The Story of The Perch
Why I Started a Soul Care Organization
It all started during a conversation I had with a woman in ministry. She was exhausted from constantly leading others in their spiritual journeys and dealing with church culture while feeling disconnected from God. She felt shame that after years in ministry and years in seminary, she didn't know how to do things differently. I'll never forget what she said: "I know I can't give from an empty well. I'm just not sure how to fill it again." I knew that feeling all too well.
I, too, had come to conclusion that my spiritual practices just weren't cutting it anymore. I needed to tap into God in deeper ways if I was going to minister in a way that didn't completely leave me drained and empty. Soul care practices changed everything for me. I started learning about so many ancient practices that Christians have used for centuries to help them connect with God and step into the lives they were created to live. It was truly life-giving, and incorporating practices into my life started filling that well up again.
But this woman's story prompted a whisper from God that would hound me for the next few years: Start a soul care organization where exhausted people can discover and try out these practices to connect with God. Over the years I came up with a million reasons for why I couldn't or shouldn't start that: I didn't see anyone else doing it, and I couldn't picture it. I loved my job. It would be vulnerable to share my story. No one would want to go to events. What workshops or retreats would I even offer? What would I call it?
After an incredibly difficult day at work in September 2017, though, God gave me a clear vision for The Perch, the name for the organization, and even the idea for the first retreat (Empty & Fill). It's called The Perch because birds need perches while they're journeying to rest, often with other birds. It's not a place that you stay forever, but it's a necessary landing place to help you keep soaring.
Our first Empty & Fill retreat was on January 6, 2018, had 16 people, and our very next event had more than double that many. In October 2018 I started leasing my own space to hold our growing number of workshops and retreats, and it's a gorgeous space overlooking the Fox River, right in downtown Aurora. I hope you'll join us sometime so you can experience The Perch for yourself! If you're exhausted and are looking for meaningful, life-giving ways to connect with God, I'd love to help you rest, find peace, and experience transformation.