Braver/Wiser Archive
Braver/Wiser Archive
Worship
  • In the Midst of Powerlessness

    Jesus had no political power. He lived his whole life in the shadow of the Roman empire, and that empire killed him. Yet Jesus healed the sick, he listened, he moved among the ordinary people, in the lowly places.
    By Myke Johnson | 4/8/2020
  • The Muscle of Our Collective Spirit

    I’m confident in our human ability to together muscle our way into renewing our world.
    By Aram Mitchell | 4/1/2020
  • At a Threshold

    “Game” is no longer the proper metaphor to guide my thoughts and actions. We are—all of us—in liminal space, at a threshold confronting immediacy, shrouded in fog.
    By Rita Capezzi | 3/25/2020
  • The Ninth Obstacle

    Years ago, I did one of those mud run obstacle races. There were eight physical obstacles on the course, but my biggest learning was that we all had a ninth obstacle.
    By Laura Solomon | 3/18/2020
  • The Smallest Biggest Number

    If two is the smallest number in ethics, it's also the smallest seed of certainty; the way not to get lost. Because the ultimate test, when the fear and grief finally give way to clarity, is knowing ourselves by how well we cared for one another.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 3/11/2020
  • Two Sides of the Same Coin

    We all have our foibles; pieces of ourselves that we both admire and occasionally revile. These gifts and struggles exist in tandem.
    By Alix Klingenberg | 3/4/2020
  • New Levels of Sacred

    Before I birthed my baby, he was a possibility, a kick against my insides. With that first cry, first breath, he became a person in the world.
    By Caitlin Cotter Coillberg | 2/26/2020
  • The Truth About Chocolate?

    If we aren’t willing to ask the important, uncomfortable, and even scary questions, we won’t get to larger and deeper truths.
    By Katie Romano Griffin | 2/19/2020
  • Assisted Living Devices

    A lot of us feel like our lives should have come with instructions. Or maybe they did, but we lost the only copy a long time ago.
    By Elea Kemler | 2/12/2020
  • Amplified a Thousandfold

    We have so many opportunities to bless each other in this world, but they don’t always announce themselves as moments of profound transformation.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 2/5/2020
  • The Spark of Life

    If we don’t know where the spark of life comes from, can we know for sure where it goes?
    By David Kohlmeier | 1/29/2020
  • From Broken Parts, Whole

    Surround yourself with skillful teachers. Let them teach you, but don't let them do it for you. That learning is yours to do.
    By Karen G. Johnston | 1/22/2020
  • Unafraid

    When you’re the only black man in a sea of whiteness, purses still get clutched, and people still cross the street, and hellos still get lost in the void.
    By Adrian L. H. Graham | 1/15/2020
  • More Than a Sum

    We are never numbers to be tallied for turnout. We are more than a sum. Together, we are the hope and courage.
    By Robin Tanner | 1/8/2020
  • Next Year's Words

    One of my most treasured New Year’s traditions is coming up with a word for the year: a single word that I want to be the theme for my entire year. When I’m questioning what’s the right thing to do, I will look to my word of the year for guidance.
    By Tim Atkins | 1/1/2020
  • Messy, Wildly Imperfect Love

    Every year, I tell the congregation not to worry about mistakes because there aren’t any; there is only us, telling an old story about love getting born into this aching world.
    By Elea Kemler | 12/18/2019
  • The Body of Love

    It was disruptive and strange to know that someone had died to bring this hope, and to wonder how the donor’s family mourned at the same time we rejoiced.
    By Elizabeth Bukey | 12/11/2019
  • Leveling Up

    With a single generous gesture from my older child, her sister's belief in Santa stayed intact that year.
    By Karen G. Johnston | 12/4/2019
  • Crisis and Opportunity

    The crisis was an opportunity to learn to be fully me and love it, inner turmoil and all. I learned that strength comes from authenticity, never from perfection.
    By Tomo Hillbo | 11/27/2019
  • The Fierce Fist Pump

    I was made this way, in this body and this skin. Like all beings, I have an inherent good that cannot be eclipsed.
    By Katie Romano Griffin | 11/20/2019
  • Impact > Intention

    Can we strive to have the grace to back away when our presence doesn’t feel like safety?
    By Misha Sanders | 11/13/2019
  • Love What You Love

    We can be cheerleaders for simple joys (even when we don't share them) and compassionate about the fact that we’re all just trying to survive.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 11/6/2019
  • The Guest of Grief

    Sometimes grief sends notice ahead of time; sometimes, it shows up as an unwelcome, uninvited guest.
    By Monica Dobbins | 10/30/2019
  • The Growing Season

    There is relief and remorse equally in my heart as the growing season comes to a close.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 10/23/2019
  • Stewards of Hope

    This is the beauty and sparkle of spiritual communities: needs arise and beloveds appear to ask, “How can I help?” There’s no fixed timeline, just the spiritual practices of generosity and stewardship.
    By Rebekah Savage | 10/16/2019
  • Joyfully Surprised

    Coming out to my family was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I realized that my choice was one of life and death, and I needed to let my secret out in order to continue living, and to do so authentically.
    By Adrian L. H. Graham | 10/9/2019
  • The Only Answer I Know

    What I do know for sure is that hope matters. One of the best things we can do is to hold hope for someone when that person cannot hold it for themselves.
    By Elea Kemler | 10/2/2019
  • Life Pushing Through

    If there’s anything sitting in silence has taught me, it’s that silence doesn’t actually exist. Every moment is full to the point of bursting with Reality, whether or not we notice it.
    By David Kohlmeier | 9/25/2019
  • Know When to Tango

    May I always remember that Tango, like life, is a dance of the people. It’s meant to be shared, not practiced in isolation.
    By Katie Romano Griffin | 9/18/2019
  • To Be Resilient

    There are so many spiritual lessons from the natural world and—in a season filled with Ingatherings and Water Communions—this is one for me: oxbow lakes as a beautiful combination of resiliency, strength, and flexibility.
    By Tim Atkins | 9/11/2019
  • Thriving Among the Thorns

    It was my inadvertent letting go that made this wild, interdependent beauty possible. And at that very moment, I knew I didn’t need that sort of control anymore.
    By Tomo Hillbo | 9/4/2019
  • Making Room at the Table

    When it comes to living our expansive, inclusive, anti-oppression faith, we fall short.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 6/19/2019
  • Even When...

    As a hospital chaplain, I often listen to painful stories. We call it compassionate presence, but I may be crying inside. When words fail, I pray and sing.
    By Yuri Yamamoto | 6/12/2019
  • Honk If You Love

    If justice is to be realized, our voices must speak loudly—even boisterously—of love.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 6/5/2019
  • Everyone for Everyone

    People of color—and other marginalized people—can’t just want things to be different. It has to be everyone wanting things to be different for everyone.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 5/29/2019
  • Feeding Ourselves and Each Other

    The stone soup story isn’t about selfish people. It’s about people who thought they were powerless.
    By Liz James | 5/22/2019
  • Where the Real Growth Happens

    When we can gently hold things steady, change comes from within; that’s where the real growth happens.
    By Alix Klingenberg | 5/15/2019
  • Becoming Ourselves

    Who are you going to be, today? And tomorrow? Who are we all becoming, together?
    By Amanda Poppei | 5/8/2019
  • Indiscriminate Tastes

    It's hard to feel gratitude for something when you're focusing on what’s wrong with it.
    By Kat Liu | 5/1/2019
  • Inviting Our True Attention

    I call the tall bush on my back patio “Burning Bush” because in autumn its leaves are a fiery red. All winter long I overlooked three uninhabited nests inside of it. For months and months I could have perceived—but didn’t—what was in plain sight. ...
    By Karen G. Johnston | 4/24/2019
  • Brilliant Collisions

    We can’t always predict which choices will wind up having a huge impact on us, whether it's bringing home a stuffed animal or taking a particular train to Oxford Circus.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 4/17/2019
  • A Different Kind of Peace

    Sometimes people show up fully and be with me. And sometimes they cannot, even if they really care about me and want to help.
    By Misha Sanders | 4/10/2019
  • Try Again Tomorrow

    When I internalize cultural messages about the definitions of success or failure—or anything, really—I undermine my own sense of self-worth.
    By Helen Rose | 4/3/2019
  • Downrange of Mystery

    A haircut, a cup of coffee, or just an honest “How are you?” can be transformed into a powerful moment between two people living in a hard world.
    By Rebekah Savage | 3/27/2019
  • God Manifest

    I saw a woman surrounded by the pressures to conform to adulthood, being the adult she always wanted to be when she was a child. She was as God made her, not who everyone else wanted her to be.
    By Nathan Ryan | 3/20/2019
  • Another Human Miracle

    What could you accomplish this week if you knew you had a ground team wishing you well? Who are the other explorers around you, needing a word of encouragement that would mean so much coming from you?
    By Monica Dobbins | 3/13/2019
  • This Is What We Do Here

    Despite being warmly welcomed over and over by the greeters, by the family sitting behind me, and by the lead pastor, I couldn’t shake that “guest” feeling.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 3/6/2019
  • Trying Something Different

    Over the years, I’ve built up an impressive array of tools for meetings: I-statements, being assertive, and all of that stuff. What I could improve on, though, is knowing when to switch tools.
    By Liz James | 2/27/2019
  • Your Soul's Address

    It is deeply spiritual work to learn to treat ourselves with compassion; to learn to see ourselves, if only in moments, the same way we look at something or someone we find beautiful: a newborn baby, the ocean, a sunset.
    By Elea Kemler | 2/13/2019
  • Here. Now. You.

    Outside of the meditation hall, we plan for the future and think of the past. But so often we replay past regrets and worry about future events to the point where we’re no longer present in the present.
    By Kat Liu | 2/6/2019

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