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About Connor Gwin

Connor Gwin is an Episcopal priest in Southwestern Virginia and a lover of poetry, bluegrass, and 90s hip-hop.

http://www.connorgwin.com

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Author Archive
    
    We All Have a Hunger

    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 not going to be a breezy summer jam.

    If I am honest, I rolled my eyes when I first heard Florence Welch’s captivating voice sing that first line. I thought it was a bit much, especially for an opening line.

    What happened next was musical magic.

    I was gripped by…

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    I Think We're Alone Now

    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 ways. We have built silos inside our silos and now we are all standing alone wondering where everybody else went.

    The problem of loneliness is not a simple one and it does not have a simple solution. While some are quick to blame social media and technology, I…

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    Mountaintop Experiences Are For The Birds

    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 retreats. The final talk will generally feature this line from the fauxhawked youth pastor, “As you go back into the world, how will you take what you have experienced here with you?” The implication is that the time away is unique and different, both figuratively…

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    The World's Greatest Dad

    The World’s Greatest Dad

    My wife is pregnant with our first child, which means that soon I will become the World’s Greatest Dad. I know this because I have done all the self-work necessary to understand how my parents failed me in my childhood. Using this self-knowledge, I will not make any of the mistakes my mother and father made. With mistakes eliminated, all that will be left is a good, healthy childhood. I just really want my children to have to “unlearn” as little as possible, you know?

    Now to buy a baby book. Which one will show me the correct way to…

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    Apparently I Am Not James Bond

    Apparently I Am Not James Bond

    When I was young I loved action movies. Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond was a focal point of my pre-adolescent years. I owned action movies on VHS, played their corresponding video games, and collected any paraphernalia that I could get my hands on.

    On leaving the theater, after seeing the newest action thriller, the world seemed different. Everything seemed charged with energy as I snuck down the movie theater hall and peered around the corner into the lobby, mindful that the assassins or rogue state military personnel could be attacked at any moment. I remember riding in the middle seat of my…

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    Five Years of Grace and Bad Coffee: Sobriety and Holy Week

    Five Years of Grace and Bad Coffee: Sobriety and Holy Week

    On Tuesday night of Holy Week, I sat under fluorescent lights at a plastic folding table and gripped a styrofoam cup of bad coffee. Around the room sat men from all walks of life. Respectable businessmen, craftsmen and laborers, men living in a residential rehab or halfway house, and me: a young clergyman who looks like he has it all together.

    At that meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I received a small metal chip (“heavy metal” as we call it in the program) signifying five years of continuous sobriety.

    I’ve written about my recovery before in the Food and Drink Issue of The…

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    Closer Than You Think (The Trouble With Deconstruction)

    Closer Than You Think (The Trouble With Deconstruction)

    Deconstruction is having a moment.

    There are podcasts and books galore about the process of deconstructing (usually damaging or negative) religious belief. Take one step back from deconstruction and you have the phenomenon of doubt in modern Christian writing. At some point in the last ten years, doubt began to be the prerequisite for an “authentic” Christian life.

    Charles Taylor wrote about this in his 2007 book, A Secular Age. In this seminal work, Taylor argues that authenticity is the hallmark of the secular age, which is why doubt is in. Authentic doubt or disbelief is better than inauthentic faith…

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    It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

    It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

    A blogpost went viral last year with an explosive headline: “If it doesn’t stem its decline, mainline Protestantism has just 23 Easters left.” The article, written by Ed Stetzer, first appeared on the Washington Post’s blog and quickly made the rounds in the echo-chamber of church social media. Some dismissed the article as over-the-top, while others accepted it as gospel and began packing their church offices.

    This blogpost came to mind recently as I began looking ahead to the sermons I will preach during Holy Week and Easter. I thought to myself, “What am I called to say on the 23rd…

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