Creating a Rule of Life: Embodying Faithful Wholeness in Every Season Course
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—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 rhythm. 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 as your host and Bethany Bear Hebbard as your instructor.
- 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. These will be held live on Thursdays at noon central. You’ll be able to submit questions ahead of time and watch the recording if you’re not able to make it live.
- Journey alongside a small formation group with others in a similar season of life or vocational expression (we’ll match you up based on questions you’ll answer before the course begins).
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 all 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
- participating in office hours from 12-1pm central each Thursday (attend live or catch up with the recording later)
- engaging with the community and your small formation group in our course portal
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 is written from Bethany’s deep well of experience as a Christian, but 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 at a later date? While we would love to offer that option in the future, it’s not part of this first foray. But with lifetime access to the course materials and recordings, you might consider joining us as much as you’re able now and coming back to it another time.
- Is there a payment plan so I can spread the cost out over a few weeks? Again, that’s not part of this first stage. But it’s on our radar, it’s important to us, and we hope to be able to offer a payment plan when we open up cohorts for this course in the future.
- Is there a chance either of these courses might be accessible by sliding scale or scholarships? This is another thing that’s a high priority for us to figure out as we continue to offer courses, but we’re just not able to do it yet. But don’t despair! This material is so foundational to who we are and what we stand for, it’s almost certain we’ll be able to offer it again in the future with more flexible payment options.
Course Length: 8 weeks
Cohort 1: April 5–May 28, 2021
Cohort 2: June 7 - July 30, 2021
Formation Group: Journey alongside others in a similar season of life or vocational expression (we’ll match you into a small group based on questions you’ll answer before the course begins)
Course Material: 66-page interactive and printable workbook PDF, including 2 appendices, and a corresponding video for each module
Community Experience: Weekly office hours with Bethany Bear Hebbard and Jenn Giles Kemper on Thursdays at noon central, plus discussion in the course portal guided by our community values and conversation guide, which are focused on hospitality, curiosity, and humility.
ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR
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.
ABOUT YOUR HOST
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.