Select Page

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Chapman

Pastor | Creative | Bad Ass


I began writing as a hobby in 2012 to chronicle my move from Georgia to Connecticut, my work with Westfield Church, and my ideas, sermons, and notions. In the time since, a little of everything has been posted here, and I think that’s the way it’ll stay.

The Latest


The Night I was Called a Fag in My Own Church

Here is this morning's sermon after being verbally accosted in Westfield's 1923 Ladies' Parlor by a member of another church. The scripture was John 3:1-17. Do you believe people can change? Perennial parental advice says no. Can’t you hear your mama saying, “Oh...

read more

Letters to Killingly

A Little Kindness For My Little Town

Dear Killingly, It feels like I've lived here a lifetime, which is remarkable, in way,  since I only visited this little town on the Connecticut-Rhode Island border for the first time seven years ago this June. The truth is that I needed a job and there was one open...

read more

Two Times Too Many: Another Letter to the Town I Love

Dear Killingly, I last wrote to you a few months ago when we were deep into dark winter months. It was just after New Year's Day, and, if you recall, it seemed like we just couldn't catch a break. There was one student death. Then another. Then a teacher and another...

read more

A Little Love For My Little Town

Dear Killingly, I moved to your town in October of 2012. I'm a born and bred Southerner who loves all things Southern--things like grits and coca-cola and air conditioning. Late in September of that year, I packed up my life and my cat and drove north. I remember...

read more

Visual Worship

How Westfield Found Their Pulse

When I first moved to Connecticut, my congregation wasn't officially Open and Affirming. For the uninitiated, Open and Affirming (ONA) is an official designation within our denomination, the United Church of Christ, for congregations that welcome and affirm LGBTQ...

read more

Prayer Stations: Fifth Sunday Adventures

Growing up, we had Fifth Sunday Night Sings. Every fifth Sunday, area churches would get together for a potluck and hymn sing. We'd eat all kinds of delicious food, then sing all kinds of beloved songs.  It was a cherished way to spend time together with Christians...

read more

Ribbons of Fire

Pentecost is one of my favorite days in the church year. Here's why: I love the color red (although green is my favorite); I love the story of the followers of Jesus not knowing what hit them and how everyone else thought they were drunk; and I LOVE Johnny Cash's...

read more


New Stole Sunday: Church Logo Edition

CONFESSION: Before you go any further, dear reader, and decide that I have absolutely no liturgical sensibilities because I wore a WHITE stole on Pentecost, be at peace. I wore this one last week (5/8). I just didn't have a chance before today to highlight it. Also, I...

read more

New Stole Sunday: How Greg Won Christmas

I've a confession to make: I LOVE STOLES. I have lots of them--nearly fifty. (I know. I've got a problem.) My dear husband, Greg, doesn't help.  For every gift-giving holiday, he's got a new, custom stole up his sleeves. In fact, there are over 10 waiting in the wings...

read more

Blinded by the Light: A Transfiguration New Stole Sunday

It's no secret that I have a  penchant for stoles. In fact, two Christmases ago, my dear G. cataloged them.  That's right. I have a catalog of my stoles. Last September, Greg gave me this beauty--a lovely addition to my collection, don't you think? I love the...

read more

Mama’s Boy

Mama’s Boy: The Final Letter

Read the previous letters: Mama's Boy, Vol 1   |   Mama's Boy, Vol 2  |   Mama's Boy, Vol 3 Mama's Boy, Vol 4   |   Mama's Boy, Halloween Edition Dear Mama, For five years now, I've written to you on Mother's Day. For five years, I've lamented the tradition of...

read more

Halloween Special Edition: Mama’s Boy

Oh, Mama. I usually write to you on Mother's Day--a day filled with sweet memories and an undeniable sense of injustice for me. I write about what's going on with me. I tell you about Dad, about life since you died. I write about memories and church and singing. I...

read more

Mama’s Boy, vol. 4

Read the previous letters: Mama's Boy, Vol. 1 Mama's Boy, Vol. 2 Mama's Boy, Vol. 3 Dear Mama, I wore flamingo socks today, and I thought of you all morning.  Years ago, you jokingly bought two plastic pink flamingos for the front lawn. Dad and I thought they were...

read more