a quiet space to listen and experience hope, healing and wholeness with God

Marji Karjalahti

The greatest desire in my life has been to know God…and to be known by God.

Born in Minneapolis, I have lived in Minnesota all of my life. My husband and I settled in Chanhassen over thirty years ago when the town was still rural and Lotus Lake was our family playground.  Today we enjoy frequent visits to our lake home in Wisconsin, finding it a peaceful respite, as well as a fun place to enjoy our sons and grandchildren.  In my free time I can be found reading, sewing, gardening, watching NCIS reruns, nibbling chocolate with a good cup of coffee, and spending time with those I love.

My heart was opened to Christ in my late twenties, satisfying the deep longing I felt within to know God.  Soon after I enjoyed serving alongside others on various church boards. In 1998 I received my degree from Bethel University in Biblical and Theological Studies.  Five years later, in June of 2003, I found myself crossing the stage again to receive my diploma—this time a Masters of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary.

Hebrew and Old Testament studies are of particular interest to me, with an incredible enriching of soul taking place in several study sessions with a rabbi over the past few years.   The richness and imagery of the Hebrew language convey God’s true heart to me in a way that pulls me into the love story that I believe embodies our life with God. My favorite Hebrew word is “hesed”—a word that conveys the essence of God’s unfailing loving kindness.  God IS. . . present and inviting us always into His embrace.  The reality of intimate relationship with God is what motivates my life and ministry, and it is my hope and desire that my life flow in the river of truth that “We love, because He first loved us.” (1John 4:19)

Over the years, I have discovered that I pastor most freely and naturally from a position of coming alongside others to nurture and encourage, either individually or in small group settings. My affiliation with Restoration Ministries, which began in 2009, has provided that very environment. I serve here in the role of teacher, spiritual director, pastoral counselor, retreat facilitator, and minister in healing prayer sessions.

I believe that God has invited me, and you, to live responsively following His lead in what I call “the wild dance of His love.”  I believe that our healing and restoration, along with freedom and fullness of life, will come as we join Him in this dance, in this story, in this love relationship for which we are uniquely created to live in union with Him.  Won’t you join me in the dance?


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