Merianna Harrelson

I am the Pastor of Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, SC and the Director of Consulting at Harrelson.Co. I am always looking for a good cup of coffee and a great book.

Trails and Prayers

I love running trails. I love escaping into the solitude and being surrounded by trees watching as critters skitter by. It’s something I discovered about myself in college when I stumbled onto the trail that I wasn’t even sure was a trail. It led around campus and as I followed, I knew there was something …

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On Passing Tests

Just this week our six-year-old passed his swim test so that he could slide down the waterslide at the pool. They even gave him a band to show he had passed! It was an exciting afternoon. Even though he has just started school, he is used to having to take tests and he knows it …

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Transitions

Over the past two weeks, we have attended graduations, celebrations, and end-of-the-year school events. There are some Springs that are filled with the gentle breeze of changing seasons. There are other Springs that are explosions of new life and transformation. For us, this Spring has been the latter. Big events and big changes for more …

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Revelations of Sexual Abuse

This weekend, the Houston Chronicle and USA Today both released reports that the Southern Baptist Convention not only had knowledge of allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment but went through great lengths to cover up these allegations by handling them internally. For many who follow bombshell reports about religious institutions, these reports will harken …

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Sound Check

Each Sunday, as I robe, there’s a small part of me that basks in the last bit of quiet before my mic goes live. The weight of bringing the gospel to God’s people, especially in the midst of a pandemic and so much violence, weighs on my heart and soul. For just a moment before …

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Endings and Beginnings

I forgot how busy the end of the year was, especially with different school schedules for four different kids. Even as we try to remember where we are supposed to be on which day, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude that we are HERE in this place. This year we have a kindergarten graduation and …

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On Keeping Score

My morning meditation runs are usually at the same place and part of the trail runs behind the baseball fields on a narrow path between the scoreboard and the fence. A place where home runs are earned and points add up. As I was running this morning, I thought of all the things we keep …

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Simple Signs

For the first time in a very long time, I was able to attend an Easter morning sunrise service. We were at the beach and there was a service within walking distance. As we walked onto the beach with our six-year-old, I felt immediately at peace. The sun was rising over the ocean, people were …

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On Tampering Myself

I’ve tampered my passions. Stuffing down the fire within me that calls for all people fed, all people housed, all people safe, all people educated. That same fire that calls out systemic oppression and injustice. I’ve tried to put a lid on the sparks that drive me to want to make things better and more …

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On Tempering Myself

I’ve tempered my words. Carefully choosing and precisely picking words that aren’t too challenging or courageous for a woman. I’ve bitten my tongue, holding back the very words I knew needed to be spoken in order to not be called outspoken. I smiled and nodded even when I knew the person who was speaking was …

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