Community

 Feed your spirit with these stories and reflections about living in relationship.

Celebrating bold women

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Have you ever thought about Mary as a bold woman? Our Advent memories of Mary’s song of justice have not waned so much that we can’t appreciate her boldness. During Epiphany Mary persists, caring for the infant Jesus as visitors follow the...

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Water and life abundant

By Ryan P. Cumming “I know I will never live as long or as well as I could have because I drank that water,” a resident of Flint, Michigan, told me and several of my colleagues from the ELCA churchwide organization. I sat in stunned silence and listened to this man...

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To save just one life

by Sarah Carson Amanda was in a Detroit motel room when she found herself at a turning point. The man she was with had begun to beat her. “I was scared for my life, so I ran into the bathroom with my cell phone and locked the door,” she says. On the counter she found...

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Real presence

by Elizabeth Hunter-- "Jesus meets us in our spiritual hunger and thirst," Bible study author Julie Kanarr says (p. 29), which perfectly sums up this issue's theme. At the same time, Jesus invites us to ''come and see," explains Susan K. Olson (p. 8), adding: "You've...

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The wobbly manger

—by Venice R. Williams ...she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). The manger captivated me as a child. Each year I anxiously awaited the approach of the...

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Turn it around

—by Karen G. Bockelman Note: In the January/February 2019 print edition of Gather, the last line of this article was mistakenly cut off. A printable PDF of this article is available for download here. Sometimes we need to turn things around. When our daughter was 3 or...

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You are not alone

—by Sarah Carson I was thinking about this issue of Gather the other night when I pulled into the copy store parking lot. My to-do list was yards long, and I’d already called the store twice to beg them to help me meet my deadline. “Fear not,” I told myself, as I...

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The fellowship divine

—by Linda Post Bushkofsky It was my first trimester of college, and I sang soprano in the chapel choir. That normally meant weekly rehearsals and the regular Sunday morning commitment. But that fall there were at least four memorial services held in our college chapel...

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Good guilt

—by Bev Stratton "I'm sorry.” I do not remember the circumstances, what he had done wrong or how I had exploded in anger, but I remember how important it was to tell my 8-year-old that I was sorry. I needed to apologize for my behavior, to make amends for hurting him,...

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A change of heart

—by Ryan LaHurd Every Tuesday and Thursday my wife and I care for our 2.5 year-old grandson. On those days you might find me racing friction cars down cardboard ramps, visiting the neighborhood fire station to touch a ladder truck or watching “L” trains stop at the...

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Changed hearts

—by Judith Roberts The day we purchased our house, we loaded boxes, furniture, toys and clothes onto my uncle’s truck. I was so excited. Our caravan of cars and trucks drove five miles north of the city of Hartford to our new home. Once we arrived, I played outside...

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The inward focused spiral

—by Sarah Carson Recently I got into a fight with my dentist’s office. It started innocently. I received a bill I didn’t agree with, and I left a message asking for a $30 charge to be removed from my account. But when it took several rounds of phone tag to get a...

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Most merciful God

–by Jennifer Phelps Ollikainen Whenever I realize that I’ve done something wrong, particularly something that impacted some­one I know and love, I feel the weight of it. My body feels heavy, and I usually can’t think of any­thing else until I make it right in some...

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New eyes for worship

– by Leila Ortiz Growing up in the Pentecostal church, I learned that prayer was my true con­nection to the Divine. I learned this in community. Every Tuesday evening the church lights would dim. As musicians played softly in the background, my friends and I would...

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The unit that prays together…

–by Linda Post Bushkofsky As this month's issue makes clear, though prayer has been around as long as people have been on the earth, we have yet to run out of ways to discuss it, practice it and learn about it. Eight summers ago this magazine published a three-part...

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In the stillness

–by Betty E. Landis Be still and know that I AM God! (Psalms 46:10) Weekly worship at the Lutheran congregation of my childhood led me to expect thundering organ music, resonant brass instruments and hearty, strong singing of hymns like the Doxology and “A Mighty...

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Am I doing this right?

—by Laurie A. Jungling Several months ago, some members of my congregation gave me a T-shirt that read, “Prays well with others.” I love the T-shirt, but every time I read that phrase, I wonder: Do I pray well with others? Do I pray well alone? What does it mean to...

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Blessed are those

—by Denise Rector In keeping with my half-hearted resolution to be healthier, I was on my way to get something good for me—smoothie mix. I came around the corner, and it was right in the middle of the aisle: a curved leath­er sectional, situated perfectly in front of...

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