There’s a place where the waves come in,

closer at first, then further away.

Perched on a rock,

he ponders life’s great mysteries.

The taste of salt water in the air,

as waves like eels slither closer again.

Maybe it’s Moses,

pondering the vastness before him,

salt water on the…

February 21, 2021; The First Sunday of Lent: Genesis 9:8–17

Put a bow on it.

That’s a phrase with a few different implications, depending on how we use it. It makes me think of the first US war I remember, the Gulf War. And there were these yellow ribbons and…

another father’s day

one star.

that motel in mexico

where we had the family reunion

of four hundred introductions and bilingual tousles,

the “suite” with literal scorpions in the bed,

on the curtains,

and in your shoe,

and the cougar chained to the tree in front of the rental car

we decided to…

If you could pinpoint your favorite pastor or preacher or Sunday School teacher, why would they be your favorite? What was it about them that drew your appreciation, your admiration, your openness and reflection?

Was it the way they dressed?

Or the accent they did or didn’t have?

Was it…

Do you know our mission statement?

We are a community of believers who seek to grow: in our faith and understanding as we live the Way of Jesus Christ.

What about our four core values?

Inclusion

Freedom of Faith

Service

Spiritual Growth

I’ll admit that I don’t often start with…

In a room, someplace,

wood creaks and cracks and crackles

under pressure

and heat,

smoking, flickering flames

warming, lighting, luring

you into imagination

as

the glockenspiel is pealing,

and angels echoing eerie,

echoing dreamy,

and that familiar baritone

comforts with his crooning:

Do you see what I see?

Louis Armstrong once said that voice…

I have this vivid memory of being in 9th grade. We lived in Mississippi, and one night I went outside with my dog.

We played for a bit, and then I let him run around, and I snuck over to the corner of the fence. I looked up at the darkest sky, littered with glimmering stars. In that moment I was overtaken, and a song welled up in me, and I began singing out loud:

O Lord my God,

when I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,

I see the stars,

I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,

How great thou art,

How great thou art.

Then…

This summer I sat atop a lighthouse, watching the waves come in and draw out, over and over again, a kind of dance to the sun that eventually woke up the sky with gentle hues of yellow and pink and orange. Somehow the waves drew me out with them, into the masterpiece of air molecules scattering light off the coast of Maine. Like most of the other stories I’ve shared during this series on Thin Places, I was mesmerized, Kelsey too, without much to really say; beauty had taken hold of us.

We left the island a couple hours later, headed to Acadia. We drove around, walked, and I’ll even say we “hiked” a little bit. As the day wrapped up, the darkness made us flip on our phones’ flashlights as we walked to the car. And as we came around the…

For most of my life, I’ve lived near a large body of water. That’s not counting Wachusett or the Quabbin, either.

You might not think of water when you think of Mississippi, but my house was 7 minutes from the Gulf. When I lived in Florida, our house was only two touchdowns away from Palma Sola Bay which fed into the Gulf.

I love the water. I have a number of meaningful memories involving the beach or a boat. I also have a few memories of powerfully moving experiences, too. Like the time I sat on a boat and took in the deep blues that my disposable camera couldn’t. Or the time…

Around the time of my birthday this year, I realized I was watching a number of mountain climbing or mountaineering documentaries.

Everest, K2, El Capitan. I was mesmerized, if not in part because the greatest climbing accomplishment I have to date is scaling this pulpit. Upon reflection, I came to recognize that perhaps my fixation on people conquering mountains had less to do with my own desire for the physicality of…

Brent Newberry

I'm a writer, and I enjoy dabbling in photography. I'm also a progressive minister, enneagram 4w3, ramen enthusiast, and human to my best dog Zooey Deschanel

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