By Michelle Van Loon

We wish you guys could see what we see and hear from our vantage point, a little more than a year into launching this site. We see people reading and sharing posts. We hear words of encouragement being offered to others. We see some lively comments threads on the web site, and occasionally , on our Facebook page. We hear many, many different voices wanting to share their insights and experiences.

Between January 1st and June 30th of this year, we saw and heard from 30 different writers, who’ve contributed 42 different posts to this site. (Each contributor’s name is listed at the bottom of this post.) We hope some day to be able to pay our writers, but we’re not there yet. As a way to thank our contributors, we are drawing the names of three contributors – one “entry” per post – and gifting each one with a $10 Amazon gift certificate. We wish we could do more to celebrate all of you!

Recent winners

Congrats to A.K., J.G., and J.M. – you are the winners of last month’s drawing, and your copies of The Wonder Years book are going out in the mail to you this week!

Perennial gen first-ever gathering!

If you live in the Chicago area, southwest WI, or northeastern IN, mark your calendars now for the first-ever “in real life” Perennial Gen gathering, which will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 15th in Wheaton, IL. 

This interactive workshop will focus on the theme of vocation in the midlife transition. Vocation is so much more than what might go on our resumes – for followers of Jesus, vocation also speaks about who we are becoming as we journey with him.  A keynote, individual reflection, a panel discussion, and an opportunity for some guided small group conversation on the topic will make the morning one you won’t want to miss. More details coming soon!

Book release (and cool behind the scenes story!)

We’re celebrating the release this week of PerGen co-founder Michelle Van Loon’s new book, Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of our Pilgrim Identity. Have you ordered your copy from Amazon yet?  If you use this link, your purchase will help support PerGen.

What is especially cool about this book is that PerGen co-founder Amanda Eastep Cleary edited it! Around the same time as Amanda and Michelle met for the first time to begin dreaming and planning this website, Michelle received a contract from Moody Publishers to write the book. A few months after that, Amanda was hired at Moody Publishers – and was assigned Michelle’s book to edit shortly after she began working there! As you can imagine, this book means a lot to both of us – and we believe it will strengthen and encourage you as you seek to follow Jesus.

Now is the time to write for us

July and August tend to be months that move at a slower pace for many of us. We hope some of you might consider submitting a post to us. We’re looking for posts this summer about finances and retirement planning. Were you hit hard by the housing downturn in 2007-08? What strategies are working for you in terms of budgeting in the second half of your life? How do you manage charitable giving? Helping your adult children financially? What are your thoughts about retirement planning? How has Scripture shaped your relationship with money?

We’re also looking for book reviews (fiction and non-fiction relevant to midlife readers) , and are always open to “off-theme” posts that have relevance to our community. Click here to learn how you can submit your post to us.

Big thank you to all of these contributors…

Finally, a bouquet of digital flowers to each one of you who’ve contributed to the conversation at this site this year so far:

  • Debby Hudson
  • Beth Drechsel
  • Deb Lawrence
  • April Fields
  • Michele Morin
  • Anita Lustrea
  • Jeannie Prinsen
  • Judy Allen
  • Beth Foreman
  • Jessica Galan
  • Randi Perez Helm
  • Susan Shipe
  • Barbara Harper
  • Carla Barnhill
  • Jeanna Carley
  • Evelyn Bence
  • Sheli Massie
  • Lois Flowers
  • Carol Hiestand
  • Dorothy Greco
  • Connie Gochenauer
  • Peggi Tustan
  • Ingrid Lochamire
  • Heidi Hess Saxton
  • Sue Donaldson
  • Charm Britton
  • Karen Worley
  • Nancy Guenther
  • Jamie Hughes

Cover photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash