On Tuesday, December 14, Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill
, Executive Director of The BTS Center, shared a lunchtime Fireside Chat with Steve Garnaas-Holmes, pastor, poet, musician, retreat leader, and the author and curator of the popular blog Unfolding Light
For almost 20 years, Garnaas-Holmes has been sharing almost-daily reflections rooted in a contemplative, Creation-centered spirituality, often inspired by his regular practice of walking in the woods.
In poems, parables, psalms, thoughts, and the odd weather report, Steve invites readers into a spirit of presence, compassion, justice, and delight. Though these writings are rooted in the Christian story, the reader will hear in them melodies of many traditions. Steve says, "Unfolding Light is for anyone who wants to be a part of God’s healing of the world." Recently the website
has expanded to include some of the worship resources and original music that Steve has written during his four decades of ministry.
"I help people to live with heart, connect with God, and practice gentleness, gratitude, trust, courage, and love," Steve says in an interview published in Hallelujah! Interviews with American Christian Poets. "A lot of poetry I write is essentially prayer. I think poetry and prayer are the same thing. In that sense, I don't really write it for an audience, only for God."
He adds, "Part of the wonder of poetry is the possibility of conveying that wonder to somebody else. Through the poem, someone else might join in the conversation, with a different set of perceptions and questions or insight and experience. Somehow their contribution to the conversation enriches me in the same way someone else's prayer enriches me, even if I'm not aware of their prayer."
In addition to his poetry and prayers, Steve is widely appreciated as a musician. One of his best known songs is the Pentecost hymn, "Spirit of God," which begins: