Imagine a time when your world was completely turned upside down. A time when, one moment, things were going well, and then the next, it seemed like your world was falling apart. Or, maybe you’ve had an experience when great blessing came out of pain. We’ve all had moments in our lives when we were completely taken by surprise, when we knew without a doubt that as a result of some event,… Read More

When I was about 8 years old, I found myself at a public pool with friends. I’d taken swimming lessons for a couple of months and had mustered up the courage to jump off the diving board. It was nothing fancy, just a pencil dive straight down. The problem was, in my nervousness I forgot to take a deep breath before diving in. I remember it like it was yesterday, looking up… Read More

When I was in elementary school one of my favorite language arts units was on Mythology and Folklore. I would love hearing myths about how things were created, and about these larger than life characters in books with beautiful illustrations to capture the imagination. One of my favorite series was about Anansi the Spider, a character from the Ashanti people located in modern-day Ghana. Anansi was a trickster and his hijinx would… Read More

My second year at Wake Divinity I took up recreational archery in order to blow off some steam while I was serving as a hospital chaplain. We would meet a couple times a month to practice hitting targets. Our coaches would remind us, feet shoulder width apart with your non-dominant foot pointed toward the target and your hips turned to the side. Shoulders back, bow arm straight. Knock your arrow, pull back… Read More

When I was in youth group we would sometimes go on retreats to the NC coast where the ELCA had a beachfront retreat center. While we were there we would do crafts, play games, engage in service projects with the local community, and at the end of the night we would gather on the deck for a devotional time called candle power. Carol, our youth director, would go around the circle and… Read More

It’s been a big week of commemorations this week. On Wednesday night we gathered to lament, pray, remember, and recommit to work for racial justice as we commemorated the Emanuel 9. On Friday was the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the longest running African American holiday. But what is Juneteenth? To be honest, I didn’t know until I was in graduate school. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1,… Read More

4 years ago I was standing in the 1 Train on my way back home from my internship on the Upper West Side to my apartment in the West Village. It was rush hour and the train was packed. Normally I would listen to music on the train, but I’d forgotten my earbuds at home that day, and as a result my world was broadened beyond my own personal bubble. I started… Read More

When I was going through Confirmation I was invited to attend a Share The Word, Teens Encounter Christ retreat by fellow members of my Youth Group. STW TEC is an intensive faith formation retreat weekend developed by teens for teens similar to Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, or Via de Cristo. Throughout the 3 day retreat weekend teens, adult leaders, and pastors leading the retreat would give talks where they shared their personal… Read More

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” These opening words of our gospel reading this morning, spoken by Jesus at the end of the Last Supper reading in John are admittedly hard to sit with right now. I imagine many of our hearts are troubled right now. Given that Jesus had just shared that Judas would betray him and Peter deny him in his immanent… Read More