• Bryan Berghoef

    • Bryan is an ordained minister who has served churches in Washington, DC and Michigan for the past twelve years. He is currently the pastor at Holland UCC and also assists with Shalem's online learning while managing Shalem's blog and social media presence. He regularly facilitates pub conversations about life and faith and is the author of Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God. Bryan tweets for Shalem at @shaleminstitute.

The Power of Place

Article by Bryan Berghoef, June 2019 eNews Sitting in my new backyard office shed, I hear the birds chirping around me and look out over the misty flower fields out my window, and I feel a sense of peace. The spaces and places we spend our time in matter. It is an old small barn […]

Evening Visitor

by Bryan Berghoef “Meow, meow, me-ooow,” came the sad call from outside my window. A farm cat had wandered over the neighboring field and was now circling my backyard office shed. It was a forlorn call, and he was right underneath the window where I was holding a pre-marital counseling session with a young couple. […]

Meditation Club

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef I recently gathered with some friends for a time of silence at what we are calling, “Meditation Club.” There’s no big agenda. No expected outcomes. Simply the chance to come and meet in the quiet. I try to take time to meditate on my own regularly, but I have […]

Seeing Clearly

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef All of my life I’ve had great vision, never needed glasses, and always breezed through the letter charts during eye tests. But in recent months I began to realize things were changing. I could no longer read text on the television when seated on the couch. Driving at night […]

April 04, 2019 by Bryan Berghoef
Categories: Contemplative Living. Formats: Article, Article by Shalem Staff, and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

Into Spring and Beyond

Pulling in to the monastery, the snow was piled high on the abbey grounds. The walkways were cleared, as the monks had fastidiously kept the paths open for themselves and any guests who would take advantage of their hospitality. I arrived on a chilly day that began less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit—one of several guests seeking a quiet retreat. It had been a long snowy season, and this cold morning was perhaps one last, serious squeeze from old man winter.

The Power of Being Present

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef “Hello? Are you there, Dad?” I am awakened from my thoughts by my youngest child poking me, as I had apparently gone somewhere else while playing a game with her. This is a less common experience than it used to be, but still happens from time to time. We […]

When We Listen to the Bell

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef My first introduction to a meditation bell or singing bowl was at my first Shalem staff meeting some years ago. I clearly remember hearing it ring out—the warm vibrations had an immediate calming influence. It seemed the obvious and natural way to lead us into silence, even though it […]

Calm, Open and Harmonious

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef The current stage of life I’m in is busy. I have four active kids in elementary and middle school. Daily I find myself driving them to practice, to track meets, to school activities. I work as a pastor in a new church setting in which I am the only […]

Children, Chaos, and Contemplation

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef

There is never a dull moment at our house. My wife and I have four children—amid the flurry of homework assignments, birthday parties, sibling spats, and dinnertime squabbles—there’s a lot of constant noise and movement.

One of the delightful things about having young children is their unbridled enthusiasm and overwhelming energy. They are fully present, without a sense that there is anything else to be. They are fully in the moment. This is a gift of being a child, not being weighed down by thoughts of the future, or by a sense of responsibility, or worry. They are right here, right now.

The downside is that everything is so important, and when something doesn’t go their way, right now, it’s reason for complaining, crying, sometimes even—panic. Spilling milk really is something to cry over. A favorite toy breaking feels like the apocalypse. Even as I write this there is fighting in the sandbox. (Don’t worry – we have plenty of moments of calm and laughter as well in our household!)

I long as a parent to be able to maintain an inner calm amid all this outer chaos and confusion. I find that I very seldom am able to cultivate that on the spot. It is something I need to consciously develop in other moments, so that when the chaos comes, I have a reserve of calm from which to draw. It might be a daily time of prayer and silence, a quiet walk outside, Scripture reading, or some other practice.

Iona Musings

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef Not I—not anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it yourself. ~Walt Whitman A slight wind sweeps over the rocky hill, a cool relief after my quick walk and brief climb. Shoes off, I lean back on the grassy spot I’ve claimed and look around […]

February 02, 2018 by Bryan Berghoef 1 Comment
Categories: Body Prayer, Nature and spirituality, and Pilgrimage. Tags: Iona. Formats: Article, Article by Shalem Staff, and eNews Article. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.