Shannon T.L. Kearns
Shannon T.L. Kearns
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Speaking Like A Cis Man
September 20, 2018
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“You don’t speak about your work with enough passion. I have no idea, from what you just said, how you feel about this. But I think that you feel it more deeply than you’re saying.” I sat back and didn’t say much. Took in his comments and wondered where the disconnect had been between my words and his hearing. Was I really not passionate enough? Or was it that I expressed my passion differently than the other men in the…

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The Limits of Imagination
September 18, 2018
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When the issue of transgender actors playing transgender characters come up you can usually count to about 5 before the first “but it’s called AAAAAACTING for a reason” comment gets posted. It’s even faster when you talk about how cisgender writers shouldn’t tell transgender stories: “What? Am I only allowed to write about what I know? Then I guess I’ll just quit writing. Geez. It’s called IIIIIIIIMAGINATION! Maybe you’ve heard of it?” I usually just roll my eyes and move…

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We Are Asleep
September 13, 2018
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Steven Pressfield dials in on the problem of artists like no one else I’ve read. He seems to have a laser focus on what ails us. I read his books and I feel like my soul is being laid bare. I feel like he’s reading my journal where I am at my most angsty. I mean, he says stuff like this: “We’re asleep. We know only that something is wrong and we don’t know how to fix it. We’re restless….

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Does Your Church Care About Young People?
September 11, 2018
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There is a risk that any time I write about the church it will be taken as a critique against the church I currently work for. So I offer this as a disclaimer: If I am writing a post about “the church” it’s because I and my colleagues have experienced similar things in many different places, denominations, and environments to varying degrees of severity. It is never a critique about one situation or one place. It is always about patterns…

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Learning By Teaching
September 10, 2018
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I’m back from my retreat and enjoying the calm before the storm of Fall. Today is my last work from home day before things really kick into high gear. One of the things I’ve been exploring over the last year (and will be exploring even more thoroughly this Fall) is being a teaching artist. I’ve done a ton of work with children and youth (pretty much my entire career) and a lot of work with theatre and writing but I…

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The Silence Between
September 7, 2018
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The silence between. I’ve never experienced it in worship anywhere else. It’s one of the things I love most about praying with the monks. Normally worship services go like this: announcements, and then some music, then right into prayers, then more music, then a reading, then the sermon…from one thing to another we move through it and then the service is over. But here. Here it’s different. Here there is a reading. And then a long stretch of silence. Prayer….

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Deal With Your Anger
September 6, 2018
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Today I was bustling around the kitchen with the sink water running; putting away dishes, ready to wash a batch of dirty dishes, in my own little world. I went around the corner to grab something and was totally freaked out by my partner. She had come home and I hadn’t heard her come in. I was not expecting to see anyone right at that moment and it scared the crap out of me. I jumped, said a few swears,…

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If You Are Hungry, Come and Eat
September 5, 2018
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Growing up communion at my church was always laced with fear. From the gender segregated foot washing (which always made me uncomfortable) to the strict admonitions that over the full meal we were to A: only talk about religious things (like what our life would be like together in Heaven) and B: not eat too much/be fussy about the food because this was about worship not about being full, to the reminder before taking the bread and cup that if…

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You Cannot Build A Bridge Between LGBTQ People And The Church
September 4, 2018
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I’ve taken to tweeting “No bridges need to be built “between” the LGBTQ and Christian communities. BECAUSE THERE ARE A TON OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BOTH LGBTQ AND CHRISTIAN.“ on a regular basis because this idea of “bridge building” just won’t seem to die. You see it in the work of Fr. James Martin, in the work of many evangelical groups, and in common use in other places. 
 But the last time I tweeted it brought all sorts of…

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On Retreat
September 3, 2018
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I’m on a retreat this week and it is glorious! I’m staying at a monastery and I have no agenda other than to rest, pray with the brothers, and read. That’s it. This is my first full day and already I am feeling more relaxed and at peace. I am appreciating the silence. I am connecting to my spirit in a way I haven’t done in a while. Every time I come here I remind myself that I need to…

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