Braver/Wiser Archive
Braver/Wiser Archive
Worship
  • Ground Control

    The most life-giving coping strategy—for me—is to attune to a voice calmer and wiser than mine, and allow that seeking to be its own expression of faith.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 7/22/2020
  • Minding the Gap

    The assumption that all people remember the same set of events, or enjoy the same set of things, puts enormous burdens of assimilation onto members of marginalized communities.
    By Yuri Yamamoto | 7/15/2020
  • Testimony and Truth

    It often feels like we’re shouting into the void. It was a gift to be reminded that sometimes someone is listening.
    By Jodi Cohen Hayashida | 7/8/2020
  • So Far Apart and In This Together

    I miss the way things were, and I know they’ll never really be the same.
    By Erica Rose Long | 6/24/2020
  • The House My Ancestors Built

    Our conversations about the history of our country—the actions of our ancestors—can be made new and relevant and understandable. We can and must have these conversations.
    By Heather Rion Starr | 6/17/2020
  • Claiming Our Names

    May we all remember how inextricably we are linked in this fight for justice and freedom.
    By Otto O'Connor | 6/10/2020
  • Startled into Noticing

    I hope that this Great Silence, which has come alongside the suffering, holds the beginnings of our healing.
    By Elea Kemler | 5/6/2020
  • Holding On and Letting Go

    Sometimes, I know I'm hanging onto a part of my life that I'll eventually need to let go of...but not just yet.
    By Amanda Poppei | 4/22/2020
  • We Cannot Escape One Another

    A new disease, without any cure, is pushing us apart. And, yet, we cannot escape one another. We need one another. Whether I acknowledge it or not, the guarantee of safety does not exist.
    By Manish Mishra-Marzetti | 4/15/2020
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Where the Action Is

    Love without justice is not love. Compassion without deeds is not compassion. Faith without action is not faith. And religion without politics is not religion. In my view, people of faith are not entitled to avoid politics for the sake of a short-lived spiritual high.
    By James Gertmenian | 1/30/2019
  • Finding Our Way Out

    Surrender is the last thing, often the only thing, available. And so we give ourselves to it. We fear it is our end. Sometimes—with grace or luck—we find it is our liberation.
    By Karen G. Johnston | 1/23/2019

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