Living Well, Together

Friends of Living Well,

This is the week that Living Well Ministries (LWM) bubbles up and out onto the web and blogosphere. Thanks to Steve Starr (web designer) and Rob Cose (web host) for getting me this far!

Friends, I look forward to deepening our existing relationships and building new ones, whether through this space or LWM events/services or both. These initial posts will introduce you to LWM’s background, vision (supporting lives of faith, intention and service) and opportunities (spiritual coaching, weekly classes, retreats, ceremonies and consulting). Later in 2008, these will be incorporated into a fully functioning website.

In the winter of 2007, the waves of imagination stirred up my heart with the glimpses of what this new space of ministry might be. At the time, I served as pastor of a magnificent community of disciples, Grace Baptist Church in Chicago. I’d been a member for ten years and then pastor for nearly seven, my entire post-college adult life. What a rare joy these days to have shared in a community’s pilgrimage for seventeen years, especially in an urban environment. More on my faith background and adult formation in a future post.

During my last years at Grace, I’d grown personally and professionally in ways that bore the seeds for this new project. With tenderness and thanksgiving, I acknowledge Grace’s supportive impact on my faith, my call to ministry, and discernment of call and season. In fact, what I know of “living well” cannot be separated from the joy of an adult faith journey lived in the midst of a welcoming and affirming Christian community like Grace. It’s why I know that Living Well is both an individual, solitary journey and one that we can’t do alone. It’s why I care about supporting lives of faith, intention and service. More on supporting lives of faith, intention and service later this week…

After many weeks of prayer, study and conversation, the call to establish Living Well Ministries was unmistakable. Some have known the Spirit to be like a dove, some like a flame, some like a wind, some like sheer silence. For me, the Spirit moved like waves of cleansing water, tides of invitation and promise. The waves came with increasing fullness, higher crests, and yet increasingly gentle urges. When “Living Well Ministries” emerged as the name of this new call, the Spirit seemed to christen each of these: the weaving together of my previous and future ministries, my resignation and parting from a beloved community, a time of Sabbath rest last summer, and the spirit, focus and pace of this ministry.

The Spirit also indirectly christens this blog, entitled “An Undivided Life,” as I go deeper into the ordination vows I made in 1999. I vow to care for my own wellness of heart, body, mind/spirit and relationships so that I can journey with you in freedom, authenticity and joy. We may meet in a coaching session or support group or in plans for your wedding; it may be in a class or retreat or a visioning workshop at your church. Perhaps we’ll labor together in a co-sponsored project. Wherever it is, I look forward to supporting you… let’s do some Living Well, together.

Peace and love,

Jacki

“… I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
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