Community

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

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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After the storm

—by Cindy Novak Kim Rathjen's mountain-high experience usually takes place on the last day of Camp Noah when children and volunteers come together to celebrate and praise God during the closing ceremony. “To see the kids singing their hearts out brings tears to my...

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Listening to God’s beloved daughters

—by Christa von Zychlin Who’s ever heard of the strong, strangely-named Zelophehad sisters: Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah (see Numbers 27:1-8)? Who could possibly wring laughter and empowerment from Tamar’s story (2 Samuel 13:1-22), along with deep, visceral...

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My tenants, my teachers

—Anne E. Basye “God comes to you disguised as your life,” says a scrap of paper on my office wall—a quote from the writer Paula D’Arcy. In my life, God can show up as a tenant. Behind my home is a room and half bath that I rent to others, a lovely, light-filled space...

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I don’t like fences

—Adrainne Gray I don’t like gates, enclosures, pens, fences, walls. I never have. It’s part of the reason I felt more suited to the call of deacon or the office of Word and Service, positions that call one to go outside the walls of the church, mostly. The feeling of...

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