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Using the Wholeness Wheel to Rediscover Wellness on Sabbatical

Pastor Sally Williams plans to share the wellness practices she is cultivating while on sabbatical with her congregation, as a way to encourage abundant life and healthy habits in her community.

Pastor Sally Williams
Sauk City, Wisconsin
June 2016

This summer I’ve been blessed with a 10-week sabbatical, granted by my congregation with the utmost support. The hardest part was deciding what to do. Initially, I thought I'd study a book of the Bible, but I just wasn't excited about it. Sure, it would help me grow in knowledge and faith and it could be used as a teaching tool, but I just wasn't feeling it. Then I saw the Portico Wholeness Wheel and it clicked: I needed to do a sabbatical on wellness.

The words of Jesus in John 10:10 speak to me deeply: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." Our society is seeing an increase in suicide and mental health issues; our physical health has declined; people claim to be both busier and less satisfied than ever … the list of ways that we are not well goes on and on. We have forgotten what abundant life is and how we even come close to finding it. This is an area where I need and want to grow, and I desire to find ways to encourage others to do the same.

In my time away, I will spend time focusing on each of the "spokes" of the wheel, doing an activity in each area that brings me life and joy. I will run, practice the "Be Still" devotion, take a class on grief, and write my money autobiography — just to name a few.

Then I will create and curate some concrete ways to share my sabbatical learnings with my church community. This fall, I plan to help my congregation become healthier together through adult education forums, sharing of resources, bringing in speakers, and maybe even sweating together through a walk/run.

I am so excited. I know that when my spiritual health is at its best, I am more open to the ways God is at work within me and around me.

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." That is God's hope for us. That is God's promise to us. That is God's gift to us. I pray that we all may have the opportunity to take that hope, that promise, and that gift, and allow it to transform our hearts and our lives, so that grounded in our baptismal identity, we may live well in Christ.

This submission describes a personal perspective on an aspect of the ELCA benefit program that may or may not reflect the experience of others.

email Share your Wellness Voice at livewell@porticobenefits.org

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