Wednesday, May 1, 2024

304.3 Removed.

 5/1/24 - 

304.3 is stricken from the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline.

Thank God. Literally.

Love Moves First.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Heroes and Villains - Wisdom from Walker

Heroes and Villains - Wisdom from Walker

By Sean Claes

The person who is the hero in your story is also the villain in somebody else’s.

Watching Walker (Season 2 Episode 8)… and something akin to that statement was said. I kept thinking about it…. And the more I thought, the deeper the meaning. 

I’ve tried to live in a “#LoveMovesFirst” mentality for the last few years. I try to seek the truth and operate on a “I know better now, so I do better” approach to life. It has made all the difference in how I, personally, have progressed.

But I’ve also been made fun of, had people I thought were friends talk trash about me behind my back (and sometimes on social media thinking I wouldn’t see…I did), had keyboard critics say horrible things about me and the like. Ive also had a few people just tell me straight out that they don’t like me. 

For those who know me… you know that behind the jokes and sarcasm, I’m a pretty emotional guy (yes, I cried a little during Barbie… but I also cry at a good coffee commercial, during almost every episode of Blue Bloods and sometimes while talking about something I saw on the news). It hurts to know someone doesn’t like me. Even after knowing I’m not responsible for their perception of me. I still carry stuff with me that happened 20-30-40 years ago. Regret and confusion that lives in my head rent free. Always will. 

I’m the villain in a few peoples story. 

Some of it was earned… but for some the reason escapes me.

I’m not ok with that. It will always bother me.

I HAVE accepted it though.

The more I think about it, the more it helps me understand others. It helps me to mentally forgive and extend grace to those who dislike me. I may not understand their reasons… but I understand they have reasons… and the reasons are real to them.

I will continue to move forward in love. 

I accept that even if I’m trying to live the best way I know how and attempting to do no harm and love my neighbor (that’s you… you are my neighbor) there will be people who see me as a villain. 

And to the people I have always perceived as villains in my timeline….. perhaps they are the hero’s in their own space and we just misunderstand each other… 

To those who view me as the villain. I wish you the best and hope you have a happy ending to your story. 

All of us are heroes. 

All of us are villains. 


Monday, May 30, 2022

COVID-19 Testing through the 2021-22 School year

My name is Sean Claes. 

I am a high school teacher in Texas.

I teach at a district that required masks for the 2021-22 school year.

Beginning in August 2021, I decided I would take a COVID-19 test each week and write about it.

This is much more than a weekly test, it's something to help me cope with the things I see and experience as being in the world surrounded by the pandemic. 

It is a diary. 

It is a mission.

It is a historical document.

It is a first-person report from my perspective of what I see, experience and have loved ones experience dealing with COVID-19 on a daily basis.

My blog is called "Love Moves First"

I believe if one leads with love, they are moving forward with the intent to help not harm.

This is where I'll keep the links to the different weeks.

My Journey:

Week 1 - link
Week 2 - link
Week 3 - link
Week 4 - link
Week 5 - link
Week 6 - link
Week 7 - link
Week 8 - link
Week 9 - link
Week 10 - link
Week 11 - link
Week 12 - link
Week 13 - link
Week 14 - link
Week 15- link
Week 16 - link
Week 17 - link
Week 18 - link
Week 19 - link
Week 20 - link Week 21 - link
Week 22 - link
Week 23 - link
Week 24 - link
Week 25 - link  
Week 26 - link
Week 27 and 28 - link
Week 29 - link
Week 30 - Missed
Week 31 - link
Week 32 - link
Week 33 and 34 - link
Week 35 and 36 - link
Week 37 - link

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Week 37. 35th COVID-19 Test

 Week 37 of school

35th COVID-19 test. 

Down to the last week of school. It’s been a journey.

About half the student population and staff is still masking while indoors. I’m averaging 1 student out of about 150 in my classes being out with COVID-19 each week. 

The Community Level (from the CDC) is low this past week for both Travis County (2266 new cases) and Hays County (325 new cases).

I was talking to a coworker who went to a movie last weekend and as they walked out of the theatre (wearing their mask) someone said to them “Haven’t you ladies heard? COVID is over.”

There are 4 people in ICU in Travis County right now that would disagree with that I’ll-informed statement. 

 There is a family grieving a loved one who died from COVID-19 last week in Hays County. 

It’s not over. 

I work in an environment where me wearing a mask is to protect those around me. I have the ability to take precautions in order to limit the chances of being infected myself and/or infecting others and for my loved ones, my students and coworkers and their loved ones I will continue to take that step. 

And… I’m going to continue wearing a mask indoors and while in large crowds where I don’t feel I can properly distance.

I won’t consider removing my mask in the classroom until every one of the students who enter the class feel comfortable to be without a mask. I will be the last to unmask. 

Yeah, I’m making a statement.

I love you. 

I will do all I can to assure I cause you no harm.


Monday, May 16, 2022

Week 35-36 of school (33 and 34th COVID-19 test)

 The United States is nearing 1 million people who have died from COVID-19.

For every 100,000 residents, 303 people have died from COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. 

1/3 of those deaths are of people who got sick and passed away AFTER the vaccine was available and they were not vaccinated. That means many those deaths were likely preventable if people would not have politicized taking preventative measures... and those who weren't able to take the vaccine because of medical reasons could have had a much greater chance at being here today.

I tested last week and the week before. 

Week 35-36 of school.

My 33 and 34th COVID-19 Test.

I was negative both times.

I continue to mask.

My family and I are now one of the last in the room masking.

I continue masking in crowds.

There have been 3,015 cases in Travis County in the last 2 weeks.

There have been 414 cases in Hays County.

I wear a mask so if I come into contact with someone who is sick, I don't carry it on to my loved ones, you or your loved ones.

I do it because I love you.


2 more weeks of school left. I will wrap up my "COVID-19 testing through the school year" weekly posts. Thank you for reading these. I hope they have informed, educated and perhaps helped you feel seen and heard.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Global United Methodist Church Launches


By Sean Claes

Today launched the “Global Methodist Church.”

I am saddened and pray for those who feel the need to leave a United Methodist Church because of the church’s discussion about the love, acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community… 

Those who are unwilling to be fully accepting and affirming (or at least open to the conversation) are the folks who removed the “United” from their name and added “Global.”

I pray those who have a place at the table for the next gathering of the United Methodist church make the Christian decision and fully affirm and accept LGBTQIA+ people who wish to marry the person they love and/or are called by God to serve the church. 

I pray for those who have left Christianity and/or organized religion because of individuals who hate in the name of God. 

I pray for those who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. I pray they know that they are loved by Christians who lead by love. they are fully accepted by those who follow Jesus’ example. 

I look forward to a fully accepting, affirming and loving United Methodist Church. I pray this can be a reality. Then the Church can fully live up to their slogan: Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors. 

Anything less is incompatible with Christian teaching.

Love moves first.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Week 33 & 34 of school - 32nd COVID-19 Test

 Week 33 & 34 of school.
32 COVID-19 test. 

I’m posting this late and again I missed a week of testing. I did test this past Monday at the school testing site. I was negative. 

What to say about weeks 33 & 34?

More and more people are getting comfortable being in the world without masks. I’d say about 40% of the folks at school are unmasked. For the first time this year, I am not feeling pensive when someone walks in a room without a mask. I think it’s because the folks who are choosing to unmask at this point aren’t doing it to prove some sociopolitical point and aren’t being jerks about it. 

Of course… with this also comes the news that one of my close teacher friends who’s family has been careful about masking ended up testing positive last week after his wife (also a teacher) got it. Thankfully they both had a mild case, but he was pretty fatigued this week. 

I have been stepping back out and attending in person meetings and events again. 

It’s a slow process and I’m much more aware of my surroundings and the people I associate with than I was before March 2022. There are a few people who have said and done things to show their true character and heart in the last 2 years. I simply don’t have the desire to surround myself with anyone who doesn’t lead with love and grace... and as I integrate back into the world, I’m being careful to avoid them. 

That said. I still mask indoors and in crowds, and as long as there is one person in the room with a health condition or someone wearing a mask I will continue to do so. 

Yes.… I’m doing it to prove a point. And that point is, I love you. I care about your health and safety. I care about my family and your families well being. 

Because #lovemovesfirst 

Imagine how awesome it would be if we all lead with and responded with love?

I’m take my 35 week test today and update you early next week. 

Love you. 

(The photo is from #MustacheMonday at school.)