Life

Nurture your spirit with these stories and reflections that explore the human experience.

Pray for me. Pray for the earth.

Pray for me. Pray for the earth.

by Venice Williams I’LL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT that I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to this. I am not in denial. I know I get on some folks’ nerves. Okay, maybe a lot of folks! I really just cannot reel myself back in. Maybe everyone reading this should just...

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Sarah’s table

Sarah’s table

by Dorothy Probst I MET SARAH, MY THEOLOGY PROFESSOR’S WIFE, in a YMCA water aerobics class. Upon learning that I was her husband’s student at the seminary, Sarah befriended me. I was often invited to their home for lively barbeque parties. My family had all passed...

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Building a new quilt

Building a new quilt

by Catherine Malotky GRACIOUS GOD, YOU CREATED US. We are all figments of your imagination, come to life. Sometimes we reflect well on you. Sometimes not so much. But we are your creation, and we stand humbly in your presence, grateful for the gift of life and your...

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Time for pruning

Time for pruning

Jesus talked about this. by Cara Strickland I’M NOT MUCH OF A GARDENER. In my time, I’ve tended a pathetically small group of corn stalks and a modest group of green bean plants. I’ve killed every basil plant I’ve ever bought at the grocery store and every potted...

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Piecing resilience

Piecing resilience

LWR quilts wrap the world in God’s love. by Anne Basye IS THERE ANY MORE POWERFUL symbol for resilience than a quilt? Patched together from scraps of worn clothing and linen, quilts blend beauty with thrift. Stitched with love by their creators, they strengthen their...

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Small dragons, deep prayers

Small dragons, deep prayers

by Lisa A. Smith BEDTIME THEOLOGY WITH MY 3-YEAR-OLD: 3-year-old: Are dragons real? Me: No, honey, they’re not real. 3-year-old: (Yelling toward ceiling) God, can you make dragons? (Pause). He said no. They’re too big. 
Me: Well, there are some lizards that are like...

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A purse that won’t wear out

A purse that won’t wear out

Peggy found the real treasure. By Jennifer M. Ginn WHILE I’M PUTTING IN my customary few hours at the church yard sale, talking with shoppers and cruising the tables for my own bargains, along comes Peggy, an older church member whose adult daughter lives with her....

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Lessons from the forge

Lessons from the forge

by Laura Brix Newbury A SMALL FORGE in a church parking lot may seem like an unusual place to heal wounded hearts, but that's what happened at an event our congregation hosted this past spring. We were fortunate to be one of the stops on a nationwide book tour for...

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Under a quilt

Under a quilt

That was where the magic happened By Mary Dixon THE WOMEN IN MY FAMILY have always used needlework to share their Christian faith and love with others. My maternal grandmother, Ella (or “GrandElla,” as I called her), and my mother taught me needlework of all kinds. My...

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Sewn together

Sewn together

By Elizabeth Hunter I’VE ONLY BEGUN TO LEARN about quilting, but I’ve wanted to sew ever since I was a young child. At age 7, I came across an ad for a “first sewing machine” that claimed to be child-safe and able to sew anything. That was great news: I had a homemade...

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First, belonging

First, belonging

Toward a more Christ-like welcome by Julia Seymour The Autumn of 2017 was one of the most overwhelming of my life. I was not sure what was happening in my marriage. I was feeling increasing pressure from the Holy Spirit to be open to a new call as a pastor....

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When a pastor can’t forgive

When a pastor can’t forgive

Can I bear the burden of racism any more than I already do? By Tuhina Verma Rasche I currently find myself swimming in seas of whiteness, which leads to my conflicted feelings about confession and forgiveness. I serve as an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament...

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God’s table for all

God’s table for all

By Women of the ELCA staff June is an opportunity to welcome everyone to the table. ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, Taylorsville, Utah; Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown, Penn.; University Lutheran Church, Clemson, S.C. These are among the most recent congregations...

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What I’ve learned from quilters

What I’ve learned from quilters

by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick A FEW MONTHS AFTER OUR WEDDING, Adam and I packed a U-Haul and drove to our first call—a joint one, serving three congregations in eastern Nebraska. I attended my first quilting group in the basement of one of those congregations. The...

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Coming together

Coming together

By Linda Post Bushkofsky IT WAS A HUMBLE NINE-PATCH SCRAP QUILT that started my lifelong love affair with quilting. My maternal grandmother made it for my sixth birthday. Little did I know then where my quilting journey would take me. All I knew was that I was...

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Three ways to journal

Three ways to journal

Try the spiritual equivalent of making your bed. by Kathryn Haueisen “IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, start by making your bed.” Admiral William McRaven’s 2014 commencement address at the University of Texas, Austin, went viral with this secret to success. I believe...

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God bless you, Mom.

God bless you, Mom.

by Lindsay Hardin Freeman MY MOTHER-IN-LAW, GERTRUDE, was one of the kindest people I’ve known. When she stayed with us, she swept the patio every morning. She wiped down the counters and sink every night after dinner. She said she couldn’t do a lot, but she could do...

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Tell me…

Tell me…

by Sarah Carson— As an "elder Millennial" (that is, a Millennial born between 1980 and 1985), I have mixed feelings about the wave of ’90s nostalgia that is currently hitting popular culture. As I’m sure was also true for children who grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s...

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