The Foggy Tree is theology, ministry, life – our random revelations, frustrations, inspirations that stir us to write, act (or, let’s face it, drink). We are the LeMaster-Smiths, Jonathan and Shannon. We write for The Foggy Tree to share our back porch conversations with the world because we hope to inspire others to think theologically, to act intentionally, to be intensely passionate in the way that they follow Jesus’ command to Love God and Love one another.


We met at Pfeiffer University, studying Christian Education with our mentor, Dr. Patricia Meyers. From the beginnings of our friendship, we sat across from one another in Shannon’s dorm room discussing deep theological, ethical issues and challenging one another’s worldviews. And in the midst of that, we fell in love. “Accidentally in Love” was our theme song, as we are total opposites in so many ways. Twelve years later, we’re still challenging and inspiring one another and loving life together. We hope this blended blog of practical and theoretical is helpful, challenging, or at least amusing.

IMG_20140915_125451234-2Shannon is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She has been in ministry with youth for 16 years and currently serves as the Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries at Oak Hill UMC in Morganton. She enjoys painting, being in nature, taking pictures of beautiful things, staying open to the Spirit, laughing, and hanging out with her youth.

10730217_10204759025153637_7699142322424127311_nJonathan is a PhD candidate at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has served in various ministry capacities for 10 years and currently serves part-time as the Children’s Director at St. Matthews UMC in Morganton while also working on his dissertation.

And of course, we couldn’t have an “About Us” without including our furbabies, Jupiter and Biscuit: puppies


A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor.

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