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About Connor Gwin

Connor Gwin is an Episcopal 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 the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with their daughter.

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Author Archive

    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 […]

    You Don’t Have To Be Grateful

    We have reached halftime in the holiday season sprint from Halloween to Christmas: Thanksgiving. The least commercialized of all American holidays, Thanksgiving stands apart as a holiday focused not on gift-giving or material consumption, but on gratitude. Problematic history aside, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to gather with family and friends and reflect on all the […]

    Qualifying the Reckless Love of God

    Those who listen to Contemporary Christian Music know that every few years a mega-hit comes along that sits on the top of the CCM charts for months. Played on every Christian radio station and by every praise band across the country, this song is usually catchy in the extreme and hip to the nth degree. […]

    My Church Is Not CrossFit

    I cannot do CrossFit. I’m not being sarcastic. I really wish I could, but a medical condition prevents me from taking part in the Workout of the Day (WoD). I have many friends that swear by CrossFit. They find it meets a multitude of needs, both physical and social. When I was newly ordained and working on a […]

    ‘Never Stop Improving’ and the Myth of Ontological Change

    There is a moving box sitting on the floor of our dining room. This box has been taunting me since the day we moved. Emblazoned on the side of the box is a simple corporate slogan that constantly cuts me to the core: Never stop improving. This is where we find ourselves in 2018. Our […]

    We All Have a Hunger

    At seventeen, I started to starve myself. I thought that love was a kind of emptiness, And at least I understood then the hunger I felt, And I didn’t have to call it loneliness. Florence and the Machine’s new single Hunger comes out of the corner swinging. From the first line, you know this is […]

    I Think We’re Alone Now

    We live in an age of loneliness. As David Zahl pointed out at the recent NYC Mockingbird Conference, the age of anxiety has given way to an age of loneliness, the effects of which can be felt by everyone. The U.K. has appointed a Minister of Loneliness. We are divided from each other in myriad […]

    Mountaintop Experiences Are For The Birds

    In my work with youth and young adults, I hear a lot about mountaintop experiences. These experiences are moments when the daily grind of life comes to a halt, the busy world is hushed, and you can experience God and community to the fullest. I often hear about mountaintop experiences at summer camps or youth […]