Summer Update

Just a quick post here to relay some of what’s been going on lately! Summer has brought some exciting life changes with it, so first a report on those. Sam is going to be starting grad school at Penn State in the fall, so he and his wife Hannah have moved from the bustling metropolis of Birmingham to the bustling metropolis of State College, PA (go Nittany Lions!). For my part, I’m a new third year medical student at UAB and have been spending the majority of my days (and some nights) wandering bleary-eyed through the labyrinthine hallways of the university hospital system, moderately caffeinated and thoroughly enjoying myself.

The changes have been both delightful and exhilarating but have kept both of us pretty busy; as a result we’ve neglected our little corner of the internet a bit more than we would have liked. But the time away has given us opportunity for some fruitful reflection on what is is we’re doing here and what directions we’d like to take Both/And in the future.

When we first began the blog, Sam and I had envisioned writing along with the church calendar. This worked pretty well for the first five or six months: we started with Advent and that provided us with fairly regular church calendar action all the way through Lent/Easter. But then we realized that Pentecost is very long and not particularly eventful, and that we’d likely run out of things to say (or just give up entirely, which is closer to what actually happened).

After some discussion, we’ve decided that while we don’t intend to completely jettison the church seasons as thematic anchors, Sam and I both agree that we’d like to broaden our scope: we’ll still write reflections for Advent, Epiphany, Lent, etc., but we also just want to feature thoughtful, heartfelt writing that helps connect the lived experience of Christianity with the lived experience of the day-to-day trenches of the modern world. Above all, we want to write things that help us––and hopefully other people––understand the beauty of the gospel: that excellent news of the expansive, gentle, welcoming grace that is opened to us fragile, anxious, and needy humans in Jesus Christ.

That being said, be on the lookout for some of the following and more in the very near future: First, we’re both working on some new posts that should be up fairly soon. Second, I’m planning to reboot the soundtrack series we started in Lent and retool it to have it go year round. We’ll also be putting up a summer playlist so that you can sing along with us (aloud or in spirit) in the car, shower, or other location of your choice. And we’re also going to be pulling some more folks in to write for us, something I’m particularly excited about. In addition to all this, we’re planning to do some site renovation –– the Both/And geography may be shifting around a bit but don’t worry; it will be a new look but still the same great taste.

Last of all, thank you for reading! Sam and I are always grateful (and, to be honest, more than a little surprised) that people take the time to read what’s shared here. As always, if you have any thoughts, questions, or contributions please share them via comments or the “Contact” page (just click the icon with the three horizontal bars in the upper right corner). We wish a lovely summer and more and more of God’s grace on all of you.

Fare forward, travelers!

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