Jonathan Myrick Daniels and the Christian Response to Racism
, August 17, 2016
, August 10, 2016
I have just returned from the fourth of five residencies for my Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing through Seattle Pacific University. In the genre of creative non-fiction, (as opposed to fiction or poetry) I am working on memoir and personal essay. Following a low-residency model, we meet for ten days twice a year and then go home to do all our writing. God willing, after two more quarters, I will graduate at the next residency in March of 2017. Part of the curriculum for these residencies is to do a close reading of two books. Every morning we meet for a seminar called ‘Art and Faith.’
With Love and Misconceptions from Honduras
, July 20, 2016
Ten years ago, before I worked as a priest at Christ Church, I came to Honduras to attend a Spanish-language immersion program offered at Our Little Roses Home for Girls in San Pedro Sula. That summer I had the delight of meeting those who were on the annual Christ Church OLR mission trip. This summer, I have journeyed here with Christ Church’s 26th mission trip as their priest and chaplain. It is incredible to return to this land of extremes: extreme poverty, extreme friendliness, extreme heat, extreme rainstorms, extreme natural beauty, and trash everywhere you look. The moment you arrive at the airport and see the many Christian mission groups in their matching t-shirts lined up in the customs line, you know you’re in for an adventure.
For What I Thirst
, June 17, 2016
Last night I attended a prayer vigil for the Orlando victims and in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Rev. Chuck McCoart of Emmanuel Church on Russell Road reflected on our thirst for Christ in the Gospel of John. He then asked us to take a few minutes to write down some things that we thirst for. In no particular order, here’s my list:
What is Saving Your Life Right Now?
, June 1, 2016
For the last month Prayer 101 has been meeting and we have been focusing solely on the form of contemplative prayer called Centering Prayer. Each week we sit quietly for fifteen minutes. When our minds get busy - which they inevitably do - we are encouraged to come back to God by saying a sacred word or phrase to ourselves. That’s it. That’s all Centering Prayer is. I have learned that I make it so much harder for myself than it needs to be.
In the meantime...
, April 14, 2016
The season of Easter always feels like the celebration of a new year to me because we cannot ignore the dizzying, liberating possibilities for new life that Christ’s resurrection holds for us. Brother Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE, said, as Christians we cannot escape the reality that “because He lives, we live also.” I wonder what resurrection looks like for you? What are you going to do with your new life?
Getting Real in Lent
, February 17, 2016
Every year on Ash Wednesday, I am surprised by the number of people in the pews whom I don’t recognize. Sometimes as much as half of the congregation are unfamiliar to me. That’s a big switch from Sundays. Who are all these people and what pulls them to church on this day? Ash Wednesday is absent the big festive celebrations of Christmas and Easter, another time we see lots of strangers. In fact, Ash Wednesday is a kind of anti-celebration.
Don't Push for Answers
, December 2, 2015
Advent, which means “coming” in Latin, is the liturgical season that marks the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a time of waiting and preparation. We wait in anticipation of the birth of Christ. We prepare our hearts and souls and minds for the infusion of love and light that is coming soon.
The Consecration of a New Chapel
, October 14, 2015
What does it mean to consecrate something? At the Holy Table, the priest, along with the assent of the people, consecrates the bread and wine and after that somehow mysteriously they hold the presence of Jesus Christ where before they were merely Taylor Cream Sherry and paper-like wafers of bread. The priest is the presider, but it is God who does the actual transforming. Perhaps that is similar to consecrating the new Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary. The old chapel went up in flames five Octobers ago.
Saying Goodbye for Now
, February 18, 2015
“We live a life of departures,” one of my seminary professors once said. “We are given all these opportunities to practice and prepare for the final departure,” he went on to say. That’s why goodbyes are hard. There is loss and grieving around goodbyes, just as there is loss and grieving around change and death.