• 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.

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.

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 […]

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.

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 over four 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 […]

Spiritual Mulch

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef Spring is upon us, and the warmer weather has many of us returning to tasks we last performed some months ago. We may find ourselves mowing the lawn, prepping the garden, pruning some bushes, setting out bird seed, or simply enjoying the ever-greening view. As I called upon my […]

We are all meant to be mothers of God.
God is always needing to be born.

~Meister Eckhart

 

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Remaining Calm

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef I recently came across these words from Thich Nhat Hanh, which he wrote nearly thirty years ago: “Many of us worry about the situation of the world. We feel that we are on the edge of time. As individuals, we feel helpless, despairing. The situation is so dangerous, injustice is […]

We were loved
from before
the beginning.
~Julian of Norwich

 

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Categories: Contemplative Spirituality and Love. Tags: Julian of Norwich, love, and quote. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.

Interdependence Days

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef Independence. It is a wonderful thing to be free of that which holds you back, presses you down, or even oppresses you. We are heading into a weekend in the U.S. in which parades, flags, fireworks and barbecues will all signal a corporate celebration of being free, of independence. […]

July 07, 2016 by Bryan Berghoef 2 Comments
Categories: Contemplative Spirituality. Formats: Article, Article by Shalem Staff, and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.