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.


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It is a historical document.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

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.)

Monday, April 11, 2022

Week 32 of school / 31st COVID-19 Test

Week 32 of school.
31st COVID-19 test 

I was approached at a meeting this week by a person in their 70s. She thanked me for wearing my mask inside as she was feeling like she wouldn’t because none of her friends were wearing theirs and my wearing mine gave her the courage to put hers on. 

How sad is that? Someone who is at risk wasn’t wearing a mask because she thought someone would point her out and make a comment. 

I’ve had that experience too. Comments (In a sarcastic tone) like “Oh, you don’t HAVE to wear a mask in here.” “You can take that thing off in here.” Or “Oh, you’re still doing that?”

I calmly explain that I’m a high school teacher and I am just taking extra precautions to do my best to protect the students and their loved ones as well as my own family who are immunocompromised. At this point, you do what makes you comfortable, and I will do the same.

I will continue to choose to attend or not attend meetings and events based on the protocols in place and my general feeling of safety. When I do, I will be masked inside and while in crowds. 

I do it because I love you. 

I do it because you should not feel pressured to “unmask” before you’re comfortable.

I do it because your health and safety is more important than me being slightly uncomfortable with foggy glasses. 

I do it because I am getting back out into the world and want to make sure I don’t get anyone else sick.

I do it because #LoveMovesFirst
I tested last Saturday. I was negative.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Week 31 - 30th COVID-19 Test

Week 31 of school.
30th COVID-19 Test.

Yup.. it finally happened. Life got so busy that I didn’t take time to get tested last week. I could have… there’s rapid tests at school. But between getting the yearbook finalized, coming off Spring Break, the kids doing UIL and (insert other excuses here) I didn’t. After testing every week, I missed one. I’m sorry.

There was just 15 new documented cases in Kyle last week, 2 hospitalizations and, unfortunately, one death.

Nationally (as of April 3 averages) there are 30,898 new cases a day and 658 deaths a day. If you’re a stats person, that’s a really good sign. If you’re a loved one of someone who contracted COVID-19 because they didn’t believe it was real or they didn’t get the vaccine or take precautions because of some political belief… and they died… it’s heartbreaking… and I’m sorry for your loss.

I’m still masking indoors and when outside in crowds. For me, I’m more comfortable that way. I can take the snide comments from “friends” who feel they have to point it out… I’m masking for their safety as well.

Still trying to lead with love and walk away from those who choose mockery and/or return love with hate.

Love y’all.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Week 29 - 29th COVID-19 Test

Week 29: 
29th COVID-19 test. 

It was an interesting week last week. 

First week that wearing a mask was optional. 

I remained masked indoors unless I was alone in my classroom. 

Interesting observation… there was just about as many teachers as students who decided to forgo masks. Very few on both ends… probably less than 50… 

No big deal was made. 

No grand gesture. 

It was not announced.

For the students, it seemed to be the ones we’d had issues with wearing masks correctly that took it off… and athletes (who have been used to not wearing a mask while around their peers because of athletics). Everyone else, it seemed, to be comfortable in mask and are kind of like a lot of adults… looking to see how the first wave of unmasked do… before making the best decision for themselves. 

I, myself, will continue to mask in public crowds outdoors and when indoors… and I will continue to test each week in order to assure I’m being as safe as possible with the students safety as possible. It’s my way to express my love and concern that they and their loved ones remain as safe as possible.

Last week a mother I know couldn’t hold her newborn in the hospital because she contracted COVID-19 and they couldn’t risk the child being infected. 

I also learned a student couldn’t get into his Senior medical Practicum next year because he isn’t vaccinated… because his doctor told his family he didn’t need to be. No preexisting conditions or anything to worry about… the rest of his family got vaccinated… but he didn’t. It floored me when he told me. 

Just a reminder… it’s still out there. Please be careful. 

I love you. 


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Week 27 and 28

Week 27 and 28. 
27th and 28th COVID-19 Test 


Sorry I missed updating last week. 
It’s been stressful and I didn’t take the time to sit and take things in enough to formulate a post.

 We also had my sister’s oldest in town last weekend from Boston (on a college tour visit) so that was a wicked awesome 24 hours. 

A lot has changed over the last few weeks. CDC has updated recommendations for mask wearing to align with “Community levels.” What does this mean?

 “CDC looks at the combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days — to determine the COVID-19 community level”  (From 

This means every community can have a different recommendation based on measurable stats. 

 What this means for me is…. My school has lifted the mask mandate starting Monday March 7. As of that morning the community level in Travis County was low. 

Check your county here;


Game changer. Many will be shedding the masks at school as they have done in public. 

Honestly, I’m very pensive about this. Especially since we are one week away from Spring Break when people will travel and many will party like…. Well… like they haven’t been able to party in 2 years.