I’m Jonas Ellison. And that’s my little girl, Rory, on the right (your right). We’re both a bit older now, but not much else has changed…
I'm a writer and a midlife seminarian preparing for ordained ministry in the evangelical catholic (ELCA Lutheran) church. I live in the Sierra Valley of Northern California (thank God for distance learning).
This is my daily(ish) personal blog of sorts. It’s a collection of my thoughts, poems, and stories - some of them which I’d share from the pulpit, but many of which I would not. It’s my space to not just be a preacher but rather a flawed and fumbling (albeit beloved) human.
For the last few years, my entries have been quite theoretical/theological. I was a new seminarian who’d recently made his way back to the Christian faith after several decades away. I was enthralled by Lutheran theology (and still am). But this year (2021 at the time of this writing), I’m wanting to get back to my roots as a writer and share more stories and personal essays. To me, the best theologians aren’t the theoretical types, but the storytellers, humorists, and poets. I’d say that Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Billy Collins, and Zadie Smith are better theologians than a lot of theology teachers (not to throw shade at any theology teachers - a much-needed vocation in the world, indeed).
My publishing schedule is as such… I write daily(ish) here on The Jonasletter. Entries here are usually short journal-entry-like vignettes. Some are personal updates. Some are quotes from what I’m reading at the time.
What’s great about getting on the email list is that you can reply to the emails. I’ll even read your reply. And if I can, I’ll write you back. And we can go back and forth about… Whatever is on your mind.
First and foremost I’m a husband to this lady and (as you saw above) a dad.
Strong coffee (with oat milk and sugar, please) throughout the day and a beer (just one - maybe two) in the evening just about cover my material indulgences.
I’m an introvert, albeit a social one, and register as an INFP on the MBTI and a 9w1 on the Enneagram. If you’re into that kind of thing.
I like listening to indie folk, pop grass, and roots-rock music. And Bach (such a basic Lutheran move).
I’m a big fan of fire (as long as it’s controlled). Anywhere from a candle flicker to a raging bonfire will do.
I’m of Danish descent and am a purveyor of all things hygge.
I prefer mountain lakes over ocean beaches.
I live in the Sierra Valley of Northern California about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe.
I used to be a golf pro. We should totally play sometime. If you give me three a side.
Okay, now I’ll go a few feet deeper…
The way I see it, being a Christian isn't about being 'right'. It isn't about cussing less and judging others more.
It's about trusting that, as flawed as we all (!) are, we're also insanely and undeservedly loved at the core of our very being by our creator and designer. The gospel of Jesus is the great cosmic leveler. It’s harshly inclusivist while being intimately personal. None of us are left out of Christ’s embrace (even those whom we reeeeally wish were).
We don’t have to be ‘right’ in order to be loved by God. Instead, we are loved by God so that we can be made right. Again and again.
This Christian faith liberates me to spend more time doing the things I love and going to more places and spaces that make me feel small and even a bit afraid. It frees me to remember to laugh at myself more and to let others off the hook as much as I need to be let off the hook.
And, one of the best things is, it makes me a better writer. It frees me from my egoic self. I don’t take myself so seriously. Which is nice:)
Anyhow, to sign up for free to my inadequate daily (albeit enthusiastic) musings, here’s where you can do just that.
Everything I publish on this newsletter/blog thingy is free. THAT BEING SAID, if you’re eager and able, you can support my work as a writer by becoming a member of my Patreon community, which you can learn more about here. That’s where I post my more in-depth and behind-the-scenes content, videos, etc.
Grace & Godspeed,