Wisdom & Money

Engaging with Money as a Doorway to Spiritual Transformation

In 1983, I went to graduate school as one step toward getting my credentials to teach physical therapy. At the beginning of my second semester my world-view and vocation took an unexpected turn. It happened in a small retreat center, far outside the classroom.

I’d joined others from my Methodist church to a weekend Ministry of Money workshop, part of the DC based Church of the Savior. My world expanded outward when I glimpsed the intersection of Jesus, Money, Justice and my global family.

Suddenly I knew that my life and money had to be examined within a global and spiritual context.

I was well practiced at balancing a checkbook, preparing taxes and deciding where to tithe.  I knew we had more money than many, with two professional salaries and an annual money gift from my parents. And I knew that I’d inherit money someday. Yet I was ignorant about how money moved (and didn’t move) inside our nation and world with respect to race and gender. I’d rarely heard Jesus’ words about money or possessions as a prophetic challenge.  I’d always pictured my family as including our ancestors, certainly not as one part of the global family.

Where could I turn for help?

Our Merrill Lynch advisor? His expertise was traditional investments that were too often exploitative or focused on unsustainable growth. Our church? I’d rarely heard money mentioned outside of the annual pledge drive. My friends? I’d never talked directly about money to a friend.

I wanted to experiment outside the “best practice” guidelines of how we are “supposed to” work with our portfolio.

In 2001, my father died and the inheritance that came through my mother’s family – from natural gas beneath her father’s ranch – came to me.

Immediately, I reached back into this stream that began with the “grandparent” Ministry of Money, through Harvest Time and now to Wisdom & Money. As I began to work with inherited wealth, I needed community and practices strong enough to keep me diving deeper and aligning my heart with my money and faith.

Wisdom & Money supports individuals ready to dive into the middle of their relationship with money as a practice place on the journey toward spiritual transformation. From a foundation of prayerful listening (Christian Wisdom practices), Wisdom & Money invites people to step away from the cultural milieu into sacred community where everyone is received as beloved of God on a journey of discovery. Wisdom & Money extends an invitation to bring one’s money life out of the silence and shadows and into community. Messiness and clarity are both welcomed as part of the journey toward freedom and equity. Money experiments emerge within community to support stretching of one’s comfort zone around money. Participants are encouraged to bring their whole selves to this journey, including our listening to their bodies, engaging in creativity and play, and remembering the bigger context of their lives—from the cosmos and earth to our global family.

Wisdom & Money invites individuals, circles and organizations into a transformative process. Together, leaders and participants “share in practices that release a sense of inner spaciousness, allowing freedom and clarity to make new decisions around money that are guided, not by private values or cultural norms, but by the light of life.”1 For me, this work has shifted my own personal relationship with money as well as propelled me to work for systemic economic justice and equity, particularly in the area of philanthropy.

I’ve written pieces about the work of Harvest Time/Wisdom & Money for years, several of which have been adapted as pages on this website. In addition, here are some of these blog posts that highlight this work:
3:00 a.m. (with mention of one of Wisdom & Money’s core practices –  sacred play)
Stop Asking Me (working with requests, including for donation)

And several blog posts from the Wisdom & Money website by the Co-Directors:
What is Your Theory of Social Change, and What Does That Have to Do with Money?  (Rose Feerick)
Why “Wisdom & Money”?(Rose Feerick)
Transformative Philanthropy: Part 1 and Part 2 (Steve Bonsey)

Read more about why Wisdom & Money works specifically with people of wealth.

1. Quote from Wisdom & Money website