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Meet our Directors

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SoulTend

The heart and purpose of SoulTend is to nurture and care for the souls of pastors and church leaders. Our mission is to assist you and your leaders to have a deep meaningful relationship with God and to live the good life that Jesus invited us into.  Toward this end, we offer one-on-one spiritual direction and retreats, seminars and training, as well as training in spiritual formation mentoring.

The Founders
Bill and Lainie Elander are ordained ministers with the Vineyard Association of Churches. In 1986, they were sent out by the Yorba Linda, CA Vineyard to plant a Vineyard Church in New Haven, CT which they pastored together for 32 years. They have now transitioned out of pastoring in order to more actively follow God’s gracious invitation into soul care ministry to pastors and leaders, both inside and outside the Vineyard. In 2015 they founded SoulTend, a non-profit that serves as a vehicle for the ministry of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction.

Both Bill and Lainie are graduates of Talbot School of Theology in Southern California where they met in 1983. They married in 1984 and have two adult children. 
 

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Bill Elander

Bill is a certified spiritual director with Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction. He has four decades of pastoral ministry, primarily in the Vineyard. In addition to pastoring the New Haven Vineyard, he has served as leader of the Soul Care Task Force for the Eastern Region of Vineyard USA since 2012. This has allowed him to follow his desire and God’s call to care for the spiritual lives of pastors, church leaders and congregations. Since retiring from pastoring he has been free to devote himself more fully to the work of spiritual direction and soul care ministry.

Areas of Specialty:

Helping busy, driven pastors find ways to care for their souls and have a deep, satisfying relationship with God; introducing young pastors and potential leaders to spiritual formation; helping with life transitions and how to finish well.

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Lainie Elander

Lainie is a certified spiritual director and instructor with Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction. In addition to her private practice, she teaches Spiritual Direction training cohorts throughout the Northeast. Since 2015, she has served as a Mentor for Spiritual Direction for students at Yale Divinity School in New Haven.
Lainie assists Bill in his role as Soul Care Task Force leader in leading retreats and training programs for pastors, staff and lay leaders in the Vineyard’s Northeast Region.

Areas of Specialty:

Accompanying others as they seek deeper union with God through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; integrating contemplative prayer practices with the ministry of healing prayer; providing soul care for pastors and lay leaders experiencing relational and ministry trauma.