November 10 & 11: Empty

God gives where he finds empty hands. ~ Augustine

Most of us have been acquainted with emptiness at some point. It may be from a breakup, a severed friendship, grief over a loved one’s death, despair brought on by depression, job loss, chronic pain, physical or emotional trauma, and major disappointments. None of us are alone in these experiences but, in the moment, we feel certain we are.

Some of us may even long for emptiness when our hearts and minds are fragmented and exhausted, when our lives are crowded by expectation, need, fear, and anxiety. We can’t shut our thoughts down, can’t quiet them, can’t escape them. We feel imprisoned by our own brains. Our dreams shrivel.

That empty ache can be a warning that God is being squeezed out of us, that the Holy Spirit in us is being crushed under care and worry. Driven to distraction, we can’t quiet ourselves enough to hear Jesus speaking to our hearts, inviting us to surrender, inviting us to meet him in a place apart.

What if the emptiness is an invitation?

When I think of the word empty, the image that comes to mind is open hands. There are times when we feel like we have nothing to offer God, our friends, our boss, our family, our ministry. It’s a glass half empty/half full situation. What if those empty hands are telling us that we can empty ourselves of comparison, shame, anger, envy, guilt? What if Jesus is calling us to empty ourselves in order to fit in more of him?

Augustine put it like this, “My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide. But who is to rid it of these things? There is no one but you.”

We’re gathering women together to acknowledge and talk about the emptiness we have in common and to challenge one another to dig deep and empty ourselves so that Christ may take up more room in our hearts. There must be more of him and less of us. Let’s learn how to receive. Let’s get empty for Jesus.

Join us in Chicago for spoken-word poetry, workshops, worship, teaching, art, and fellowship!

Friday night: Poet Sarah Giove and speaker Chi Chi Okwu, worship, dessert reception.

Saturday: Kimberly Majeski and Tracey Bianchi will be speaking. Diana Shiflett will be leading a workshop on spiritual formation. We will be having 3 workshop tracks: Social Justice, Faith, and Art. (The Illustrated Faith workshop has a $10 supply fee.)

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*We have different payment options as well as an opportunity to sponsor someone with a scholarship.

If finances are tight, we have a pay-what-you-can option.

You can also register at the door with cash or card.* 

Faith · Speaker · Video

From the Archives: Lina Abujamra, May 2017

Lina Abujmara, Deeply Rooted speaker

Lina is a straight-up powerhouse. She prowls on the stage, never stays still, and launches one truth bomb after another. She has a seemingly endless store of energy and her passion is contagious.

Lina is the founder of Living with Power Ministries. Her vision is to bring hope to the world by connecting Biblical answers to everyday life. She offers podcasts, books, articles, and other resources. One of her podcasts is called Morning Minutes, a journey through a book of the Bible in 5 minutes a day!! At the moment she is going through Esther.


Faith · Poetry · Speaker

Speakers for November 2017

The main reason we gather women together is to provide teaching that is biblically sound, accessible, engaging, challenging, and inspiring. We pray hard about who to invite and spend a lot of time looking for gifted local women who have wisdom, integrity, and a heart for reaching and encouraging others.

We are so excited for this lineup and know these women will bring you Gospel truth with a side of humor and draw you closer to Jesus and one another. We will be introducing each of these women in separate posts.


Our dear friend Anita Scott will be joining us again with her incredibly moving spoken-word poetry. Anita has become a mainstay of Deeply Rooted in November.









Also back by popular demand is Kathy Khang who will be opening our gathering on Friday night! Kathy currently serves as a regional multiethnic ministries director with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF)/USA.











Kimberly Pelletier is a trained spiritual director, writer, and Director of Soul Care at Mansio Center in Glen Ellyn, IL. She blogs about grief, spiritual formation, and sexuality at With the rest of her time, Kimberly can be found wearing a tool belt, brewing kombucha, or traipsing around the woods with her husband and three kids.


Ramelia Williams is currently in the call process, having recently earned a Master of Divinity degree and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from North Park Theological Seminary.

Thank You From Deeply Rooted

Front L-R: Hilde Bialach, Colleen Davick, Tammy Perlmutter, Joy Williams, Tiana Coleman Back L-R: Suzanne Stewart, Beth Nicholls, Debbie Baumgartner, Hannah Siemens, Andrea Spicer


It’s been a month to the day since we gathered together. We had an amazing time with all of you and are still processing how the Lord showed himself through the worship, the speakers, and everyone who attended!

We’re so thankful for the privilege of serving you this way and look forward to many more Deeply Rooted events in the future. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Would you like to see workshops in between gatherings? Book discussion groups? Prayer circles? Fill out the form and let us know!

Poetry · Speaker · Video

Anita Scott is Coming!!!


We are absolutely ecstatic that Dallas spoken-word poet Anita Scott will be performing at Deeply Rooted again! Anita is a high school teacher with a gift for creating powerful poems that capture audiences, leaving them wanting more. She is the Poet in Residence at The Mudroom, contributing a spoken-word video each month, and has performed her poetry nationally. Join us November 4 & 5 for our next gathering. Watch this video for an introduction to Anita Scott.

Community · Faith · Prayer · Worship

You’re Invited.

You never know what to expect when you throw a party or host an event. You hope people show up and are terrified nobody will. You are hyper-aware of every word spoken, wondering how this person or that one is going to receive it, if there will be offense taken or hearts opened. You see it through an outsider’s eyes and listen with an outsider’s ear, praying that God will show up even if only a few people do.
Those of us who organized the event felt all those feelings and thought all those thoughts. We learned at our May gathering that you have to make yourself slow down, look away, and be fully present.
Each of us came with expectation, anticipation, and maybe even a little bit of fear. But we showed up. We talked to people we didn’t know, raised our hands in worship, added new Facebook friends, experienced deep, new truths, and made meaningful connections with strangers. Even more importantly, God showed up. In a different way to each one of us, in just the way we needed him to.
Some of us needed to allow ourselves a voice to stand up to misogyny. Others of us needed to hear that everything will be okay even if we don’t have answers right now. Still more of us needed to be told, again, that we are loved, seen, and heard. That we belong. A few of us needed to be safe enough in our discomfort to ask what is stirring our hearts with unease.
We received good feedback from our attendees and speakers:
“Thank you for a wonderful evening with Deeply Rooted. The speakers affirmed in me that my voice as a single woman is valid and my story is worth telling. I have been making a lot of art about my journey—these women gave voice to all women who need the encouragement to stand rooted in their faith and rooted in their womanhood.”
One of our speakers, Rev. Dr. Velda Love, shared this: “Thank you for the invitation to speak. Look at God . . . always doing amazingly more than we could ever expect or imagine. The women were lovely, beautiful, ready, receptive, and very present. I had an opportunity to hug and talk with young women and more seasoned women. There is so much work to be done in our lives, so anytime you need me just call.”
Many women were challenged and moved by our speakers, and encouraged by our worship. If you missed that gathering, we are planning our next one for Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th! It will be our 3rd event and our 1st anniversary so we’re making it bigger and better! We’ll have an additional worship set, 4 workshops (you choose two) and a catered lunch with the speakers and leaders.
Right now we are pricing registration at $35 for the full event. This is a limited time offer, so please take advantage of it! Invite your friends and family! Invite your pastor or your pastor’s wife, your women’s ministry leader, your small group, or your Pokémon Go team.
We are praying you here, and if there is anything else we can pray for, use the contact form below. Click here for registration!
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