Laura Baber is a Deacon in the United Methodist Church (UMC). She is a member in full standing of the Susquehanna conference and an affiliate member of the Florida Conference.
She has served as a spiritual director for over 20 years and has worked ecumenically with leaders in transition as well as Christians who are deconstructing theologies of literalism, fundamentalism and/or religiosity. In her work as a spiritual director, Laura specializes in guided imagery prayer and creative contemplation/prayer experiences, as well as group spiritual direction. She also assists with pastoral care at St. Mark’s UMC in Ocala Florida.
Laura graduated with a BA in English Literature from Randolph-Macon /Woman’s College (1985), a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary (2007), and completed the Ministry of Spiritual Direction training with the Center for Spiritual Formation (1999).
She currently serves on the Center’s Board of Directors and is an instructor with its Ministry of Spiritual Direction training program.
Laura is the author of Rhythms of Restoration: Practicing Grief on the Path of Grace. This book is a collection of mini-retreats for the hurting and those who help them.
Laura was raised in a large family on a farm in Virginia and she now lives with her husband John Esbenshade and their pandemic puppy Polly in Ocala, Florida.