Allow us to introduce ourselves. We’re Marty & Sandy Boller.
We are your hosts for your upcoming Soul Encounter retreat. We have been actively involved in pastoral ministry since 1985. Married in 1975 in Skokie, IL, we were participants with the beginnings of what is now the Evanston, IL Vineyard Church. Yes, that’s Sandy & Marty, drinking coffee, right there in the middle of this picture (below) of one of the first Sunday morning gatherings in January 1976!
Later on, we also planted two Vineyard churches in Iowa: Iowa City (1988) and Cedar Rapids (1998). We have four grown children, all married, with seven adorable grandchildren. And in truth, it’s our family that gives us our greatest sense of accomplishment and our truest joy in life!
Over the years, Marty has written two books on Christian discipleship; The Perfected Self (2002) and The Wisdom of Wimber: As I See It (2014) (Read more); and on our website The Contemplative Activist.com, we host our blogs and podcasts, a popular resource that now has nearly 150,000 hits since our humble beginnings just a few years back.
The Contemplative Activist
Now, after 30 years in pastoral ministry, we are embarking on a new phase of life and ministry. We call it our adventure into Christ-centered 3-C contemplative activism. And it all began a few years back when God began challenging us on our traditional ways of doing church and making disciples for Jesus. Today, we no longer see ourselves as 3-B pastors working in traditional church settings, but more of what author Eugene Peterson defines as “contemplative pastors”…pastoral shepherds following Jesus into an ancient yet refreshingly-new lifestyle of ministry that focuses on the care and cure of souls utilizing the tools and disciplines of spiritual formation and spiritual direction.
Sustainable Faith/Soul Encounter
We are now spreading the vision of contemplative activism through our work as spiritual directors and in training and supervising others in spiritual direction with the Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction. It’s here, we serve the larger body of Christ as contemplative coaches and spiritual directors to all who are looking to benefit from the absolute joys of receiving and offering spiritual direction. Soul Encounter is just another extension of this exciting ministry of bringing the tools of Christ-centered spiritual formation to more and more folks across North America.
Vineyard at Home: The Small Church That Works
Since 2015, we’ve been “doing church” across the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, Iowa corridor in a creative, new way. After planting two Vineyard churches in Iowa (1987 & 1998) we’re now overseeing a church movement we call Vineyard at Home: The Small Church That Works. While meeting in homes seems a bit different to many, the idea is as old as the Bible itself. So, when you visit Vineyard at Home you’ll find a diverse group of Jesus-followers meeting together to worship Jesus, openly discuss the Holy Scriptures, pray, and encourage one another, just as the New Testament tells us to do. Click here to visit our websites: Vineyard at Home and The Small Church That Works.