In her timely book, Anita Amstutz, pastor, beekeeper and desert dweller, describes Soul Tending as a spiritual biography. It is “a story of my own wrestling with balance in my work life…how I found the Sabbath welcome of ‘ceasing work’ to be a solace in that dry, droughty space between creativity and overwork/soul weariness”.
We live in hungry times. There is economic uncertainty, fear, violence, division, and social chaos. What is needed for times such as these is a heart full of courage and wisdom grounded in compassion and resilience. To develop these qualities, we can turn to a practice that for so many centuries nourished people of faith through incredibly difficult life circumstances. Sabbath tenets can be applied to practices fit for our modern, hectic, and troubling world. This book provides an engaging way to understand how to unplug and recover this slower rhythm in today’s world.
As a study guide, each chapter ends with a list of questions for reflection that are perfect for use by:
- professional or small groups
- faith communities
- groups of caregivers
- seminaries and pastors-to-be
- anyone who longs for a deeper and slower existence
Every chapter speaks to ways that we can unplug in today’s world and restore our souls. Explore the ancient practice of Sabbath Keeping as a guide for joy and deeper meaning in your daily work in these times. It will offer a refreshing, new lens.
Praise for ‘Soul Tending’
“Told simply and with humility, the personal story augments the larger story of human longing for the divine. The real subject is not the author but that which the author seeks – to know and love God. This is memoir with a twist. It belongs in the spiritual meditation category and should be read lectio divina style, chewing one small bit at a time.”— Shirley Hershey Showalter, PhD, former president of Goshen College and author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, can be found at www.shirleyshowalter.com
“Soul Tending is an important book for everyone. It reminds us that spiritual care requires honoring the Sabbath, requires time set aside for rest, joy, and creativity. Anita Amstutz writes with personal knowledge and great clarity about the necessity of minding Sabbath. Journey back to the story of Creation, journey back to the history of this one day set aside, journey back to the essence of this Biblical commandment. Journey back to your own soul’s call. Read this book and reclaim a commitment to Sabbath.”—Lynne Hinton, MDiv, author of Friendship Cake, and The View from Here
“The Sabbath is about joy, but to keep the Sabbath isn’t easy. That’s why it requires a commandment. In Soul Tending Anita Amstutz ably guides us to unlock the heart of Sabbath. With candid honesty she shares how ministry parched her soul in spite of love and passion. Then, touching into her deepest hunger she excavates and offers us the field of teachers and traditions that inspire a Sabbath Soul… As love grows in surrender to the unconditional play and rest of creation, she learns that Sabbath is not just a gift. It is a principle, a practice, and must be kept.” —Cynthia Winton-Henry, Spiritual Director, Co-founder of InterPlay, an active, creative approach to unlock the wisdom of the body
“In Soul Tending, Amstutz doesn’t just inform us about Sabbath; she makes us want to practice it. She draws on her own experience and on the writings of others to show how ‘Sabbath helps us retrieve joy from the dungeons of overwork, stress and soul weariness.’ The writing is accessible, and the book is designed for individual or group study.” —Gordon Houser, author of Present Tense: A Mennonite Spirituality