Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

Keith Nelson, SSJE grew up first in New Jersey, then in Alabama. He studied at Kenyon College and Harvard Divinity School. Prior to his arrival at SSJE in 2014, he worked in secondary and adult education, as well as in church administration. He was life professed in 2019, and has served the community as Assistant Superior, Novice Guardian, and director of the Monastic Internship Program. He enjoys drawing and painting, journaling, hiking, spending time with trees, and foraging (a new hobby!).

 

Learn more about Br. Keith's Catch the Life journey to monastic life >

Selection of Br. Keith's teachings from "Brother, Give Us a Word"

Inequality

It is very easy to give from on top of a white horse. It is more uncomfortable to dismount, to stand in the mud at eye-level with need, with hunger, with flagrant inequality, and let it pierce our hearts in a humble conversation between two children of God: without an agenda, without a presupposition that…

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Study

Knowledge of creation – including the study of all the human arts and sciences – can bring us closer to God. We need only keep our eyes, minds, and hearts open to God in the midst of these pursuits. God awaits, eagerly, to be discovered in and through the endless complexity and wonder of creation.…

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Grow

Jesus’s fundamental stance is to wait; to tend; to apply therapeutic rather than punitive measures; to favor time and fertilizer over the axe. This is the love of the gardener. Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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Selection of Br. Keith's writing

Letter from the Deputy Superior – Advent 2022

“It is humbling to know and feel that we belong: that the threads of our being are woven into a fabric so much bigger than we can comprehend, and all for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.”

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A Heart of Flesh in Place of Stone: God-with-us in the Midst of Climate Grief

“What if the awakening of our conscience to profound new layers of the world’s pain is a sign – not of God’s absence, but of the Spirit of God excavating strata of our personhood and our collective attention that we are now called to engage? And what if the path of grief thus sensed could become a sober and conscious choice – claimed and lived, come what may, as the cost of our full becoming?”

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow

“If the feeling of absence in our lives has anything to do with the purposes of God, growth will be its gift, but not in a way we can predict or even recognize. This has been the experience of many saints, whose patient endurance through the night of God’s felt absence has catalyzed their growth, not in fondness but in holiness.”

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