It’s become a tradition of mine to look back through my Instagram on New Year’s Eve and reflect on the past twelve months. I did it two years ago as I was traveling to Fort Lauderdale for my first Q Christian Fellowship conference, and then I did it again last year, sitting on my red couch in my studio apartment here in Santa Rosa. Who knew that I’d be here again on New Year’s Eve in 2021, looking back over another wonderful, strange, sad, joyful and tragic year?

And looking back always takes longer than I expect, hence the publication date of this finished post. I scroll through my Instagram, and then I look through the photos on my iPhone and review the last twelve months in my Google Calendar. I think about organizations I work with like The Quest, Common Sanctuary, The Journey Center and The Christian Closet, and I’m amazed by the opportunities I’ve been given. Again and again, I’m reminded of the goodness of God and the love of God’s people. No matter how difficult our circumstances – and let’s face it, 2021 was basically 2020 redux – there is always grace, beauty, truth and love to be found, usually embodied in graceful, beautiful, truthful and loving human beings. As Rich Mullins once wrote, “There’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see… But everywhere I go, I’m looking.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

  • On the 7th, Common Sanctuary partnered with The Journey Center to facilitate an evening of sharing and listening to one another’s LGBTQ+ faith stories. It was a really powerful experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity and for like-minded friends like the Journey Center’s executive director, Mindy Braun.
  • I got to experience another evening of live performance when Zach and I went to Izzy’s Santa Rosa Junior College choir concert.
  • I was featured in my friend Brian Nietzel‘s Making Things Right Podcast. Check out his work. It’s really powerful.
  • I got to spend an evening in Berkeley with Annie and Victoria Steinberg-Behrman celebrating Victoria’s birthday.
  • The Quest hosted a holiday petting zoo on the 19th, welcoming the neighborhood to our campus for Christmas cookies, cocoa, coffee, carols, a photo booth and lots of cute animals!
  • I enjoyed Advent and Solstice observances at The Journey Center.
  • Christmas Eve at The Quest was a wonderful celebration. Emily and Zach played in the band with me, and we were joined by nearly 60 worshippers, our largest in-person gathering since early 2020.
  • I flew from Santa Rosa to Burbank on Christmas Day and was able to spend a few days at Jake and Kajsa’s house with Emily and Zach. We had our “Christmas Morning” on the 26th and then enjoyed seeing the new West Side Story movie at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

As I close tonight, full of memories, full of gratitude, I’m reminded of this simple but profound prayer from Dag Hammarskjöld: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.”

Amen.

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