Posted by: preacherjean | May 10, 2013


Another lovely sonnet from Malcolm Guite…



We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed .


Posted by: preacherjean | February 10, 2013


I ran across this wonderful sonnet by British poet and priest, Malcolm Guite. His website is:


For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The Love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
Nor can this this blackened sky, this darkened scar
Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.

Posted by: preacherjean | May 11, 2011

Not as silly…

Here is the project I finally turned in.

Who am I?

Posted by: preacherjean | May 11, 2011

A silly thing…

I had to do a project for one of my Pastoral Theology classes which was to create a video. This was my first attempt.

Posted by: preacherjean | May 9, 2011

Who am I?

Who am I?

I ask, who am I to enter into the dark place of someone’s pain?
Or the sun filled warmth of a joy not my own.
Who am I to say, I know, I understand, I am listening?

And He answers, you are the one whom I called.
You are my ears, my arms, my hands, my love.
You are my wounded healer, my agent of hope.

And I ask, who am I to refuse?

Posted by: preacherjean | March 13, 2011

States I Have Visited

I was with my Dad when he visited his last two states (Maine and Vermont).  I have a ways to go, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get out of the Lower 48.  But the travel bug still bites…

I have visited 41 states (82%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Posted by: preacherjean | January 25, 2011

An Odd Little Thing

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m simple…

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m simple.

Like I’m not smart.

Like I’m not knowledgeable.

Like I’m not analytical.

Like I’m very young or I’m very old.

I pour my coffee and take it down the hall to my computer desk or my books and, in that brief, innocent time between pouring and sitting, I am a free spirit, living only for God.

No responsibilities.

No worries.

No pain.


And in those moments, I feel such compassion,

For the young,

For the old,

For the simple.

For me.

Posted by: preacherjean | August 27, 2010

One Reflection on my CPE Experience

As part of our final evaluation on our whole CPE experience, we were instructed to either choose a poem or story that reflected our experience or to write something new. I don’t consider myself a writer, generally, so I certainly wasn’t going to create something new, but I guess the Holy Spirit had other ideas and the following story came to me all at once demanding to be written down. For those of you who don’t know what CPE is, it’s a chaplaincy internship that focuses on group interaction and communication as a large part of the learning process. I was fortunate and blessed to be a part of a very special group with a wonderful supervisor. If any of you read this, I love you!

Leaving the Nest – A Fable

As the sun rose over Madeline Island, a small eaglet raised her downy, wobbly head and looked out over the edge of the aerie, blinking sleepily.

“Hungry!” she thought. “Hungry, hungry, hungry!” She peeped anxiously. At the sound, five other heads popped up from the pile of down in the middle of the cozy nest.

“Hungryhungryhungryhungry!” they chorused.

From far out over the shimmering waves they heard faintly, “I’m coming!”

As they waited, wiggling impatiently, the beautiful mahogany and white shape of their mother materialized out the glare of the sunlight on the gently rippling water. She grasped a large, shiny lake fish in her talons, which she tossed into the nest for them to tear apart and devour.

Over the next ten weeks, Mother Eagle brought tasty goodies from the lake, and once in awhile, from the carcass of an animal killed by a car on the nearby highway. They gobbled everything she brought and asked for more.

“So,” they inquired, sometimes hourly, “will we have herring today? So, will we have whitefish? So, will we have raccoon? We’re hungry, hungry, hungry!” And every day she fed them and they grew and grew and changed, although they didn’t notice it.

One day, in late summer, Brother Wind rose up over Gitchee Gumee and chased her waves into white horses. The eaglets were large now, and crowded in the aerie. The biggest one, squirming around in an effort to remove an errant feather from her eye, flapped her wings to get on top of the feathery pile. A gust of wind caught her under the wings and lifted her clear out of the nest before swirling away again and dumping her unceremoniously back on her sisters. Mother Eagle happened to be standing on the side of the nest watching them fondly and resting from her almost incessant hunting labors.

“Mama, Mama, what HAPPENED?” cried the chick.

“You were flying, daughter.” She gathered them all with her stern gaze. “And so must you all. Eventually, you must all leave the aerie and fly on your own.”

“No, no, Mama!” they wailed. “We never want to leave the aerie! We never want to leave you! We don’t want to fly!”

“But you must, my children,” she replied calmly. “It is the way of our kind to soar on the wind and dive into the lake. You cannot stay here forever, for there will be other chicks who need me. Otherwise the eagles will disappear forever.”

There was a little sniffling and grumbling from the nest, but the chicks could feel the truth of her words in their hearts. They were meant to learn to dance with Brother Wind and play with Sister Gitchee Gumee.

Over the next few weeks, one by one, the eaglets tried out their newly fledged wings. One by one, they felt the power of the wind and their own growing strength in the dance. One day, just as the sun was setting over the hills of the Bayfield Peninsula, the littlest eaglet suddenly jumped up, flapping her wings excitedly.

“Let’s all fly out at once!” she cried. “Won’t Mama be proud?” And with a furious flapping of wings, and just a little confusion of talons and beaks, they did.

From higher up in the aerie tree, Mother Eagle watched the six awkward-graceful pairs of wings unfold, catch an updraft, and soar out over the lake.

“I am so proud of you, my daughters,” she whispered softly. “Take care of them, Brother Wind and Sister Gitchee Gumee, for they are yours now.”

Posted by: preacherjean | February 14, 2010

A word about my title…

I do realize that I’m now IN that next world, and that the Quiet Year is technically over, but I kinda like the title so I’m keeping it.  Hey, isn’t that what a blog is for – so you can do what you want?

Posted by: preacherjean | February 14, 2010

In Honor of Valentine’s Day…

The Final Reflection*

So I just got back from the weekly Glee viewing and bull session with some of my beloved classmates and I feel the need to reflect on them.  I also need to write one last TSP paper.  The concatenation of the two efforts seemed obvious.

In my first paper, I wrote about my thoughts that no one liked me.  There was a lot contained in that statement, so let me unpack it.  Mainly there was fear.  Fear of not fitting in, fear of failing, fear of letting everyone down, fear that this was somehow all just a horrible mistake, fear of loneliness.  A whole lot of fear.  1st John tells us that perfect love casts out fear, so let me tell you about perfect love as realized at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in Chelsea, New York City, New York.

First of all, it’s not perfect – far from it.  With the exception of Jesus, we humans are too flawed to perfectly love one another.  No, the love on this campus is big and messy and complicated.  But because of it, I know a lot of things I didn’t know twelve weeks ago.  I know I fit in.  I know that if I fail for some reason, there will be dozens of hands to catch me when I fall.  I know that my hands will be held out and strong for my brothers and sisters if they fall.  I know that we all have doubts, and that we’re stronger for our questioning.  I know I’m not alone.

We have, against all odds (but certainly the following mandate of the TSP course description) become a community, a family.  We are not competitive, except with ourselves.  We’re not spiteful, or if we are, we repent.  We’re fanatically interested in each other and we tell each other our secrets.  We cheer for each others’ victories and commiserate in setbacks.  How could this have happened in so short of a time?  I think it is, in great part, thanks to the Tutorial Seminar, and especially to our small groups.  It is also due to this extraordinary group of people who have been thrown together in this extraordinary situation.  And, last, but not least, it is due to the love of God that just cannot be contained and has to spill out all over the place in big, messy, and complicated ways.

So, inspired by Keith Voet’s facebook post, Top Twenty Things I’ve Learned My First Semester at Seminary, I, too, have put together a list.

Top Twenty Places Love Can Be Found at GTS

Love is found…

1.  …in rallying around a classmate in crisis, whether the crisis be deadly serious or just a serious nosebleed.

2.  …in joking with someone and knowing you’re safe because they get you.

3.  …in never having to eat alone.

4.  …in spontaneous hugs.

5.  …in laughter and in tears.

6.  …in a deeply serious theological discussion, that is nonetheless punctuated by raucous laughter and the occasional Holy F***! (I’m not mentioning any names!)

7.  …in shoulders to whine on, with no guilt.

8.  …in having a set of those shoulders yourself.

9.  …in our similarities, but more importantly, in our differences.

10.  …in someone saying, “I missed you, where were you?” when you miss class.

11.  …in a classmate walking up behind you after chapel or on the way to class and putting her arm around you or taking your hand.

12.  …in noticing flaws in each other and wanting to help rather than to dismiss.

13.  …in shouting “Love you, Joanne” in the mailroom and hearing “Love you back!” through your mail slot.

14.  …in your classmates (and their partners) standing by you singing the Matriculation hymn as you sign the book because you weren’t able to be there for the ceremony.

15.  …in being invited into people’s homes and into their lives.

16.  …in messing up on the chimes or acolyting and being told “good job” anyway.

17.  …in the spontaneous helping of each other (music theory, anyone?).

18.  …in knowing that these use-to-be strangers are my family, and family is forever.

19.  …in all the places I haven’t had a chance to look yet.  But hey, I’ve got a couple of years.

20. …in seeing the face of Christ shining in each of my brothers’ and sisters’ faces every single day.

My solemn pledge for these next two and a half years and beyond is, with God’s help, to keep the love alive because the more we give, the more we have to give.  I think it’s appropriate to end this reflection with lyrics from the final song from a musical that I wrote with a wonderful composer friend of mine.  (it should be mentioned that  Gayla wrote the music and the lyrics, so this is ALL hers.)  The song is called, “Love is Alive.”


























* With fond memories of John M. Ford, author, raconteur, and good friend, gone far too soon.

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