Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Cursing and Blessing

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sermon by Katie Mulligan
preached at Spray Beach Chapel, NJ

Scripture Reading: Jonah 2:1-10

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,
‘I called to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me...
As my life was ebbing away, 
     I remembered the Lord;
     and my prayer came to you,
     into your holy temple...
I with the voice of thanksgiving
     will sacrifice to you;
     what I have vowed I will pay.
     Deliverance belongs to the Lord!’

Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about Jonah and the belly of that fish lately. It’s been a bit of a rough year for me…I’m sure I’m not the only one in this chapel that feels that way today. Amen to that? Well, maybe this year has been just peachy keen for you, but I bet there have been other years when it felt like you were buried in the belly of a fish.

You know the kind of week or month or year I’m talking about. Here's a hypothetical sample week: You wake up one Monday to a slew of emails from work. “URGENT” the message line reads, and s

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mosquito Love

"Mentholatum" Miami University LIbraries
An unpleasant little poem
about an unpleasant little bug
dedicated to the Holy Spirit
who is on my last nerve.

I have wondered for a while
why God made mosquitos
They serve no purpose, save
on every level
the incessant whine of a skeeter
whirling about
one's body
the blood sucking
(and disease passing
sometimes mosquitos mean death)
the welts
the itch that lasts
for days
the way a perfectly good porch sitting

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dry and Thirsty Work

I went to church this morning, as I most times do. I work for three churches, you know, so I'm usually at one or two of them on any given Sunday. I serve in those spaces with delight and joy--I surely do. Today was a communion Sunday, and I poured out the grape juice for our people like Jesus himself was with us. The blood of Christ shed for you. And for you. And yes, even for YOU.

But then I had a little extra time today, as I almost never do, and the timing worked out that I could go to a church to simply BE and worship a while. Beloved Community in Trenton takes me in every now and then. (Beloved worships on

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rest in the Unrest

A communal mural painted at the Wild Goose Festival 2014,
held in Hot Springs, NC. A sign next to the mural invited
passersby to paint on the mural; paint and brushes were
left out for our use. The rain blurred and ran the paint,
mud mixing with the colors.
So, it's been almost three years now since I left my PhD program and began to think about what I was going to do that didn't involve 5 more years of writer's block and student loans. I left my tiny church at about the the same time--my last Sundays were Advent in 2011. Both the tiny church and I were sad and frustrated at my leaving; I preached the four weeks in advent using the four chapters of the book of Jonah. It was fitting, somehow, that bitter sweetness of Jonah's fish tale.

I cast about, trying to figure out what would pay the bills and be at least moderately entertaining. I thought about several things like waiting tables and retail--at that particular moment there weren't any pulpits open nearby, and I was unwilling to relocate my children. So that left me in a bit of a bind--more and more