Wendi Bernau is a process professional. She works as an artist, spiritual director, leadership coach and writer and teacher of curriculum. Wendi’s background includes formal study in music, art history, painting, theater, dance, theology, spiritual direction and coaching. She is a brilliant and talented facilitator and performer. Wendi is a sought-after retreat leader, workshop facilitator, and teacher and is part of the founding leadership team for the Wayfaring Companions missional spiritual direction training program. Many of her self-paced spiritual development and contemplative prayer courses are soon to be available to the general public.
Educational background: Bachelor of Arts (Music) from Tufts University; Master of Music (Orchestral Conducting) from University of Tennessee; Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School; Doctor of Ministry (Art & Theology) from Wesley Theological Seminary.
A note, if you are interested in working with me:
First, just to be clear: I (Wendi) am not a therapist or licensed counselor. If you have a condition that requires medication or other diagnostic review, that is beyond what I can offer you. Many people work with me and also with a therapist or counselor. I’m not saying I can’t work with someone on medication or has an addiction, only that I can’t replace whoever monitors that.
What I am and what my experience CAN offer you is:
- I am a process professional – I work with people who are in motion (growing, changing, healing, etc).
- I create a container (of space and time) in which you can do the kind of self-discovery, healing and growing work that you choose to do (which means I never judge you, give advice, or tell you what to do).
- I am a spiritual director (which means I’m a really good listener and I am comfortable doing and facilitating deep reflection, meditation, and internal healing work – my own spiritual journey has been wide and varied).
- I am a coach (which means I ask really good questions and honor you as you discover what you really really want in your life and I walk with you as you figure out how to get there – and be the best you, step by step).
- I am a woman who values intuition and the sacred feminine (which means I believe that you and your intuition can tell you what you want and need and you can learn to heal and trust your intuition if it has been damaged in some way).
- I have a certification in Enneagram (which means I can help you become aware of yourself and your blind spots so you can choose how you want to show up instead of acting on auto-pilot) and
- I am currently learning the art of visual coaching (which means I have tools to structure the personal strategic visioning process and you can see it – you have a visual representation of what we talked about which I email to you afterward).
Also, of course, I am ethical and everything is confidential (which means I will not discuss you or your sessions with anyone. The only exception is that the law requires me to report someone doing self-harm/suicide threat or abuse of a child/elderly person).
You can find videos of Wendi teaching and preaching on Wendi’s YouTube channel
- The Book of Judith graphic novel (2020) available from Wendi or on Amazon
- co-author and layout designer of Intern Guidebook and Leadership Companion Guide for Project Transformation, (2019)
- Finding God in Culture – a series of self-paced instruction/meditation courses with various genres of art (on the Canvas online learning platform)
Sometimes I think we tend to view our spirituality as something external – we pray in hope that someone is listening to us – but we are the ones who need to be listening. This is challenging because it doesn’t seem productive. We might think sitting in silence is a waste of time, that art is a waste of resources; but this simply isn’t true. Humans need to expend time and energy creating and listening. How else can we possibly expect to get to know ourselves and what’s inside that wants to come out? How can we grow or learn if we are walking around unaware of our hearts and souls? Art helps us listen to our soul speak.
People tell me they aren’t creative or they aren’t artists so they shouldn’t do art, same with music, but in meditation the end product is never the focus. The important part is the process. How did you get to this point and what was going on in you, how did it feel, when it surfaced? Most importantly, perhaps: now that you have this insight, what are you going to do with it?
Reflection is the key: without reflection, it isn’t meditation or prayer, it’s just art. And I love art, but for it to be profound, you have to let it speak to you. Intentional spiritual experiences in the Arts are very personal, and like most valuable experiences, when we can release the desire to control the outcome and expect to be surprised, amazing things can happen.
~ Wendi Bernau
See below for testimonials:
Thank you for an amazing retreat !!!
Still can’t believe God spoke to me in such a powerful way !!!
~ Lynn Jordan, Pastor and Anam Cara (now called Wayfaring Companions) retreat participant
Wendi has led two closing worship services at our Vital Leadership Academy retreats. It was a great experience! Wendi drew from her deep creativity to lead others in a worship experience that was both unique and moving. She brought people out of their comfort zones in a way that they could experience Christian worship in a fresh and deeper way. It was exactly what I was looking for as a retreat organizer.
~ Kevin Walters, Director of Vital Leadership Academy, United Methodist Church, Central Texas Conference on Artful Worship Experiences
Just that area of the art program has taken me on a different path, one that I apparently needed to take, one that I enjoyed taking, and one that gave me a peace that I needed. During our sharing, I was so moved by the work of others. It was not unusual to hear the tears and emotion in their voices.
~ Pamela Stroud, White’s Chapel UMC on Art as a Spiritual Practice
Wendi facilitated spirited discussion with a very involved class comparing and contrasting the different artistic styles and time periods…Wendi is extremely creative in the design and execution of these classes. She engages the class in thoughtful discussion of Christian theology as it comes to life in the arts.
~Jack Thompson, White’s Chapel UMC on Finding God in Culture classes
~ Lynne Kennetz, Chicago IL on Arts Retreats
“new ways of strengthening faith”
“I really enjoyed it a lot”
“Loved the entire thing and hope we can do it again soon!”
“I loved the art and this was awesome!!”
“It was great and had lots of fun”
“I loved this time!”
“GREAT! Hope the leader does another art event soon.”
“It was very peaceful and fun!”
~ FUMC Cleburne Women’s Retreat, TX on Arts Retreats