I’m sitting in the Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas on the afternoon of December 30, 2019. I have a few more hours to wait until I board my flight to Fort Lauderdale for the Q Christian Fellowship Conference, where I’ll be performing at Q Night Live and helping to lead three breakout sessions with friends like Candice Czubernat, Jaime Zavala, Laura Beth Buchleiter, Austen Hartke, Aaron Brown and Brenda Zizolfo.

As we humans tend to do around this time of year, I’ve been reminiscing about 2019, scrolling through my Instagram and remembering all the good that has come my way, celebrating all that God has done over the past 12 months.

January

February

March

April

  • I was so excited to attend part of the Why Christian? conference and meet some of my heroes, Dave and Tino of Modern Kinship and the amazing Rachel Held Evans, who gave me a big hug and said she knew me from Twitter! Of course none of us knew that day that it would be her last public appearance before her untimely death. I am so grateful I got the chance to hear her speak and meet her. If you’ve never heard of Rachel, please check out her work. She impacted countless lives and literally changed Evangelicalism through her short but powerful life and writing career.
  • I visited San Francisco Theological Seminary for a day and hung out briefly with my friend Erin Green, one of the driving forces behind Brave Commons (along with Michael Vasquez and Lauren Iliana Sotolongo).
  • I wrote a blog post about Bethel Redding’s dangerous new “#OnceGay” campaign that got a lot of attention. I hope it gets shared far and wide, because that toxic theology continues to do great harm to so many precious LGBTQ+ people.
  • We celebrated Easter at The Quest and remembered the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus!

May

  • We got to have all four kids home at the same time, along with Josh’s fiancée, Olivia, and Jacob’s then-girlfriend (now fiancée) Kajsa. We celebrated Josh and Olivia’s 24th birthdays together.
  • Jacob and I got to see Gungor, The Brilliance and Propaganda on their stunning End of the World Tour in San Francisco.
  • My friend Jeff Ford took me to see Betty Who and Rozzi at The Fillmore in San Francisco. I was in a bathroom stall, slightly buzzed, with thunderous music music pounding all around me when I listened to the voicemail that would change my life. But more about that later.
  • I joined Candice Czubernat and several other amazing colleagues as a spiritual director for The Christian Closet, a fully LGBTQ team of counselors and coaches providing online mental and spiritual health services, and I started facilitating support groups for gay men in mixed-orientation marriages.
  • I got to hang out with my friend Trey Pearson and several other men like us – gay men who had once been married to women – on a Safe Space retreat in Gilroy. Such a beautiful experience, to be so know, so understood.
  • I started offering LGBTQ+ Spiritual Conversations at The Journey Center, a bi-weekly opportunity for queer people to process our spiritual journeys together.

June

July

August

  • My son Jake got engaged to his girlfriend of six years, Kajsa Johnsrud. They’re getting married on September 12.
  • Three of my good friends from SCDS and I got to stay in an Airbnb in San Francisco for a week while we took CATDC‘s Teaching Foundations course at Lick Wilmerding High School.
  • In addition to my half-time pastoral position, I started my third year as a full-time elementary school teacher at Sonoma Country Day School.
  • I had the sad and sacred privilege of singing and leading worship at the memorial service of an old friend, Donna Misa. I was so honored that her family asked me to participate, and it was surreal, difficult and beautiful to be back at Peninsula Covenant Church after all these years.

September

October

November

December

2019 was a great year for live music and theater too! I got to see Audra McDonald and Seth Rudetsky, Come from Away, Hello Dolly! (with Betty Buckley!), Falsettos, Beach Blanket Babylon, Home (at Berkeley Rep), Gungor, The Brilliance and Propaganda, Hamilton, To Kill a Mockingbird (at 6th Street Playhouse), Betty Who & Rozzi at The Fillmore, The Good Book (Berkeley Rep), Imogen Heap at the Masonic, the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT, Indigo Girls, The Play That goes Wrong, Gypsy (6th Street), Over The Rhine, Oliver! (6th Street), Hamilton again with Zach, Emily and their mom, and Marin School of the Arts’s amazing production of NINE.

I started this post in Houston, and I’m finishing it in my Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale. It’s 2:30am, and I had no idea how long it would take to write this post. Honestly, it’s been a powerful experience for me. My heart is full of gratitude for all that I’ve experienced in 2019. I’m grateful for all of you who have walked through this year with me. I couldn’t have made it through all the challenges and joys without you. Thank you.

Stay tuned for a lot more in 2020. From this weekend’s Q Christian Fellowship conference to the launch of Common Sanctuary, I’m so grateful to have your encouragement and support in my life. Here’s to an amazing year ahead!

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