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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

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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Sermons

The Night I was Called a Fag in My Own Church

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...

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Running the Race: An Unexpected Election Sermon

Running the Race: An Unexpected Election Sermon

Read the scripture I started with here. On Monday, I was convinced that this sermon was going to be about All Saints Day—one of my favorite days in the WHOLE CHURCH YEAR. I love everything about this particular liturgical day. I love singing When the Saints Go...

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Letters to Killingly

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Visual Worship

Poofs, Confetti, and the Resurrection

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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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