It’s not a program, and it’s not meant to change who you are. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of that.
The Ultimate Journey is a nondenominational process segmented into three 13-week phases: unpacking self-deception, abandoning self-reliance and embracing self-surrender. Lutheran Church of the Cross Christ-Life Leadership Team members Scott Dirks, Mary Jo Gustman, Kay Brown and Marybeth Foster are pleased to bring it to the church.
Phase I is an evaluation of your journey so far, as Dirks puts it, when participants disclose intimate information about themselves in a confidential and safe setting.
“What happens in that room stays in that room,” Brown says.
All of life’s experiences, events and thinking patterns that may have been buried are brought out, and discoveries about what’s really inside you come to the surface.
“It’s not about changing yourself,” explains Gustman, “but realizing who you really are.”
After “arriving” to yourself, Phase II begins.
“This is when you totally dive into who God is,” says Dirks. The participants are encouraged to ask questions and explore the concept of divine, perfect creation. It’s about trusting God’s will fully and recognizing the “covenant relationship” God has with each of us, says Brown, who describes it as moving beyond not being “good enough” for Him.
The final phase is centered on the awareness of the constant, ongoing relationship people have with God.
“You exchange your thinking patterns for how God sees you,” says Gustman. “Here is where the heavy burdens of shame, pressure and pleasing people are lifted.”
The Ultimate Journey is not about fixing yourself. It’s not counseling, and it’s not a “blame” or finger-pointing game, says Brown. It’s about seeing “we’re beautiful just as we are” expressed Dirks. Additionally, he says people who are interested in beginning their journey do not have to be at a point in their life where they have hit rock bottom, but rather, just be “hungry for God.”
“There is pain, though,” Brown warns, “but there’s also healing.”
Orientation begins Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. Those who are interested in beginning their journey are encouraged to contact Lutheran Church of the Cross at (515) 967-4818. Additional information and testimony is also available at www.theultimatejourney.org.
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