Where I’m from

On Sunday, I got to preach a sermon where I told one of my favorite stories about my grandmother and her “pizza plant.” It’s really fun to be in the place with a new congregation where we are still learning about each other: Who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

This reminded me of an exercise I did as part of a pastoral leadership development program I’m in. We were asked to write a poem about our spiritual biography. Remembering Gigi and Aiee (what I called/call my grandmothers) was as pretty special thing for me, so I saved the poem. After you read it, I encourage you to think about who shaped your faith and your story. Write it down, and, if they’re still living, share it with the people who have helped make you who you are!


It’s my grandmothers.

There have been others

and there have been places

and there have been experiences

and there was that time the cross fell at CAC,

and the conversations with Jay,

and the broken cement mixer in Juarez

that made me pretty sure






but it’s my grandmothers.


Yes the Hindu one, too.


I learned to pray in Sunday school, I guess.

But to really pray,

To take the big questions and the ideas

and the words about God

and the readings from seminary

and the anger

and the love

and the scary stuff;

That was all about talking to Gigi all these years after she died.


Aiee taught me that God shows up when you throw a party.

That faith and friends and fun and life are totally linked.

That it’s more important to take the fruits and throw them off the bridge

Or to go to the temple and be blessed before moving across the country,

Than to know the particulars of Hindu eschatology.

That love is transcendent and people are weird.

And that God shows up when you throw a party.


The other stuff matters.




it’s my grandmothers.