Half-Spoken Thoughts

I am a Lutheran Pastor, and I live and work in Berkeley, California, at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary as the Director of Admissions. In this position I have the privilege of connecting with people across the country who are thinking about theology and church and finding ways to make that new in their lives.

In a previous part of my life, I lived in Fargo/Moorhead, where I was the Director/Mission developer of The Project F-M, an emerging faith community for people in their 20’s/30’s. I also served as a pastor to a two-point parish out in rural North Dakota. When I left I promised to tell people “North Dakota’s not that bad.” It is true–I loved most of the work I got to do in both places, and the people were great. I never got so many free lunches as I did at the Cafe in Page, ND.

I went to seminary at PLTS in  Berkeley, CA, with an internship in Denver, CO. I worked as a director of youth ministries at Lutheran churches through lots of the 90’s out in Seattle, WA.

Poetry, music, food and wine infuse my life, especially where I sense these things interacting with what is Holy. I like blurring the lines between what is known as “sacred” and what is known as “secular”.  But my thoughts are only half-formed and half-spoken.

The name for this blog comes from a couple literary places I can name. First, a Lucy Schwartz song, “Gone Away”, which seems to me to be an interpretation/commentary on Genesis 3, with its words, “We were never meant to be this damn broken; words were never meant to be this half-spoken.” For the full song: Gone Away by Lucy Schwartz

It also hints at words I love from TS Eliot, The Dry Salvages, part V, which says, (in part)

“These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.”

Peace be with you.

Holly Johnson