Entries by Shannon E. Sullivan

What God Can Do with Dust

Our fifth frozen embryo transfer (FET) was on Ash Wednesday last year. Our first pregnancy ended on an Ash Wednesday three years before that. In between those experiences, Lent became a time not for deepening my connection with God but to try and wrangle my body into pregnancy through fertility treatments. I did not know […]

Pathfinding

More than five years ago, I came to a junction in my life. My husband and I had to make decisions about where to live, how to proceed on our career paths, and when to have children. I remember the pressure of asking myself really big questions. Who is God calling me to be? What […]

How the Enneagram Shows Up in Ministry: Perspectives from Nine Young Clergy Women

How the Enneagram Shows Up in Ministry: Perspectives from Nine Young Clergy Women Compiled and edited by Alison VanBuskirk Philip If you spend much time in clergy circles, you’ve probably heard of the Enneagram, a model for understanding the variety of motivations and fears of the human psyche. Its popularity in Christian subculture is due […]

Pastoring Faithfully in Divisive Times

The day after the 2016 presidential election, the seniors group at the church I serve was scheduled to gather. When I arrived, they told me that they’d agreed not to talk about the election. Emotions were too raw. So instead they shared stories about their grandchildren’s latest adventures or their day-to-day health challenges. Maybe that’s […]

A Prayer for Veterans Day

In the United States, we are approaching Veterans Day – a day set aside to remember and honor those who have served in the military. But more than simply saying “thank you,” it also offers the opportunity to turn our attention to the stories and lives of our veterans. Hold them in prayer and listen […]

On the day we had an active shooter drill…

On Sunday, September 15, Emily’s church had the first of three active-shooter trainings in the midst of its worship services. Members and friends were told about the training in advance. On the day we had an active shooter drill, our community awoke to thunderstorms. Rain-soaked shoes dampened our carpets, squeaked on the hardwood, and worshippers […]

Commemorating 1619: On Naming Slavery in Worship

The act of worshipping together as a community—of being not just in physical proximity, but spiritual proximity—sometimes feels like a miracle. As a pastor responsible for planning and leading worship, I have a deep appreciation for the perils and pitfalls that come with asking a group of people to pray together, sing together, worship together. […]