way of being growing in her heart. She completed Living from the Heart in 2010 and The Art of Spiritual Direction in 2016. Carrie lives in Alberta and has two children, one in University and one in Grade 3. Carrie is a Spiritual Director and will start her internship as a facilitator for Living from the Heart this Fall. Carrie’s interests include spending time with her family, cooking with her husband, yoga, reading, spending time in deep conversation with friends, walking and taking in the beauty of nature.
Shauna Gill is the partner representative for SoulStream’s Partner Formation Initiative. Shauna’s interest in care, healing and healthy life led her to study nursing, and culminated in graduate studies about hope in the critically ill and their families. This piqued Shauna’s interest in the spiritual journey and led to her becoming a Parish Nurse, and eventually a Spiritual Director. A certificate in Spiritual Formation through Carey Theological Collage has rounded Shauna’s formal education.
Shauna’s desire is to continue to find and enjoy God in the ordinary moments of everyday life. She is learning to wait, be open, listen and find God at His gentle pace rather than the frenetic pace her longing inspired. She lives in the Okanagan with her husband Dave, and continues to parent three young adult children who are still in Calgary. Shauna’s life is full of community, walking, cooking, music, skiing, snowshoeing, golfing, gardening, photography, writing, travel, retreat care, and whatever else God puts in front of her.
Esther Hizsa lives in Burnaby, B.C. with her husband, Fred. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Regent College and worked for over twenty years as an associate pastor: first in children and youth ministry at Cliff Avenue United and then in local outreach, community building, and preaching at New Life Community Church. She offers spiritual direction (trained through SoulStream), co-facilitates Living from the Heart (Lower Mainland), and writes—mostly for her blog, An Everyday Pilgrim. She and Fred enjoy cycling and hanging out with their grandchildren. Esther is the partner representative for Living from the Heart.
Maureen Miller is the partner representative for the Continuing Spiritual Formation Initiative. Her awareness of a deep longing to know and experience God led her to SoulStream where she trained as a spiritual director. The gift of SoulStream awakened and sustains her desire to come alongside others, listening together to the heart of God. Maureen lives in Kelowna B.C. with her husband Don. She loves “Gammy” time with her three grandchildren, kayaking, reading, winery tours, biking and playing with paint.
Annie Ruckdashel’s awareness of God’s fierce love truly began when she took SoulStream’s Living from the Heart in 2011 and it deepened in the Art of Spiritual Direction. Annie’s education is in Disability Studies and Social Work. Annie worked as an outreach worker for people who were homeless in Kelowna, at a transitional housing program for women in Calgary, and with seniors in long-term care in Calgary. The heart of God continues to be revealed to Annie through her current work with people with developmental disabilities in the L’Arche Calgary community, her nieces and nephews, friends and family and dog Bryan.
Karen Webber is the partner representative for SoulStream’s Spiritual Direction Initiative. Karen’s desire to live with an open heart before God has been shaped by her life experiences including a career in dietetics, involvement in her church community, being the parent of two adult children, along with husband Doug, and her love of the outdoors. She trained as a spiritual director with SoulStream.
Carrie Dickman has the unique position of being the Board and Leadership Team Liaison for SoulStream. Carrie began her contemplative journey about 9 years ago when she recognized a restlessness and deep longing for a more contemplative way of being growing in her heart. She completed Living From the Heart in 2010 and The Art of Spiritual Direction in 2016. Carrie lives in Alberta and has two children, one in University and one in Grade 3. Carrie is a Spiritual Director and will start her internship as a facilitator for Living from the Heart this Fall. Carrie’s interests include spending time with her family, cooking with her husband, yoga, reading, spending time in deep conversation with friends, walking and taking in the beauty of nature.
Jan Fung lives in Abbotsford, BC. She has been a classroom teacher and homeschool support supervisor for over 25 years. She developed an interest in contemplative living through a personal search for deeper spirituality, a more wholehearted way of engaging with life, and a desire for a peacemaking response to the world. Fellow-sojourners such as Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, John O’Donohue and Kathleen Norris, among many others, have deeply impacted her journey. Jan is an avid reader! She completed the Living from the Heart course in 2015 and became a partner that same year. Jan expresses that “discovering Soulstream was like finding a path that led her home to herself and to a more intimate relationship with Divine Love”. Jan has four young-adult children who keep her life full of light, love and learning.
Glen Grunau has worked with children, youth and their families for the past 25 years as a mental health clinician in Quesnel, BC. He lives with his wife Karen and cat Delilah and black lab Roo. Their two young-adult children have recently left home, leaving plenty of quiet to pursue the silence and solitude of contemplative life. Glen loves the four distinct seasons of the north and enjoys walking, biking, canoeing, and cross country skiing in God’s big world. He is also inspired by movies and reading.
Mark Imbach is SoulStream’s Chairman of the Board. He loves his relationship and walk with God that’s evolved through many trials and blossomed through contemplative living. He has been in the broadcasting industry since 1980. He has two adult children and 3 grandchildren. Mark sees life rather pragmatically and loves the adventure of life.
Brian Klassen has been associated with SoulStream from its inception, when he and Marcia were invited to be part of Steve and Jean Imbach’s advisory board seeking to discern what might become of Steve’s vision for community. He previously served on SoulStream’s board for numerous years. Brian’s invitation to the contemplative life came as a result of his growing alienation from his Christian life experience and his desire to experience a more inclusive, wholistic, and love-based expression of life.
Brian is a psychotherapist focusing on relationships and values the opportunities he has to walk with people as they face their brokenness, pain, and sense of alienation, and seek to live more fulfilling lives. He loves cooking, drinking, jazz, and baseball. He and Marcia have three grown and partnered children.
Gail Purdy began her contemplative journey several years ago when she unexpectedly encountered Jesus in one of the gospel stories. Surprised by this personal encounter she was encouraged to explore SoulStream, which lead her to participating in Living from the Heart. This became a significant turning point in her life as she began to experience an internal shift from living life from her head to experiencing life from her heart. This movement began an even deeper journey into the heart of Jesus as she moved from knowing about Jesus to experiencing a transformative relationship.
Gail loves long walks in the local trails near home and has also enjoyed longer treks in Spain and Wales. She enjoys collecting and polishing rocks, nature photography, and almost anything that feeds her creative spirit. Discovering treasures in God’s creation brings her great joy.
Jayne Ruckdashel lives in Calgary, AB. She has spent the last 25 years sharing life with the marginalized in Calgary. At this time she is a Private Personal Care Giver to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Jayne found her soul nurtured through contemplative living as she engaged in the SoulStream community. She participated in the combined Art of Spiritual Direction and Living from the Heart course in 2003 to 2005 and became a partner in 2009. Jayne continues to meet twice a month with her original Community Group which continues to be an important part of her life. Jayne is on the organizing team for Soulstream Days in Calgary and appreciates the opportunity to introduce others to Soulstream. Jayne enjoys her time with her 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 5 grandchildren, as well as her deep friendships and the love of her life Giles. Jayne also enjoys reading, researching, podcasts, Motorcycle riding in God’s beautiful creation, Glamping and red wine.
Deb Steinkamp lives in Bellingham, WA with her husband Dick. They have three adult children and six grandchildren. Deb is a spiritual director, a supervisor for spiritual directors and an active member of Bellingham Covenant Church. For fun, Deb swims, hikes, and paints. She is always watching for ways to put her contemplative way of living into action.
Brent Unrau lives in intentional community on Kingfisher Farm in South Surrey, B.C. and discovered the richness of the contemplative journey through SoulStream back in 2010. He presently divides his vocational focus as a therapist with www.cascadechristiancounselling.com, a spiritual director and owner- operator of a small art company called www.pasticheart.ca. He has also recently joined the team of facilitators with the Living from the Heart course. In his free time he can be found taking in a moving play or thought provoking film, reading poetry (and on occasion memorizing and sharing it) drinking in a stimulating podcast, playing with his amazing grand-daughter or going for a good hike or a cultural adventure with his wife of 35 years. He has two adult children and one sweet son-law who keeps him stocked with a year around supply of homemade limoncello.