Yesterday this amazing human and one of my closest friends turned 40! I was so sad that I couldn’t be there but I know it was full of well wishes, dancing and amazing conversations.
This is Chris Craun – amazing Episcopalian priest, spectacular mom to Jack, close friend and wonderful confidant and a pretty decent athlete.
I met Chris when I moved to Portland in 2015. I was pastoring up the street at Rose City Park UMC and had heard about this priest down the road in the Hollywood neighborhood at St. Michaels and All Angels. I had heard that she was pretty busy and hard to get on her calendar but well worth it. I thought I would give it a chance since we were both youngish queer women working near each other, both speak Spanish, both passionate about God and God’s people plus I like to connect to people. And magic of all magic, she made time and space for me to meet up. I think we both knew in those first meetings that we would become great friends.
Chris went on a sabbatical fairly soon after those first encounters so I didn’t see her for a little while but I remember walking down Sandy Blvd in Portland and from across the street I heard, “HEY!! HELLO!” And here she came running across the street to say hello from returning. It was such joy to see her and reconnect that we decided to hang out more often.
When the church I was working in turned into somewhat of a nightmare for me and my marriage started to crumble, Chris was also one of those who just appeared with all the right things to say and all the right ways to support and I showed up at her house to eat good food, drink good wine, to dance and to hang out with her son Jack, who I so adore. He is a fireball of personality and energy that I truly love in this kid. Chris’ house has always been open to me and it is one of the amazing things about this friend. We are as comfortable saying nothing as we are laughing so hard we are crying. She shows up for me and I hope I show up for her just as much.
Chris is passionate about worship and her people. She is curious about the world in a way that only makes her better in all she does. Chris will drop everything for her kid and knows when to step away to take care of herself. She is wise and kind. I have put off writing about her because what do you say about such a person without sounding trite? Also what do you say about chosen family sometimes and the depth of admiration you have for someone? I find this is the struggle with all of the people I write about. I want the world to know these amazing people in my midst and yet it is glowing review after glowing review that doesn’t even touch the depths of each person.
As always, just the tip of the iceberg but mainly this is to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear friend! May this year be full and amazing even if it begins with zoom dance parties, distanced socializing and phone calls…may it still be sweet and good.
(PS this pic also includes other amazing and kick ass clergy that I call some of my dearest friends and colleagues….Cassie, Melissa, me, Chris and Kerlin…more on each of them another time.)