Life

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

Letting go is also making room

Letting go is also making room

by Kathryn Hauiesen One of my seminary professors kept a phrase written on the classroom chalkboard: “Every loss is a gain; every gain is a loss.” Life seems to consist of an endless cycle of gains and losses. Along with the losses that come in one form or another,...

read more
Interrupted…and invited into something new

Interrupted…and invited into something new

by Deanna Kim Bassett It was a beautiful day in Sacramento, California. My dad was playing golf with my uncles, and I was celebrating my upcoming birthday with the rest of my family by going out for ice cream. That lazy, late September weekend was interrupted by a...

read more
Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action

Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action

by Heather Dean Last August the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted (863-26) to adopt a social statement called Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action by a staggering margin. WHAT IS A SOCIAL STATEMENT? Social statements are ELCA teaching documents that help people...

read more
Keeping the feast at the farmer’s market

Keeping the feast at the farmer’s market

by Cara Strickland— When Gather's editors reach out to ask me to write a new, semiregular column on faith, food, and cooking, I couldn’t help but think back to my first encounters with the farmers market. For a long time, I found farmer’s markets intimidating. Even...

read more
We are called to reconciliation, not quiet.

We are called to reconciliation, not quiet.

by Tiffany C. Chaney— The peace of Christ be with you always.And also with you.Please share a sign of peace with those around you. Typically this exchange of peace in Lutheran worship results in a time of sharing enthusiastic hugs and handshakes with neighbors in the...

read more
Blueberry grace

Blueberry grace

by Elizabeth Hunter— "Not fair!" complained my oldest son as my youngest son lifted the last blueberry muffin from the platter. “Why does this salad have leftovers, Mom?” asked my youngest, also with a note of complaint. Before I could respond to either, my oldest...

read more
Safety is not always the better way

Safety is not always the better way

by Michelle DeRusha— Recently I re-read Matthew 4, where Jesus calls fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him and become his disciples. “Come,” Jesus says. “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Matthew tells us that all four men immediately...

read more
Sometimes courage is required for healing and justice to begin.

Sometimes courage is required for healing and justice to begin.

by Sarah Carson— The Enneagram personality test assigns individuals a number based on the ways they respond to the world around them. I usually score as a Type 5, which the Enneagram Institute describes as “perceptive” and “innovative”—which I find flattering—as well...

read more
I wanted my daughter to feel Lutheran too.

I wanted my daughter to feel Lutheran too.

by Karris A. Golden— It's difficult for me to separate my religious faith from my personal identity. The feeling that I am Lutheran has been with me for as long as I can remember. Not surprisingly, I want my daughter to feel Lutheran too. I admit this desire gives me...

read more
Books, boats and frozen seas

Books, boats and frozen seas

by Elizabeth Hunter— In 1904 Jewish writer Franz Kafka wrote to a friend, “If a book does not wake us…why do we read it? ...A book must be the ax to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” Certainly, many people of faith have found this to be true. Stories—the...

read more
The reality of mothering

The reality of mothering

by Susie Gamelin—Mother's Day shines on my calendar like the famous green light from The Great Gatsby—the one at which Jay Gatsby gazes longingly each night. I was born on Mother’s Day, during visiting hours. I’ve always thought that I was a thoughtful...

read more
An eye toward belonging

An eye toward belonging

by Elizabeth Hunter—A few years ago an artist known as JR created a one day art installation in the most unlikely of places—the U.S.-Mexico border. The artwork, a huge table illustrated with a human gaze—one life-like eye on each side of the border—brought...

read more
Lament goes beyond words

Lament goes beyond words

by Nicolette Peñaranda—Before my first call as a pastor, I served as a pastoral intern at a Lutheran congregation and school in Argentina. My supervisor there spoke as much English as I did Spanish (not much). Transcending the language barrier would be...

read more
God chooses a side

God chooses a side

Whenever I engage with Scripture, I cannot help but notice that God always chooses a side— and that side is always with the marginalized and oppressed. That side is with the poor.BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE POOR?As an advocate for those living on the...

read more
What do I do now?

What do I do now?

by Sarah Carson"It's strep throat," the doctor said.It was 7:42 p.m. on a Thursday night, and my mother, my 2-year-old daughter and I were sitting in the urgent care examination room.We were going on vacation in just two days. Before then, I needed to read...

read more