Blog | Lindsey Smallwood


Finding God in Unexpected Places

Lindsey Smallwood

Our summer sermon series at The River Church Community is called Finding God in Unexpected Places. I love this idea - that God might not be where you expect God to be - because for a long time I thought I knew exactly where to find God. Turns out I was thinking too small.

Actual footage of me trying to get out of my Christian bubble. ;)

Actual footage of me trying to get out of my Christian bubble. ;)

Last Sunday I got to add to the conversation with this sermon on what it’s meant to me to experience friendship with people of other faiths. I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve learned in these relationships - and delighted by the ways God has shown up in our midst. Also there’s some bits on Wonder Woman, Kim’s Convenience and the tree in our garden that makes me cry.

Making Purple Spaces

Lindsey Smallwood

I spent the last week of June in my sweet spot, serving as the speaker for Maker Camp at The River Church Community. Maker Camp is five days of kids being creative, everything from robot petting zoos and a giant box city, to homemade pasta and learning to write music. My (very fun) job was to lead chapel each morning, where we learned about our creative God through stories, songs, dancing, videos and the occasional pie-in-the-face. Because one of the things I like to make is fun.


The Sunday following Maker Camp, The River hosted an all church celebration, where we invited campers and their families to join us in a service where we reflected on creativity. I preached on what it looks like when the stuff of heaven - beauty and justice and love - meets the reality of our life on earth. I invited us to dream together about creating new ways of bringing heaven to earth, making purple spaces in the world. The link to listen or download the sermon is here:

A couple notes:

  • In the sermon, I mention The Bible Project, a resource I have found really helpful this year. Check out their free video library at

  • I also shared about ways our family and our church is seeking to help migrants at the border. For ways you can join us, check out Global Immersion and/or this NYT article.

Laying Branches Low

Lindsey Smallwood

When the people greeted Jesus with palm branches, what were they hoping for?
When I come to God, what am I hoping for?


Why the cross? What does it mean?
Why my pain? What does it mean?


Last Sunday I preached at our church to kick off Holy Week, exploring the strange events of Palm Sunday and the hopes and aches we all can’t seem to shake. From the children of Israel who wondered if God had brought them through the waters to freedom only to abandon them in the wilderness, to my own heart in Silicon Valley where I find myself bitter about the Tesla next door, this is a message about looking again at Jesus and finding our story in His story.

You can stream or download the sermon here:

New Stars in the Sky

Lindsey Smallwood

On Sunday, I preached for the first time at our new church home in San Jose, The River Church Community. Our Advent series is based in the stories about Jesus’ birth from the book of Matthew. Last week our lead pastor taught from the genealogies of Jesus, highlighting how the inclusion of women, and marginalized women at that, helps us see a God who is for all.

This week we read the Epiphany story, finding ourselves on the Magi’s journey, looking at the ways God reveals himself to everyone, even those a long way off from faith.

Unlike Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds who all receive visit from angels speaking their language and explaining what’s happening, the Magi merely see a new star and are left to decide what to do about what they’ve seen.

Me, telling a childhood story, because #always

Me, telling a childhood story, because #always

To hear more about faith journeys, paying attention and the stars we must make sense of, you can listen to the sermon here: