Hi, Beloveds, I hope life is treating you all well!
Some of you have noticed a dip in my writing on my personal blog this year – welp, I am still writing oodles and oodles, but I’m scattered across the internet. I wanted to send out this blast to my subscribers to let you know how you can keep track of me these days.
I’m doing most of my long form writing on Patheos at my column, Old Things New, where every week I write about the Scripture passage from the weekly lectionary. You can subscribe to get this column directly to your email inbox by clicking the link on the right hand side of this link! (There’s a box you can check or uncheck underneath the subscription line, depending on whether you want to subscribe to just my writing or the entire Patheos newsletter).
Twitter is my favorite writing home these days. I pray, rant, and do theology a bit more freely over there. This is also where my queer Christian community is located, so if you’ve felt isolated as a queer Christian and are hunting for spiritual community, the tag #FaithfullyLGBT is a wonderful way to track down all our people.
Instagram is a little cozier. I post cups of coffee, short meditations, LOTS OF BOOK REVIEWS, and pictures of my haircuts. Insta is the best place to keep up with what I’m actually doing and especially keep up on my upcoming pilgrimage across Italy on the Camino of St. Francis!
I’ve collected a few links to my most popular, non-seasonal Patheos pieces below.
Why Liturgy: How the Liturgical Calendar Can Save Our Lives:
The liturgical calendar connects together all our fragmented moments into a pattern. It puts our disconnected days together intentionally, like loose pearls strung carefully on a long thread. The liturgical calendar structures our chaotic moments and creates meaning from them.
And as the liturgical calendar walks us through time, we’re aware of two things: that we aren’t in control, and that we aren’t doing this alone.
When Esther Is Too Hopeful: Dr. Ford and the Weariness of Ordinary Time:
Esther and Vashti lived in a world where sometimes courage is rewarded with justice, and sometimes courage feels like it doesn’t matter.
Church Shouldn’t Hurt: Lessons from Yoga for Ordinary Time:
We show up to churches that are causing us pain, because we internalized the message that religion is about sacrifice. We don’t have language to distinguish between healthy discomfort and harmful pain.
Yoga can be hard. That doesn’t mean it should hurt.
Church can be hard. That doesn’t mean it should hurt.
Taste and See: Mysticism for Ordinary Time:
Mysticism plunders Scripture and history and language for metaphors for the experience of God. The mystics use words from eating and marriage and sex and music to try and put language on what can experienced but can’t be explained.
Mystics tell us that it’s not enough to know more about God.
They want to taste and see that the Lord is good, not hear about God’s goodness from second-hand sources, or read about what a burning bush looks like as it reflects off the walls of a cave.
Ecclesiastes and Compost: A Liturgy for a New Year
Reacting to regret, and calling that reaction “self-improvement,” is exhausting. And the worst part (the real icing on the cake) is that it never works! All that unhappiness, and we don’t even see long-term results. It doesn’t stop us from trying again, though, every year, because we’re kind of addicted to the lie that we can hate ourselves into becoming better.
The past is gonna come with us, whether we ignore it or not. Our failures are forming us, whether we accept them or not. Some things in our lives have died, and we can either accept that, or ignore the smell while they rot.
The other option, though, is to accept even the failures, acknowledge even the death, and to make compost.
When Church Doesn’t Nourish: Leaving Church in Ordinary Time:
Blessed are the thirsty. Blessed are the ones who say out loud that this stone is not bread, and are brave enough to go looking for food. Blessed are the tumbleweeds.
Blessed are the dried up ones, for God will lead them to streams of water.
I don’t have a strong Patreon presence, but anyone who is interested in supporting my writing financially can find me at my Patreon page for either recurring monthly support or a one time gift. I’m particularly grateful for my faithful $1 and $2/month supporters, because those cups of coffee really add up. Thank you!
It’s a rainy, grey day in Atlanta today. I’m watching the songbirds on my feeder while I finish a cup of cheap coffee and put this post together.
This last year has been change heavy – I moved twice, started writing for Patheos, was published on paper (!!) for the first time, went to a bunch of conferences, and have started taking writing seriously as vocation. This year has been a year full of very dramatic highs and lows – one of those seasons of life where a lot changes rapidly, and where your soul has to learn how to grow very quickly. Some of the growth I’ve taken in stride, some of it I’ve flubbed, and some of it I’ve managed a lot better than I thought I would. Lent 2018 to Lent 2019 has been like a backpacking trips – the views are astounding, but gosh you had to trek through some hip deep snow to get there.
I’m getting ready to head out on my pilgrimage in a few weeks. I have no idea what I’ll find in rural Italy with St Francis, but my soul is ready to be curious. I’m not sure yet what my writing will look like while I’m there, but I’ll certainly be writing about it when I get back.
In the meantime, thank you for your companionship and community. I have loved getting to know you all via Twitter, Instagram DM’s, and my contact form! So nice to know we aren’t alone.