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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

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth

On Sunday, February 2, I preached a hard reality for me. I shared a portion of that sermon on Facebook, and I am sharing it here in its totality. It's based on Mark 5:21-43. They were all looking for a miracle. Every last one of them who was following Jesus wanted to...

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Sermons

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth

On Sunday, February 2, I preached a hard reality for me. I shared a portion of that sermon on Facebook, and I am sharing it here in its totality. It's based on Mark 5:21-43. They were all looking for a miracle. Every last one of them who was following Jesus wanted to...

read more
Rejoicing, Weeping, & Moving Beyond Mascots

Rejoicing, Weeping, & Moving Beyond Mascots

Killingly has been embroiled in a devastating fight around our high school mascot for the last six months that reached a fever pitch this week when the school board met for 5 hours to address the issue. The scripture for the week, prescribed by the Narrative...

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Letters to Killingly

A Little Kindness For My Little Town

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...

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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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A Little Love For My Little Town

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...

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Visual Worship

How Westfield Found Their Pulse

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...

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Prayer Stations: Fifth Sunday Adventures

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...

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Ribbons of Fire

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...

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Stoles

New Stole Sunday: Church Logo Edition

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...

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New Stole Sunday: How Greg Won Christmas

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...

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Blinded by the Light: A Transfiguration New Stole Sunday

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...

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Mama’s Boy

Mama’s Boy: The Final Letter

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...

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Halloween Special Edition: Mama’s Boy

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...

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Mama’s Boy, vol. 4

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...

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