Dear Friends and Whole Heart Partners,
There’s a major life milestone just around the corner for us. In 2019, we’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of the birth of Whole Heart Ministries! In September 1994 we released the first edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child (fourth edition coming soon) and the first volume of the Whole Heart Catalogue (1994-2004). The rest, as they say, is history. And here we still are, with the same heart for Christian homes and parenting that has formed and fueled our ministry for twenty-five years.
Thank you for taking just a few minutes to read about what is on our hearts for 2019 and beyond, and to learn how you can partner with us to help Christian parents raise wholehearted children for Christ. There is much to do in the coming year we want to tell you about, but first a quick glance back at 2018.
It Was a Very Good, But a Very Crazy, Year
With several dozen mothers ready to be trained as leaders, and several hundred women already in Mum Heart groups, we decided in January to relocate for eighteen months to Oxford in England to help start Mum Heart Ministry UK. The spring was fruitful with three Mum Heart events in England and Scotland, and the release of Clay’s book The Lifegiving Parent (Tyndale), but it was also challenging with Sally’s serious eye injury that required multiple trips to London for specialized ophthalmological care. After two months back in the US, Sally returned to Oxford in August. However, after losing a key staff member in the ministry office, and adding two conferences to the calendar, we decided Clay would stay in Colorado.
This fall, Sally hosted more than twenty UK mums for a ministry training Intensive in our small rented home in Oxford. Also in 2018, Sally’s blog and podcast continued to grow (now approaching four million downloads), as did her LifewithSally.com membership site for mothers as it added new members and new “Inspirer” mom content creators. On the Colorado home front, we were excited to work closely with Apologia Press to bring four of our foundational books back to Whole Heart Press. We’re thankful for Apologia fostering our books for a season and for allowing our “children” in print to come back home. More on that transition below.
And Now It’s “Further Up and Further In” to 2019
Those words from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia book, The Last Battle, resonate for us as we navigate a new season of life and ministry. Though we are slowing down in some ways, we never want to settle for where we are but to always be pulled upward and inward to God and His kingdom work in this world. It’s what we’ve always done and will keep doing. So, with a nod to our British connection, here are some of the ways we’ll “keep calm and carry on” in our twenty-fifth year of ministry. We hope you’ll be with us for the journey ahead in 2019.
Mum Heart Ministry UK: Sally will carry on this spring in Oxford as she meets regularly with mums from across the UK to train them for ministry to mothers. It’s the same discipleship and strategic ministry multiplication model we learned on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). Sally’s goal will be to leave behind trained leadership and a healthy and thriving ministry to mums in the UK when she returns home this coming summer.
Girls Club Getaway: Yes, we did say “No more conferences” back in 2017 after twenty years of events ministry. But then there was Girls’ Club, the new book by Sally, Sarah, and Joy about the power of women’s friendships. All three “girls” will meet for two consecutive weekends in February to celebrate their book’s February 5 release. This convergence of the Clarkson women will become increasingly rare in the years ahead, so join them if you can.
Whole Heart Press: Here are the books coming home to Whole Heart from Apologia: Educating the WholeHearted Child, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, Read for the Heart, and Journeys of Faithfulness. These books started our ministry, defined our WholeHearted Learning model, and launched Sarah as an author. Each returning book will need to be redesigned, reformatted, and re-covered, so there’s lots of work to be done. Clay is aiming for spring to revive these foundational resources as “new” books from Whole Heart Press.
WholeHeart.org: In light of our twenty-fifth year anniversary, it’s a good time to give WholeHeart.org a new face and some renewed functions. This spring, our ministry website will receive a mild makeover, and will also welcome MomHeart.com, Storyformed.com, and FamilyFaithProject.com into its digital fold. WholeHeart.org will become the home for all our ministry initiatives, a destination site where all can find all that Whole Heart offers.
25th Anniversary of WHM: The 25th anniversary of Whole Heart Ministries deserves a proper recognition and celebration. We don’t know the exact date, so we’re calling September 2019 our official anniversary month. We’re just getting started planning how to make it a month to remember, so stay tuned. There will be giveaways and freebies, of course, because what we’ll really be celebrating is YOU, our wonderful followers and friends, the reason we keep doing what we do. You keep our whole heart beating!
And More: All the people who keep LifewithSally.com filled with new life for LWS members—Jennie, Gretchen, and all the Inspirer moms—are excited about the year ahead. Life (with Sally) goes on! /// Clay and Sally both have new books in process, as do all their children. It’s what we do. /// Finally, we have a new Admin in the Whole Heart office. Amy Bettis has been involved with events, church, and creative ministries, and worship ministry with her husband, Bryan. We’re thankful for her help for a busy 2019.
We Need Your Help to “Come Further Up, Come Further In” for 2019!
We started this ministry by faith in 1994, and will keep ministering by faith in 2019, looking to God to supply our needs. There are two major financial needs for Whole Heart Ministries that we’re trusting God to provide, not just for this year but also for the new season of life and ministry ahead we’re just now beginning to navigate.
First, for most of the past twenty-five years conference revenues have kept the office lights on, staff at computers, technology tasks done, and set us free to grow and manage this ministry. Though we will still do some events, conferences are no longer a dependable source of income. In this new season, we will need more partners who share our heart for this ministry and will help keep it beating strong and long through their regular, recurring financial support.
Second, the nature of any nonprofit ministry is initiating new and often costly ministry opportunities that need to be funded. The UK ministry is strategic, but it has put a heavy load on our light budget. Republishing our core books will increase our ministry reach, but the costs will be weighty. Translating any of our books requires a financial investment. We want to meet these ministry challenges, but we can’t do that without your larger, one-time financial gifts.
Your gift of any kind here at the end of 2018 will help us move into 2019 ready to be a light of help and hope for Christian parents and families in the U.S. and around the world. If you’d like to partner with us, you can donate safely and securely on our online donation page. You can also send a check to the address below (your envelope must be postmarked by December 31 to receive a donation receipt for the 2018 tax year). Your financial contribution to Whole Heart Ministries, a 501(c)(3) federally tax-exempt organization, is tax-deductible.
Thank you for your partnership with Whole Heart! Your generous gift will enable us to keep pressing on in Christ to “keep faith in the family.” You are helping us help families! Grace and peace to you and your family.
Wholehearted blessings in Christ,
Clay and Sally Clarkson
Whole Heart Ministries
PO Box 3445 | Monument, CO 80132
888-488-4466 | admin[at]wholeheart.org