Shonnie serves as a Liminal Guide. Shonnie is a native Washingtonian but has lived as far away as Scotland. She is a UW alum (go DAWGS!), has an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary (’87), a Doctor of Ministry from Portland Seminary (’10) and since 1986, has spent her career serving in a variety of church staff positions. Most recently she was lead pastor, launching the first satellite location of Bethany Community Church in Seattle—the most daunting and most rewarding challenge of her life so far!
Shonnie joined Liminal Space after completing her certification as a Life Transition Guide. A twenty-year resident of Seattle (a combination of three separate junctures during different life-seasons), she is no stranger to transition. In addition to guiding individuals through their major life transitions, Shonnie is passionate about gender and racial justice and serves as a co-leader of the Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation at Bethany Community Church. She is a wife, and mother of two grown children plus a spirited beagle, Baxter.
My role as your Liminal Guide:
Much of my work has involved journeying with others through major life transitions: marriage, birth, death, daunting spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational challenges, job and career changes, and recovery journeys, to name a few. Every transition, whether welcome and chosen, or unwelcome and unsought, begins with an ending…and ends with a new beginning. No matter how powerless a transition leaves us feeling, nothing can rob our power to choose our response and find a path forward. I have personally navigated many transitions—interstate and overseas moves, marriage, parenting (birth through empty nest), grad school in mid-life, job changes, and caregiving of elderly parents. It took me almost three decades to realize the one thing all my different professional ministry roles had in common is that each required me to start something new. Slowly but surely, I grew to embrace God’s call to be a trail-blazer, and to share what I’ve learned with others. I know first-hand it’s possible to grow from being overwhelmed to grounded, from timid to bold, from confused to decisive, from passive to proactive. Now, I thrive serving as a catalyst—a person that energizes change—in the lives of individuals and organizations. I do that by relentlessly serving as an empowerer and connector– equipping others to discover the powerful resources residing within and around them, practical paths forward, and the courage to actively step into new things.
“You are your stories . . . the more conscious we are about our stories, and our roles as characters in them, the more clarity we have about who we are and why we are here, and how we should act in the world.” Daniel Taylor
People can unconsciously let fate—or another person—write the chapters of their story without ever realizing it. When the page closes on one chapter and it’s time to move on to the next, no one escapes the space between chapters: liminal space. The waiting, the loneliness, the unknown, of liminal space is intense. It’s normal to feel helpless and stuck, and the strong urge to find any escape-route possible around your transition. Yet, “The best way out is always through.” [Robert Frost]. It takes courage, intentionality, and support to navigate through a liminal space. As a Liminal Guide, I will help you through in a way that will leave you empowered with newfound meaning, direction, agency and voice, and equip you to identify and courageously step into the opportunities that await. Liminal space holds all the potential to be nothing less than your “defining moment.”
I believe you are a once-in-eternity creation with a unique, irreplaceable role to play as each chapter of your personal story intersects human history. You have been gifted with one opportunity to live life to the full and “be yourself because no one else can.” I would be honored to help you unpack your story, learn from your past, discover more of who you are and the choices you have today, and step into the growth and meaning that comes from saying “yes!” to the role with your name on it, awaiting you in your next chapter.