All posts by Anne Grace Glenn

About Anne Grace Glenn

Anne Grace Glenn is wife to Rev. Coleman Glenn (a priest in the General Church of the New Jerusalem) and a mom of two. Raised in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, she spent her university years with Catholics and seriously considered becoming a nun and joining the Sisters of Life. She met Coleman at her brother’s wedding (he married a Swedenborgian (New Church) girl), and they spent their courtship 12,516 km/7,777 miles apart, which gave them lots of time to talk. Long theological discussions led Anne to investigate the claims of the New Church and the Writings for herself, and she has embraced them with her whole being. Anne Grace occasionally refers to herself as ‘denominationally challenged’ (she both enjoys the challenges of denominations and is challenged by them), and she has a heart for ecumenism. Her parents are missionaries with OMF (formerly CIM) serving in Singapore. Anne Grace has a BFA from York University with a double major in dance and East Asian history. She spent several years dancing professionally in Toronto, and a year volunteering for OMF in Singapore. In 2012 Anne Grace and Coleman were married in Canada and she moved to Dawson Creek, BC, where they served for 18 months before moving to Westville, South Africa. She has lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Japan, Singapore and South Africa, and embraces both being a TCK (Third-Culture-Kid) and raising TCKs.

Peace in Tension: Getting in the way of God’s good

Over the past year I’ve been reflecting on my search for peace and how I have found it in the tension between two truths. In the spring I wrote about the tension of how every moment matters and yet it is all about the big picture. In the summer I wrote about the tension between God’s sovereignty and human free will. As the leaves change and fall and the autumn weather turns colder, I’m writing my final piece this year on the tension between God’s will for good and His permission of evil, and how I can get in the way of God’s good.

Six days after I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, my husband Coleman preached a sermon on the story of Joseph. He titled it “God Meant It for Good”.

In the immediate aftermath of the diagnosis, of learning we’d need to leave our home and community in South Africa, in all the chaos of tests and doctors appointments, and the fear as we realized just how sick I was, I had peace. Incredible peace. I truly believe it was a gift of God that I knew soul-deep peace in those days. In the following months as we moved, met new doctors, made a plan, as I underwent surgery, and faced complication after complication, I still knew peace. I knew God’s good didn’t want my suffering and believed He would bring good out of it.

But somewhere in the months that followed, as we moved from the sprint of the crisis to the marathon of recovery, I lost my peace. Days of pain turned into weeks of pain. Weeks of antibiotics turned into months of antibiotics. Months of recovery turned into a year with some measurable improvement but also significant ongoing challenges. As the hard stretched on, my focus turned to earthly things and I found myself struggling with discontentment, dissatisfaction, restlessness, and a notable absence of peace. I found myself getting in the way of God’s good.
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Peace in Tension: Suffering

This year, I’ve been meditating on how peace is often found in the tension between two extremes. In March I wrote about finding peace in the tension of perspective, between the truths that every moment matters and it’s all about the big picture. This tension is one I felt particularly keenly in my role as a parent.

This month, I’m writing about another two simultaneously true extremes, and my search to find peace in the tension between the two: God’s sovereignty vs our free will.

For me, the tension of these two extremes is felt most keenly in the reality of suffering.
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Peace in Tension: Parenting

I’ve been reflecting quite a bit recently on how often peace is found and lived out in the tensions between two extremes. Truth and Good. Faith and Charity. Love and Wisdom. The natural world and the spiritual world. This life and the next. God’s sovereignty and humanity’s free-will.

These meditations have application in every area of my life, but a recently highlighted one for me has been in my role as a parent.

Some days I’m a terrible parent.

Other days I’m a great one!

Really, it’s more like moments than days. Minutes. Seconds. Parenting is made up of a thousand, no a million, tiny moments, small decisions, reactions, these tiny, minute, seemingly insignificant seconds that add up, that can be so big, that can be the pin head on which lives change and destinies turn and worlds stop… Continue reading Peace in Tension: Parenting

Intentional Community

1) a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common
2) a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals

When I was first invited to write for New Christian Woman, I was drawn to the intentionality behind the site, the community it’s creators sought to, well, create. Community is one of my favourite things. I love the challenges and the blessings of community and I’m passionate about the Church’s call to communion. Communion is my favourite name for Holy Supper. In the Eucharist, we commune with God, and with one another. This communion is so important to me that I asked for Holy Supper to be offered at our wedding, and my favourite part of that day aside from being pronounced husband and wife was partaking in Communion together and then witnessing our families and friends come forward and participate in Communion too.
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