XPLORations on a theme

Jonathan Cahill   |   March 27, 2019
Rev. Jonathan CahillRev. Jonathan Cahill

Rev. Jonathan Cahill reflects on his XPLOR experience. He was in the first XPLOR cohort (2014-2015) and served in Hiram-Mantua, Ohio. Rev. Cahill was ordained in Chicago, Illinois in January 2019.

i did not eXpect to meet
best friends in Pillbox-sized rooms
in a village Long drives away from
a city of steel, rust, abandOned warehouses
and neighborhoods rapidly gentRifying on the west side

but I’m grateful for the eXception
to my exPectations
because Living in close-knit community yielded bOnds of
friendship that time doesn’t easily weaR

it was with eXcitement and trepidation
that i Plotted my course from
the farm to the Lofty offices of the disheveled senator what a way to get Oriented to the bridge-divide
of Rural/urban/urbane/rustic

Pews from another century
Left an impression
On my back while the congregation Regaled my soul with sermon, song and

eXuberant hospitality
Protest marches
Left an impression on my feet
Outside forts and white houses and a
Recreation center where a black boy was murdered over a toy

a year of eXploration Political awakening
souL searching
orientation, disOrientation,

Xplor was not lacking in hardshiP

but Xplor also
prePared me for stepping into
aduLthood with confidence
Ownership of who I am – successes and failures alike – with Resilience

the year’s lessons eXtend into
the Present
Looking back i know why
i continue On my path
relishing the time and Remaining grateful to be part of that hiram four

Printer-friendly version>>

As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these." Learn more at

VIDEO: 2018 NBA XPLOR Reunion

XPLOR Inspired Me...

March 09, 2016

I guess sometimes God puts you in situations that, on your own, you just don’t know how to handle. But it’s funny how things turn out.

Read More

Power Seats

May 07, 2015

Sitting in the seat of power, we didn't cower
We refuse to be silent while injustice occurs every hour
Families in detention, children crying, their mothers are dying
People keep asking, "What's the point in trying?"

Read More

Bonnie Osei-Frimpong

Director of NBA XPLOR