Susan Sims Smith
I am a Christian priest in the Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Arkansas in the USA. Currently, I am the Executive Director of the Interfaith Center at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church as well as a life time board member and original founder of the Arkansas House of Prayer, also at St. Margaret’s. In my first profession I was a psychotherapist for 25 years in Little Rock. I have a masters degree in clinical social work. I did individual therapy, couples therapy, and dream work. I enjoyed my work with couples and found that to be a special area of focus. I also completed my personal Jungian analysis with Marion Woodman in Toronto, Canada. I studied Jungian psychology and developed a sub specialty in helping people grow both psychologically and spiritually through working with their night time dreams.
As a therapist I led workshops on dream work, the psychology of the selves, meditation and couples work. In 1999 I was ordained as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Arkansas, USA. I attended Colgate Rochester Divinity School and received a certificate of individual theological studies from the Seminary of the Southwest. I worked for 2 years for the Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock with a focus on adult eduction and spiritual growth. In 2001 the Dean of the Cathedral and the Bishop of the Diocese and I created aprogram called “Seedwork” which was designed to give people practical spiritual tools for having a more personal relationship with God. I led this program. I traveled the state to most of our 53 churches offering classes introducing these practical tools as well as preaching at many of the churches. I led workshops in these churches around our state on these topics:
1.”Committed Couples”: teaching couples how to have healthier marriages and how to see marriage as a Christian path for growth
“Seeking Silence”: teaching individuals how to meditate or do contemplative prayer to silence the worrying mind and to listen to the Divine in the quiet.
“Dreams as Letters from God” : I taught practical ways to decode nighttime dreams as ways to hear God’s guidance
In 2004 this ministry became the work of the Bishop and myself out of the Diocesan office. I worked solely for the Bishop from 2004 until 2008. During this time I continued to travel the state doing the Seedwork workshops as well as preaching in many of our state’s churches on the Bishop’s behalf.
In 2005 I gathered a group of volunteers who formed a committee to raise the money to build the Arkansas House of Prayer, a place of silence for all the world religions. This building opened in 2007 and we have had 12,000 visitors from all the world’s religions come to this sacred space in our first 8 and 1/2 years of operation. I am a lifetime board member and the founding member of that board. See this ministry at arkansashouseofprayer.org.
In 2010 I began traveling all over India to learn more about the spiritual path as well as to learn more about the worlds religions. By 2016 I have made 9 trips to India in 6 years and trip number 10 is scheduled.
In 2011, I started the Arkansas Interfaith Center, also a ministry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, U. S. A. I serve as the executive director of this program. We conductprograms all year long to reduce the hatred and fear among the worlds religions. One of our strongest programs is called “Muslim Christian Dialogue” where a Muslim colleague and I speak on topics related to the religions getting along. To see more about this ministry go to interfaith.itssm.org.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 45 years. We live on the banks of the Arkansas river in Little Rock, Arkansas. We have one delightful adult daughter and one puppy, a Clumber Spaniel.