333 Words about Jennifer Knapp

Who is Jennifer Knapp? Well, as Daneen said, she’s a “proper rock star.”  

According to this verbatim text from my mom, “I googled her and she has two Grammy nominations!!” 

She is also, according to a member of my congregation “My new favorite musical artist.” 

Jennifer Knapp is all of those things. She’s also an author whose first book I’m looking forward to reading very soon. In our house, it was necessary that we clarify, several times, that she is “not the Jennifer who wrote us the story.” 

I love Jennifer’s music. I have for years. If you’ve never heard it, check it out. After this weekend, I have a brand new respect for the athleticism performing in 85-degree heat requires and for Jennifer’s musical heritage and training. My congregation, Elmhurst Presbyterian Church brought her to headline the music for our annual Pride Festival, a community-wide celebration we’ve hosted for five (or is it six? Covid math makes it a bit blurry) years. She owned it “rock star style,” sure, but she owned it in a different way. She was an ambassador for the space and a gracious host. I was absolutely blown away by how she found the perfect words to say, both at the Pride festival and at worship + the next day. Like all experts, what appears effortless is the result of thousands of hours of training. I am grateful for her story and her message and the way she’s able to show genuine love and care to so many. I learned so much by just observing how she does it. She’s a master at many things, including expertly navigating the complexities of a very public life. 

Jennifer has come to two churches I’ve pastored now, through her work with her non-profit Inside Out Faith. I encourage you to check out its mission and consider hosting an Inside Out Faith Event for your community. You won’t be disappointed. 

Thank you for everything, Jennifer! We’ll welcome you back to Elmhurst anytime. 


+ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op56wEBSi_o&t=1715s

#WritersWrite and I write almost every day. I sometimes share my thoughts publicly in this series called “500 Words or Less” This practice allows me to explore a variety of different topics in a restrained/contained way and learn what resonates with people. I wrote it, not AI. If you share, please give proper credit. © Traci Smith, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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