Heidi Haverkamp: The Fertile Soil of Solitude

“I think what I’ve learned is there’s great fruitfulness in messiness…you need dirt to grow things.”
– Heidi Haverkamp

Season 4, Episode 1 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh.


In this episode of Messy Jesus Business, Sister Julia Walsh talks with writer and Episcopal priest Heidi Haverkamp about why being a part-time hermit is essential to her, and how it serves her in her work.

“Part of a healthy solitude is that you’re growing in love for other people,” she explains.  

They discuss how discipleship of Jesus is meant to come from a place of freedom and joy and how that can offer clarity. They also talk discernment, and feeling called.

“Pay attention to your obsessions. I think there’s something of God in what we can’t stop thinking about. Especially if it’s a good thing.” Heidi says.

And they consider how mess can actually be a good thing, resulting in fruitfulness.


Heidi Haverkamp is a writer, spiritual director, an Episcopal priest, and a part-time hermit. For 10 years, she served in parish ministry in churches in the Chicago area. She is the author of three books: Advent in Narnia, Holy Solitude, and Everyday Connections: Reflections and Practices for Year C, due out in September. She has been featured in the media, including a recent article in the New York Times on solitude and the pandemic.

Heidi received a Master’s of Divinity from The University of Chicago Divinity School in 2006 and a certificate in Anglican studies from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (now Bexley Seabury) a year later. She has worked on organic farms, in a corporate law office, as pastor of a rural congregation in New England, and at Trader Joe’s. She is married to Adam Frieberg. They live in Indianapolis.

You can find and follow Heidi Haverkamp on the web:

CONTEMPLATIVE MOMENT features the poem: For Solitude, from page 112 of the book, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue.

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is produced and hosted by Sister Julia Walsh, and edited by Charish Badzinski.

Email us at messyjesusbusiness@gmail.com




Twitter: @messyjesusbiz




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