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The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Chapman

Pastor | Creative | Bad Ass

Writings

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

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

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...

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Sermons

The Funeral Sermon I Hope I Never Have to Preach Again

On Saturday, September 3rd, I officiated the memorial service of Taylor Williams. He was an Army Medic who had been murdered in Georgia, stabbed in the back eleven times. He was 26. The morning of the service, I posted in Westfield's Facebook group: I mentioned on...

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Voting Faithfully: Immigration

For the last three weeks at Westfield, we've been in a sermon series entitled Voting Faithfully. The idea was this: so often we relegate our political conversations to traditional media, social media, and the kitchen table. But it's clear to us that the church has...

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Visual Worship

Poofs, Confetti, and the Resurrection

A little over six weeks ago, I told you all about our latest Lenten installation that featured giant, vertical words that represented the six sermon themes for the season. They were striking. Particularly on Maundy Thursday, when their silhouettes loomed over our...

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Words for the Journey: A Lenten Installation

Well, we made it to Lent, earlier this year than in years past it seems. And like most things church year related, it snuck up on me.  Since I've been at Westfield, we've hung giant swaths of fabric across the sanctuary, effectively cutting it in half. It makes the...

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Prayer Stations: We Are Called

We tried something new at Westfield this morning. Well, at least new to us. Instead of a sermon, I invited the congregation to wander around our sanctuary and into our narthex to eight prayer stations all created around a single theme: who we are called to be. We are...

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Stoles

New Stole Sunday: The Evangelists

This is, like the last post, a little late to the blog. I wore this stole on Trinity Sunday, since the Trinity could be considered the theological backdrop of scripture. It's a stole that G. gave me early in our relationship. He found this stole, in all its woven...

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New Stole Sunday: Pentecost (and Installation!) Sunday

Last Sunday, May 19th, was a big day for us at Westfield. It was Pentecost, the church's commemoration of the Holy Spirit's descent upon the disciples and celebration of the ways the Spirit continues to work in our lives. We had a colorful installation that recalled...

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New Stole Sunday: Let’s Go Fishing!

After a week in simply spring-y Georgia, I am back in Connecticut basking in the warm spring sun and watching the trees sprout out their baby green leaves. I was back in the South to go to my dear seminary friend's wedding in Mobile (fun fact: Mobile has the oldest...

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Mama’s Boy

Mama’s Boy, Vol. 3

Read the previous letters: Mama's Boy, Vol. 1 Mama's Boy, Vol. 2 Dear Mama, It's my third year sitting down around this time of year and thinking about all the things I want to tell you.  Like how I miss calling you.  It's been seven years since you died, and I still...

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Mama’s Boy, vol. 2

Dear Mama, Last year around this time, I wrote you a letter. It was my first May in Connecticut, and  I was feeling sorry for myself.  I missed home and the people at home. And, of course, I missed you--that part hasn't changed.  Just last week I was moving to a new...

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Mama’s Boy

To my sweet Mama, It's been four years since we last shared a Mother's Day together in person. This time four years ago you were in the middle of a rigorous series of chemo treatments--treatments we discovered the following July had worked. That fall, your walking...

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