My Last Blog Post (and What's Coming Next)
Updated: Jun 5
I told you there was a big announcement coming, right?
Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of In Spirit and Truth - just a new direction and a new beginning. I hope you’ll come along with me for this next step in the journey.
Read on to learn more:
Some Background, and What’s Happening Next
I’m constantly in a process of discernment, trying to figure out how God is calling me to use my time, my gifts, and my heart to serve His people. Back in October 2020, I told you I was thinking about the direction of this blog, and I received a lot of really helpful feedback in response to my reader survey at that time. Since then, I’ve been reflecting and praying a lot, and I've finally figured out what I want to do.
When I first started this blog, it was mostly a place to process my own thoughts and feelings about the twin crises of sexual abuse and leadership failures in the Church that I love. Over time, I’ve also done a lot of information-sharing, from summaries of expert presentations to analysis of breaking news and of course, the bi-monthly In Spirit and Truth News Roundups that have become a staple of this blog.
I still love to learn, reflect, and write, but at this point, I’m less interested in sharing my own voice and perspective and more interested in lifting up the voices of others, particularly those who often go unheard. I’m less enthusiastic about sharing news story after news story (so many of them sad and painful and discouraging) and more inspired to shine a light on the individual stories of survivors, the ones who are most deeply impacted by all of this news.
Last January, I gathered a collection of reflections and insights from some of my dearest friends, who also happen to be survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. When I published Honest Words from 5 Survivors: What I Wish Catholics Understood, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and I felt like this piece offered something really valuable to the public conversation. I was honored to be able to create a space for these women to share their thoughts and feelings. A number of survivors contacted me in response to this post; many of them gave me permission to include their perspectives in the follow up post, More Honest Words from Survivors: What I Wish Catholics Understood, Part 2.
Since then, I have continued to engage in more and more conversations with survivors, from all sorts of experiences and perspectives. Hearing their stories and getting to know them as real, complex, beautiful people has profoundly changed me - and continues to change me every day. I’ve started to sense that THIS is where I am being called, that THIS is where I can make the most difference - by sharing these voices and encouraging Catholics to listen and be transformed.
So… starting this June, In Spirit and Truth is taking a new direction, with a stronger focus on survivors’ voices (and less focus on news updates and my own reflections). Over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you more about what I’m hoping this will look like. I have lots of big dreams, so stay tuned!
(If you are a survivor reading this, I hope you might like to be part of this effort. Watch for my invitation in a post in about two weeks.)
Also: In Spirit and Truth is Moving to a New Home!
On a practical level, I’m also switching platforms for In Spirit and Truth. This will be my last post on this website, and then you’ll find me on Substack moving forward instead.
If you’re not familiar with Substack, don’t worry. It’s really just a different platform to host my writing and easily send posts by email to subscribers. You’ll be able to read all my posts on my Substack page, just like you have on this website, and you can subscribe to receive new posts via email as well.
Why I’m making this move:
On the most basic level, Substack is just a better platform for a non-techie like me, much easier than this website I built on Wix a few years ago. It’s free, simple to use, and gives me the ability to do things I could never figure out how to do on this site. I think you’ll find it's now easier to post comments, scroll through past writing, search for old blogs, and share posts with others. Added bonus: If you subscribe, you’ll receive complete posts in your inbox, rather than just a brief and uninspiring notification email. I think that's an improvement!
Substack makes it easier to invite financial support from readers. It's been almost two and half years since I left my job in parish ministry. I continue to volunteer full-time through In Spirit and Truth and Awake Milwaukee, and it sure would be nice to bring in a little income for our family. While some Substack writers restrict their content to paid subscribers, all my writing will remain free to anyone who wants to read it. But there is an option to become a paying subscriber, and I’m hoping some generous folks will want to support my writing (and the behind-the-scenes ministry that goes along with it) in this way.
With the new direction of this blog, it feels like a good time for a fresh start!
I’m in the process of moving all my old posts to Substack from the original In Spirit and Truth blog. You’ll see posts from back to April 2020 published right now, but I’ll get the rest posted in the next few weeks. The one exception is the bi-weekly In Spirit and Truth News Roundups that I have been creating since December 2019. Because these collections of current news are more time-sensitive, I’ve decided not to move those to this new site. This saves me a bunch of work, but I think it also makes it easier for folks to find past posts that have more enduring value. (As I move further back into the archives, there may be a few time-sensitive posts that don’t make the leap over to the new platform as well, but I don't think you'll miss those either.)
What You Can Do Now:
If you are interested in the new In Spirit and Truth blog (and I hope you are!), please head over right now and check it out: In Spirit and Truth on Substack.
Make sure you subscribe here to get future posts to your inbox! This is the LAST post that you will see on this platform, and you don’t want to miss what’s coming next.
Stay tuned for more information in the next few weeks!
Thank you for being with me on this journey. I look forward to sharing more soon.
With gratitude, Sara
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5-6