Learning the Content of My Life

Dear Friends of Kenilworth Union Church,

Writing. Piddling. Imagining. Venting. Praying. Thinking. Forgiving. Remembering. Journaling. Throughout much of my life, my writing consisted of the occasional letter to my grandma, PowerPoint phrases and a few lengthy emails. When I started to journal, I was terrified at the idea of writing three pages each morning and letting my mind wander through my pen and paper. Some mornings I was awed by what I told myself and other days were frustrating with the self-centered dribble that leaked onto the page.

Giving myself the permission to write—even the lousy stuff—was the beginning of learning the content of my life. This I know to be true: if I had not tried my hand at journaling so many years ago, I would not be a minister today. Writing is still difficult, but it is one way in which I have learned of God and my life.

Journaling is something unique to each person, both in the actual practice of writing as well as the impact it—may or may not—have on one’s life. For some it is a spiritual practice while others practice it to clear out the cobwebs in their minds.

Barbara Mahany is an accomplished journalist who had a wide readership in The Chicago Tribune. When she started to blog, it was never with the intention to write a book and yet Slowing Time was called “balm for the hurried heart” by Publishers Weekly and notes as one of the best in religion. Barbara delights in speaking of the craft of writing and leading others to explore what they have to say.

Please join Barbara for an Adult Education workshop on Sunday, April 12 at 9 a.m. in the Centennial Room. No prior writing experience is needed, just curiosity. We will have pens and paper or you may bring your own journal.

Thanks be to God for this community of faith,
Reverend Jo Forrest
Associate  Minister of Congregational Care