Rev. Aaron Maurice Saari is ordained through the United Church of Christ, and has served as Stated Supply Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs since 2013. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International, and has taught world religions at Antioch University, the University of Dayton, and Xavier University. Aaron is a doctoral candidate at United Theological Seminary, where he is in the founding cohort of the MLK Beloved Community Scholars. He will defend his dissertation in August, 2018.
Pastor Aaron specializes in work with suicide survivors, defined both as those who have had suicidal ideations, suicide attempts, have been impacted by the attempt or successful suicide of others, and/or currently are impacted by another person's suicidality. Aaron is author of The Many Deaths of Judas Iscariot: A Meditation on Suicide, and has been speaking to church congregations and small groups since 2006. Aaron is a member of the Greene County LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors), a national Field Advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and is a member of the Greene County Suicide Prevention Task Force. He also is a co-facilitator for a Suicide Survivors Support Group in Yellow Springs, which meets three times a month.
Pastor Aaron has worked with people on a wide variety of spiritual issues, such as divorce, gender-acceptance, ecclesial abuse, loss of faith, and existential dread. Through a combination of dialogue, mindfulness exercises, situational rituals, journaling, and individual practice, Aaron aims to faithfully walk with clients in up to, but not exceeding, seven sessions.
Spiritual direction is not a replacement for psychotherapy. Pastor Aaron will not work with clients who have not received or are not receiving therapy for acute trauma. Aaron is not a licensed counselor and does not purport to offer medical diagnoses.
Spiritual direction with Pastor Aaron begins with an assessment appointment, which is $50. If the client signs up for a package, the assessment is free. In this appointment, Aaron will ask questions about the client's spiritual background, the nature of the spiritual hurt or need, the hoped for outcomes, and the preferred forms of communication. Spiritual direction can be done in person, on the phone, through Skype, and/or email.
Spiritual Direction Packages*
Three (3), fifty-minute appointments plus a free assessment: $180 (this also entitles the client to one follow-up email per appointment). Appointments must occur within a four-month window.
Five (5), fifty-minute appointments plus a free assessment: $300 (this also entitles the client to one follow-up email per appointment). Appointments must occur within a six-month window.
Seven (7), fifty-minute appointments plus a free assessment: $420 (this also entitles the client to one follow-up email per appointment). Appointments must occur within a twelve-month window.
Individual sessions can be purchased for $75 each.
*Clients who live outside of the Yellow Springs area (five square miles) are subject to reasonable travel fees: $20 plus IRS-rate mileage.