My name is Crystal and I’m a religion writer, having written for my own websites and some others that you may know, such as the Huffington Post and Patheos.
This particular website is my personal blog, which contains stories about connecting across religious boundaries. I’m taking steps to fulfill a longtime dream of traveling to various places and learning the stories of faithful people from other locations. In that sense, I suppose you could think of this website as a travel blog devoted to the theme of religion. It has been my experience that we often find ourselves hidden in the stories of others; I hope to generate that experience as often as possible in my writing.
Some of you may remember a blog that I maintained for around five years; it contained a large catalog of articles about the experience of releasing myself from religious fundamentalism. While I no longer write about that topic, I remember fondly how those writings facilitated an unique and meaningful element of community catharsis for both myself and for the readers who shared in my journey. In the interest of crafting a new direction for this website, I’ve archived most of my old writings, however those who are interested in reading about my evolution and the nontraditional theological conclusions that I drew along that route are encouraged to grab my book, By the Waters of Babylon: A Collection of Doubter’s Devotions, which is available on Amazon.
I have a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies, which I earned while studying world religions and interfaith dialogue at Wesley Theological Seminary. While in seminary, I also earned a Graduate Certificate in Muslim-Christian Dialogue through the Washington Theological Consortium. I’m finishing a second master’s degree in Humanities at Tiffin University (done! as of August 2017), and I would love to pursue a Ph.D. at some point in my future.
I’m a churchgoing Christian who has happily made her home in the United Church of Christ denomination, but there’s no “statement of faith” on this website. Creeds are nice, but I’m more concerned with making sure my life is a statement of faith. Having said that, I suppose I should share that while I am a Christian, I unapologetically affirm and respect the peaceful paths of people who practice other religions. I believe the love of God is wide and deep enough for all of us, in every religion. I hope you’re able to detect my love for humankind and my love for our vast and welcoming God in the words found here.
Thanks for your interest in the stories I curate.