Soul Tending


At a 2016 interfaith symposium on vocation, St. Johns College, Minnesota, Rabbi Amy Eilberg found it a curious thing that so much time is spent trying to understand God-given vocation. Vocation in the Jewish faith is about living in right alignment with the God of love and justice in everything one does. Right work flows and radiates naturally out of this singular love relationship with Yhwh. Our truest work is to heal, repair and restore the world.

Sabbath keeping in the Jewish world is one of the ways to sanctify and make holy the other six days of our work week. As the poet and activist Alice Walker said, “Anyone can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week” (p. 116, Soul Tending)

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 [of Soul Tending] is not the author, but that which the author seeks – to know and love God. This is a 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.

[Amstutz] describes not just practices that help keep us focused in an age of distraction and noise, but she elevates us to a place where we too can imagine vanquishing our hunger for God with the flame of love. This may be the book that revives the actual practice of Sabbath.”

Shirley Hershey Showalter, former president of Goshen College and author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, can be found at

Rev. Amstutz has written the book in such a way that it can easily be adapted as a study guide. Each chapter ends with a list of questions for reflection that are perfect for use by

  • professional groups
  • groups of caregivers
  • seminaries of pastors-to-be
  • congregants who long for a deeper and slower existence
  • independent readers who seek a reconnection with their Source of Being

This provides an accessible and engaging method to a shared understanding of sabbath keeping in the modern day. Every chapter speaks to ways that people can unplug and return to the slower rhythms of Sabbath that provide reconnection with the Divine and the self.

Soul Tending by pastor, beekeeper, and desert dweller, Anita Amstutz offers a road map for Sabbath keeping in the 21st century — rooted in tradition, but made to fit our present hectic world, the practices established in this book can easily be adapted for use by full congregations, independent readers, and every kind of group in between. Soul Tending provides an accessible and engaging method for understanding Sabbath keeping in the modern day.

Amstutz, describes the book as a spiritual biography. She explains “…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”.

Order it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound

You may contact for information and to schedule retreats or a book signing