Life

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

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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
Kingdom calm

Kingdom calm

by Lindsay Hardin Freeman— What does God's kingdom mean? We hear this phrase often: in the Bible, at church, in the Lord’s Prayer and all around us. I’ll be the first to admit: I take the reign of God for granted, like an old, cozy sweater. I refer to it without...

read more
Changing your focus

Changing your focus

by Sonia C. Solomonson— The past two years have been so unusual. We faced fear and anxiety. We dipped our toes, bit by bit, into returning to more normal existence. Then surges of the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID- 19 hit. Add in more extreme weather—tornadoes...

read more
Help us believe

Help us believe

by Catherine Malotky Gracious God, human voices have been calling to you since you first breathed into our nostrils the breath of life. I believe that, as my creator, you have also animated me with your holy breath, and that I spring from your imagination. I believe...

read more
Here and now

Here and now

by Elizabeth Hunter— For me the words "Here and Now" are forever connected with a 30-year-old song by the late Luther Vandross. He won a Grammy for soulfully singing: “Here and now, I promise to love faithfully. …Your love is all I need.” His song is also known as an...

read more
The seed power on our doorsteps

The seed power on our doorsteps

by Venice Williams— I find mustard seeds annoying. Now I may be wrong in assuming this, but I would guess that the average gardener who has planted mustard greens from seed (and not seedlings) probably shares my irritation. No matter the variety, the seeds are so...

read more
Wrapped in prayer

Wrapped in prayer

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Lutheran women might not have originally conceived of the prayer shawl, but we were early adopters. Across the church, for at least two decades, women have been knitting and crocheting prayer shawls, working their prayers into the stitches,...

read more
Sticky stories

Sticky stories

by Elizabeth Hunter— I used to write my favorite funny or encouraging quotes on sticky notes. I’d clip cartoons and inspiring images from newspapers and magazines. Magnets, tape and pins were corralled in a drawer so that I could daily see—and share—food for thought...

read more
“This was not on my list.”

“This was not on my list.”

by Susan Sparks— Growing up in the south, I learned many important lessons: The word “hey” has a minimum of 19 syllables. Okra can be a side dish, an entree or a dessert. And you must always, always write a thank-you note. No matter what the gift. My first year out of...

read more
Our vocation: It’s about learning to sing

Our vocation: It’s about learning to sing

by Mihee Kim-Kort— When my kids were a little younger they said all kinds of things in response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Today my sons will still say things like play for the Steelers or the Golden State Warriors or be an engineer....

read more
Advent ache

Advent ache

by Julia Seymour— Christmas—the stretch of holy days, not the holiday—is the shortest church season we have. The twelve days of Christmas make for a season shorter than even the briefest time after Epiphany, no matter how early Lent begins. Lent itself is 40 days. The...

read more