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About Sarah Condon

Episcopal clergy lady at St. Martin's Church, Houston. Mother to Neil and Annie. Wife to Josh.

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Author Archive

    I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

    Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This year I have decided to […]

    When St. Joseph Saved Christmas

    Every year the Christmas story rolls around and we often wonder what part Joseph played in the divine narrative. He went from trying to quietly reject Mary to being by her side for the entire cosmic experience. From all accounts, once Joseph was in, he was all in. And given the dangers of childbirth, particularly for an unwed mother, […]

    Putting the Santa Back in Christmas (Movies)

    We walk in the door on a random Friday in December. Its 5pm. I’m wondering what promising yet disappointing frozen Trader Joe’s entrée I can provide for my children. In T-45 minutes there will be a Christmas Happy (?) Hour at my house for a church board. St. Mountain of Laundry sits on my dining […]

    As Advent Approaches: Evil Is Well Organized

    Last week at 3:00am, I sat straight up in bed and muttered the name “Jamal Khashoggi.” I do not watch the news. I was by no means following the story. Had you asked me the name of the journalist who was murdered in the Saudi consulate I would not have been able to tell you. […]

    How a Comedian Helped Me Pray the Ghosts Away

    The first time I remember being terrified of ghosts, my mother had taken me on a well-meaning bonding trip to Natchez, Mississippi. There, on the plantation home tours, the guide would allude to all of the Victorian-era blonde girls who kept making ghoulish appearances on the grand stairwell. Even as an 8-year-old I remember thinking, […]

    The Worry of Being Killed in Church and the Safety We Are Promised

    The first time I remember thinking about what it would mean to die with my church, I was in a cabin in the piney woods of Texas. Our family was attending the annual retreat, and the weather was horrible. My husband and I both got texts sent to our phones that basically said, “There’s a […]

    On the Upcoming Election: The Unexpected God Who Pushes Us Towards One Another

    Because I attended an ecumenical seminary, the memories I have from my first few weeks of school involved a great deal of categorization. Who was a Presbyterian? Who was a Methodist? Who was a former Mormon turned United Church of Christ guy? That last one is a real person. He’s an Anglican priest in Canada […]

    Where the Sinners and the Sinned Against Are Reconciled

    There is a complicated tension that we deal with in a theology of boundless grace, undeserved mercy, and unearned forgiveness. As Christians, in our rush to affirm the hope of God’s grace for sinners, we can inadvertently (or intentionally) silence the victims in the room. We want to move past the transgression and into the […]

    I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

    Inevitably, when a figure who is much beloved by some–but not by all–dies, we are reminded of our opinion of that person. In our current cultural moment, this also means that by God we are going to share that opinion. In its most recent iteration, the death of Senator John McCain sparked an Opinion Fest […]

    Jonathan Myrick Daniels: A Martyr with Mixed Motives

    Jonathan Myrick Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian and a Civil Rights worker. He was martyred in 1965 when he shielded 17-year-old Civil Rights worker Ruby Sales from being shot in Hayneville, Alabama. He was 26 years old.

    For those of us who work in ministry and are prone to messianic complexes, trying to save people ourselves, and who long to be the most righteous (or most moral or most prophetic or plain old loudest) ones in the room, we would honor this martyr for the Gospel by heeding his words:

    I lost fear in the black belt when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptized into the Lord’s death and Resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God.

    I began to lose self-righteousness when I discovered the extent to which my behavior was motivated by worldly desires and by the self-seeking messianism of Yankee deliverance! The point is simply, of course, that one’s motives are usually mixed, and one had better know it.

    Charlottesville and Suffering: The Best Church Retreat I Ever Did

    Last year, in late August, we began to hear that a storm was headed for our community. They were not sure what the extent of the flooding might look like, only that it was possible. My husband and I met during Hurricane Katrina, and I did relief work in the months that followed. I knew […]

    Motherhood in an Age of Anxiety: Your Story Isn’t Good Enough

    Once, some years back, our young daughter was wandering around our church campus. Like any church campus, we can have multiple things happening in a day. But on this particular day, a woman who I have never met, who does not attend our church, saw my daughter. And she decided that her mother (me) was […]