Creating a Rule of Life: Embodying Faithful Wholeness in Every Season Course
RESERVE YOUR SPOT IN OUR FALL 2021 COHORT | SEPTEMBER 13–NOVEMBER 5, 2021.
Weekly Office Hours will be Fridays at 11:00 am Central Time, with three options for small group times.
The invitation to create and live into a rule of life is, at its heart, an invitation to join God in the work of redeeming chaos by creating cosmos. To welcome beauty, order, and wholeness. To name the priorities, postures, practices, and rhythms you want to form—and be formed by. Because, whether you're aware of it or not, you are being formed by the forces and expectations around you. In creating a rule of life, you become intentional about the values and dynamics that shape who you are becoming.
This is our most-asked-for resource—and one we've been dreaming and planning from the very beginning.
Through our eight weeks together, you’ll learn how to discern and live into healthy rhythms, postures, and practices that will guide you as you grow in Christ-likeness. You’ll learn more about what a rule of life is—and what it isn’t. (Hint: it isn’t a list of resolutions or ambitions for self-improvement.) You’ll release what isn’t serving you to make more room for God's presence in your life and begin reshaping and renewing your world under God’s guidance. You’ll chart action steps to integrate your domestic, faith, and work households more fully and weave prayer into your everyday rhythms and routines. You’ll create profound and regenerative rhythms of hospitality and identify ways to actively cultivate joy in your daily rhythms. You’ll finish the course with your own, unique rule of life that fits your current season and yet, has the ability to adapt to any circumstance that arises while moving you toward holistic faithfulness.
Specifically, we hope that in working through this 8-week course you will:
- Become more attentive to God’s invitation to shape your life according to God's love
- Practice transforming your daily work into “prayer without ceasing”
- Create stability in your life, so that you are able to extend more profound hospitality to others
- Protect joy for yourself and others by minimizing decision fatigue and burnout
- Develop a “rubric for decision” so that you can your rule of life can adapt to new seasons and situations
- Enjoy God’s goodness through rich daily practices and gentle rhythms
- Interact with a vibrant, ecumenical community of fellow Christians, with Jenn Giles Kemper and Bethany Bear Hebbard as your instructors and guides.
- Take part in weekly office hours with Bethany Bear Hebbard and Jenn Giles Kemper to ask questions, celebrate milestones, and get help with bottlenecks and roadblocks. You’ll be able to submit questions ahead of time and watch the recording if you’re not able to make it live.
- Journey in a small formation group alongside others tending to their own intentional formation where you'll share, gather, and workshop your ideas.
Frequently asked questions:
- How much time should I expect the course to take each week? I'm really interested but want to be sure I can fully commit. Thank you for taking such a thoughtful and thorough approach to your commitments! You can plan to spend up to four very flexible hours on the course each week, depending on your schedule, priorities, and preferences. You can spend those hours in one chunk if that works for you, or work them in by smaller snippets here and there. You may spend an hour or so on each of the following:
- watching, reading, and engaging with the course materials (up to 2 hours)
- participating in office hours, attend live or catch up with the recording later (1 hour)
- engaging with your small formation group via weekly zoom meetings (1 hour)
- I’ve never heard of a rule of life. Can you tell me more about what it is, exactly? A rule of life is a commitment to live in a certain way. Once written, your rule of life serves as a tool to help you make decisions for your life and determine how best to order your days. The idea of a rule of life stretches back thousands of years, to the sixth century, when Benedict of Nursia created his Rule to help the community he led translate their faith into the habits and rhythms of daily life. Benedict’s text was widely adopted and has become a key text for Christian monastic life in the 1500 years since he first wrote it.
- This course sounds incredible! I am very new to the liturgical year and spiritual practices in general, would this course be appropriate for me? Absolutely! One of our hopes is to come alongside you with both guidance and companionship as you seek to integrate spiritual practices into your everyday life. The liturgical year has been a wonderful guide for us in doing just that, and we have a whole appendix on how it might be a guide for you, too, as you look at your rhythms and practices.
- Is this course specific to a particular denomination or faith tradition? The course was written for and has already been appreciated by an ecumenical body of students. It’s applicable to anyone who desires to embody a faithful wholeness and grow in Christ-likeness. We highly value the distinct contributions and unitive communion of the various denominations and experiences within the Christian tradition, as well as of our brothers and sisters outside the church. We expect the course (as our community) to be full of a variety of theological perspectives on all the things—but sharing our experiences, stories, and faith is part of the point! Our interactions in the course portal, during office hours, and in small formation groups, will be guided by our community values and conversation guide, which are focused on hospitality, curiosity, and humility.
- Is it possible to just buy the workbook and do the course on my own? It is now! While we believe the community components of the course are incredibly rich and valuable, we're aware of the need for flexibility and a creative approach. Just select the "Course Material Only" option. (The Course Material Only option includes access to the workbook and video module but no office hours or formation group component. We strongly encourage those who choose this option to find others to learn from and walk alongside in community while working through the course materials.)
- Is there a payment plan so I can spread the cost out over a few weeks? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific request. We've made it possible for a few students already.
- Is there a chance this course might be accessible by sliding scale or scholarships? Email us at email@example.com with your specific request. We've been offering these as much as we can.
Course Length: 8 weeks
Fall 2021 Cohort: September 13 through November 5, 2021
Office Hours: Fridays at 11:00 am central time
Formation Group: Journey alongside others tending to their own intentional formation. Simply choose the meeting day and time that works best for your rhythms.
Course Material: 66-page interactive and printable workbook PDF with 8 modules, including 2 appendices, and a corresponding video for each module
Community Experience: Weekly office hours with Bethany Bear Hebbard and Jenn Giles Kemper, plus discussion in the course portal guided by our community values and conversation guide, which are focused on hospitality, curiosity, and humility.
ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTORS and GUIDES
Bethany Bear Hebbard is a radical homemaker and renegade PhD. After teaching college English for several years, she married a deacon-farmer and spent five years living in a community for the chronically homeless. Along the way she has worked as a teacher, speaker, writer, and director of a missional apprenticeship program. She makes her home in Texas with her husband Steven and their two children. Together, they cultivate a “demonstration plot for the kingdom of God” where rich and poor can come together.
Jenn Giles Kemper is the founder and the heart behind Sacred Ordinary Days, which exists to help people grow in Christ-likeness—and help the church come together—through holistic Christian spiritual formation. Jenn’s background in ministry and spiritual direction, her love of connecting people, and her desire for beautiful, useful, theologically robust resources for spiritual formation drive her to create. What results are tools rooted in ancient practices and rhythms but translated with a clean aesthetic and accessible language, like the Sacred Ordinary Days Planner.
ABOUT SACRED ORDINARY DAYS
Sacred Ordinary Days offers a fresh approach, holistic tools, and time-honored resources to help people grow in Christ-likeness—and help the church come together—through intentional Christian spiritual formation.
We create tools rooted in ancient practices and rhythms but translated with a clean aesthetic, and accessible language. We create courses to help you learn, practice, and connect with kindred spirits. We curate resources that help you fill out your toolkit. Ultimately, we believe that helping people grow in Christlikeness will build the church and, in turn, the kingdom. The building blocks are sacred, ordinary days.