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About Connor Gwin

Connor Gwin is an Episcopal/Anglican priest serving as a School Chaplain. He is a lover of poetry, bluegrass, and 90's hip-hop. Connor is married to Emma. They make a home in Central Virginia with their daughter and an old dog named Jackson.

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Author Archive

    The Parable of the Pop Quiz

    There once was a Chaplain who worked at a school in Virginia. As part of his work, he taught a course in Comparative Religion to high school seniors. His class was made up of students from around the world with varying religious and non-religious backgrounds. Given one semester to cover the major world religions, he had […]

    Eventually, maybe

    When I have the time to sit,
    And watch a sunbeam hit the steam
    That dances upward from my cup
    Like incense in this morning’s liturgy,
    I think of my roads, paths, plans,
    Achievements I’ve yet to achieve,
    Left legacies yet to leave,
    And I am disappointed
    That I cannot seem to simply be
    Instead focused on what I will be,

    Under fluorescent halos in sanctuary basements,
    Faces framed by incense steam of swill coffee,
    Drunks proclaim truth: wherever you go there you are.
    You will always be you, no matter your far-off wishing star.

    I am still stuck in Garden-grown grief,
    Longing for a life I can never know,
    A future (like the past) I’ll never meet.
    I long to be a me that will never be,
    Holding out for the time when everything
    Rhymes or fits or works and the distance
    Between now and finally when is reduced to nothing.

    When I have the time to sit,
    I can rest and watch the steam rise
    Instead of scheming or fighting to surmise
    A purpose or a plan to become some other man,
    Other than this one that sits and sees.

    Preaching Good News When Clinically Sad

    I talk about death and grief a lot. It is a running joke in my house that I am always thinking about death and I am always willing to talk to someone about grief. This shouldn’t surprise anyone given my life (and death) experiences. The work of a priest requires that you be in the […]

    You Can’t Be Serious

    I am forever struggling to be taken seriously. Perhaps it comes from being the youngest child or perhaps it is connected to my ordination at an early age. Whatever the cause, I am desperate to be seen as a serious person doing serious things.  This desire carries over into my faith life as well. I […]

    And I Will Give You Rest

    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30 God, I […]

    Welcome to Your Foxhole

    I listen to a lot of sad music.  As an Enneagram Four, I am drawn to what Ian Morgan Cron calls “delicious melancholy”. I have several playlists on my Spotify dedicated to songs that are guaranteed to make me cry or at least fit the gray mood I often find myself in. This proclivity towards […]

    I Deleted My Social Media and Didn’t Tell Anyone (Except You)

    I deleted all of my social media accounts a month ago and I didn’t tell anyone.  Well, two qualifications. First, I deleted LinkedIn (honestly, I don’t remember ever signing up for LinkedIn) and Twitter, but I only deactivated Facebook and Instagram because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I haven’t downloaded […]

    What If I Amount to Nothing?

    What if I amount to nothing
    And come to the end with empty hands?
    No podium standing or trophy toting or
    Byline, book-bound, crown-found meaning?

    What if I am only a creature or object —
    A lesson in futility, misplaced effort,
    Humility lost and found and lost again.

    Perhaps I cannot be optimized. What if
    I accomplish nothing more than breath?
    What will I be if I become only this, only me?
    Flesh and bone filled with grace, drenched in mercy.

    This is not a race and you cannot win.
    All has been given and given and given.
    It is given again each morning, each moment.
    No scorecard in sight, no throne (save one).  

    What if I amount to nothing
    And come to the end with empty hands?
    It will be enough.

    I Am No Jean Vanier

    Jean Vanier, the Canadian naval officer turned philosopher and founder of the L’Arche Communities, died yesterday morning. News of his death hit me harder than I imagined it would. I have read plenty of his books and followed the work of L’Arche for many years. It was only after his death that the reason for […]

    Things We Cannot Say

    There are things we cannot say. This is a fundamental truth about life. It is not a lesson we learn explicitly, but early in our childhoods we learn that some things are not to be spoken. Social pressure or the desire for social status cause us to keep our mouths shut. We learn that we […]

    Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

    I started practicing meditation out of necessity. Mind you, it was before mindfulness and meditation were the buzzwords they are now. I started sitting in silence and focusing on my breath in seminary after my father was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. It was the only way I could be in the presence of God; the only […]

    My Honest Recommendation

    Part of being a school chaplain is writing college recommendations for students. Most colleges want similar information. Is the student responsible, driven, civic-minded, a good student? Some colleges ask more specific questions. What has the student done to serve their community? How is the student committed to making the world a better place? The recommendation […]