Community

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

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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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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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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Prodigal Singing

—by Betty E. Landis As we rounded the curve of the con­course, a child’s cries ricocheted off the tiled bathroom walls, into the carpeted gate area. It was ear­ly morning, and the howling was getting louder. Women and chil­dren spilled out of the bathroom with...

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Age and experience

 —by Sarah Carson Well dear readers, it’s May again which means it’s time for Gather’s annual intergenerational issue. One year ago I wrote to you in this column about family—about whether I’d ever have one of my own and what I’d learned about it from the many...

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By the skin of our teeth

by Elizabeth Hunter— Three weeks before my dental appointment, I started trying to do the right thing. I flossed my teeth twice daily. Someone had suggested this dental boot camp strategy several years ago, so I tried it. Before having kids, I was a daily flosser,...

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Famine forgetters

by Anne Basye— When you were planning your Easter menu, did you consider the pos­sibility that the meat, vegetables and staples you needed might not be available? That store shelves might be emptied by crop failure, drought, guerilla fighting or a natural disaster? I...

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Reading the Bible for love

by Laurie A. Jungling— Reading the Bible is a big deal. Whether we’re reading it alone or in commu­nity, whether we’re hearing it in worship, engaging in group Bible study or doing personal daily devotions, reading the Bible is im­portant for our relationships with...

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Amazing, awesome, awful church

by Christa von Zychlin— As I write I am just finishing eight and a half years of pastoral minis­try in Asia. Because of my unique call, I’ve been sitting in a back pew most Sundays, getting a view of different churches, different de­nominations, different countries,...

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