SLW! Coaching

SLW! Free Coaching for Groups via the Internet

Does your group need a new spark? Do you want to start a simpler living group in your church? Here's free, expert help through Simple Living Works!

See below:
What Is Simple Living Works!?
New Plan!
More About the Coach

What Is Simple Living Works!?

Simple Living Works! (or SLW!) is the successor to Alternatives, striving
1) to maintain the spirit of the five Life Standards of Living More with Less, the classic book by Doris Janzen Longacre, and
2) to extend Alternatives' mission: equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.
It strives to answer the question, What might a Christian life look like?

SLW! is based on the simple proposition that voluntary simplicity is a faithful, satisfying and effective lifestyle. At a time when millions of Americans (and billions of humans) are living simply INvoluntarily, we hope that Simple Living Works! will serve to show that simpler living is NOT deprivation. It is such a joy to get the burden of stuff off our backs! We focus on Enough, not Growth.

Simple Living Works! does not sell anything, nor ask for money. It is a completely voluntary educational organization. If you feel moved to donate, give to our non-profit collaborator, Jubilee-Economics.org. You are welcome to contact us by email - SimpleLivingWorks AT yahoo DOT com.


During my 12 years as National Coordinator (Exec. Dir.) of Alternatives for Simple Living, we organized several programs to help people to support each other in simpler living.

In addition to producing educational and inspirational resources, both annual items like the Advent/Christmas booklet Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? and one-time resources like Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes and Art, we organized a network of like-minded people.

The SLOW Down Network was an acronym for motivational Speakers, workshop Leaders, event Organizers, project Workers and Discussion groups.
We recruited over 800 people across the US to be ready to help groups in their areas upon request.
We published a leader's guide called Simple Living 101: A Toolbook for Simple Living Activists.
We maintained the same model but changed the name to Simpler Living Community Network. Unfortunately these attempts had only minimal success.

In 2005, Alternatives was in financial trouble, so the board instructed me to go-on-the-road. I organized several tours each year, usually around a major 'anchor event.' I would go out from two-three days up to three weeks. By the time I retired at the end of 2007, I had spoken to over 300 groups in over 40 states. I posted a travel diary/journal/blog on our website - 'Where's Geraldo?' to let people know where I would be speaking, and then 'Faces of Simpler Living' told what had happened.

I asked for contact info at each stop, so that our mailing list grew to 30,000 and email to 12,000. Alternatives was again financially healthy.

My successors were not able to maintain Alternatives. It was shuttered in Feb., 2011

New Plan!

Without outreach simpler living can't grow.

Using easy internet communication, I offer a way for interested churches and groups to invite me to speak, either to help get something started or to help maintain a going group.

1. An interested individual - the host or group leader - will invite me to address either a new or existing group at a particular time and place. It could be an Adult Forum at a church or a book or study group in a home. I will help plan the event with the host/group leader.

2. At the appointed time the group will watch my video Simple Living Works! via YouTube.

3. Then via Skype or Google Hangout (video chat), I will hear and respond to questions, comments and confessions after the video.

4. The group will decide which of Alternatives' resources (text, audio or video) to study - short-term or long term - or which one each group member will covenant to read, view or listen to, from those chosen by the leader or the group. Most of the videos have study/action guides. I will gladly make suggestions for resources for the group.

Most of the resources produced by Alternatives are at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> archives - free of charge. This site is a large repository of timeless, faith-based resources promoting voluntary simpler living. It is maintained and up-dated regularly. (Hard copies of Alternatives' resources are archived by ELCA archives, Chicago, IL. Copies on paper, CD or DVD are available for a small fee there.)

5. Each group member will also covenant to do at least ONE of the following:
a) to receive my monthly eNewsletter (It can be read in under 60 seconds.)
b) to listen to my twice monthly 30 min. podcast; possibly to subscribe through iTunes or another podcast service.
c) to read my 3 times/week blog of about 250 words
d) to like SLW! on Facebook to receive alerts and to read my FB posts that interest them

6. I will be available for one group follow-up discussion by internet at a time chosen by the group. I will not be the group leader. The group will select its own leader.


1. This service is free. SLW! does not sell anything nor ask for donations.

2. I do not counsel individuals about simple living. There are those who do.

3. I am responsible for the technology on my end. The host or group leader is responsible for technical arrangements at his/her end - for watching the video and for the Skype or Google connection, both of which are free and quite easy to arrange.

4. I assume that any photocopying will be done on recycled paper because we care about Creation.

Learn More About the Coach
Gerald 'Jerry' Iversen
Alternatives for Simple Living, 1973-2011
National Coordinator, 1995-2007
Founder, 2011, Simple Living Works!
805-400-0182 * SimpleLivingWorks AT yahoo DOT com

Bio and Family

1966 - Graduated Concordia Lutheran High School, Oakland, Calif., valedictorian
1968 - Graduated Concordia Lutheran Junior College, Oakland, Calif., valedictorian
1970 - Graduated Concordia Lutheran Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind., B.A. with honors
1970 - Married Rita Tollgaard, a student at Concordia College, River Forest, Ill.
1971-73 - Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago
1973-74 - University of Oklahoma, Norman - M.A., journalism
1973-1998 - Church musician
1974-77 - College PR jobs
1977-95 - professional beggar for public radio, Sioux City, IA
1978 - built and lived in geodesic dome home
1980-ish - serialized for radio Living More with Less and Alternate Celebrations Catalog with Rita
1987 - Associate in Ministry, ELCA
1980's - University of South Dakota, M.Mus., organ performance and choral conducting; organ and choral certifications from the American Guild of Organists; choral music reviewer for A.G.O. magazine
1995-2007 - National Coordinator, Alternatives for Simple Living
2008 - retired to pursue social justice volunteerism
2010 - Rita retired after 32 years as a public school teacher and volunteer for Alternatives
2011 - founded Simple Living Works! after Alternatives was shuttered

Daughter Elysha, a retired Peace Corps Volunteer, served as a park ranger in the Grand Canyon for eight years. She's currently a graduate student in Resource Management at the Cal State, Monterey Bay. She's a drummer in her church band.

Son Peter, a TV producer; daughter-in-law Angela, a public school music teacher; granddaughter Eliana and grandson Evan live in Sioux City, IA. Pete and Angela lead the contemporary music group at their church. They have been active in audio and video projects with Alternatives for over 10 years.

Read 'Retired on the Internet' about Jerry's current activities.

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This page last updated 20 May 2016

Simple Living Works! * SimpleLivingWorks@Yahoo.com
BLOG: SimpleLivingWorks.WordPress.com | Blog INDEX
VIDEOS: YouTube.com/SimpleLivingWorks
MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.