History

Learn from these stories and reflections about our ancestors in the church and the bold witness of those who’ve come before us.

The work of repentance

—by Katrina Browne When I was in my late 20s, my grandmother revealed something to me about my ancestors. They were slave traders. The DeWolfs from Rhode Island sent ships to Africa. They sold people at auction. They did this throughout the Caribbean and the American...

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Sainthood of sinners

—by Elizabeth Hunter We church people are flawed, stumbling, redeemed saints. But can we handle that fact? What do we do when our church has deeply hurt people or creation? Apologize? Admit that we’re missing something? In this final issue on the topic of repentance,...

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Sojourner

by Sojourner White— Growing up with the name "Sojourner" is a lifelong ice-breaker. People say: “What a beautiful name! What does it mean?” Or “I love your name. Where have I heard it before?” I’ve come to embrace their questions. I’ll tell you what I tell them. My...

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Our next of kin

by Cindy Novak— Jews and Christians have a unique bond—and are even described as being “siblings” and “next of kin” in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America resources. Since the 1960s, the ELCA and its predecessor church bod­ies have striven to nurture that bond by...

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Getting to know Katharina von Bora

by Mary Helene Rasmussen Jackson— During my years researching the Reformation, I quickly learned that most people know three things about the event: Martin Luther had something to do with it; he pounded the 95 Theses (whatever they are!) on a church door; he married a...

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Defined by hope

by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni  Three friends sat together one day, reflecting on their lives and imagining their legacies. “At my funeral,” the first said, “I hope people say that I worked hard all my life and that I never let people down.” The second friend replied,...

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Singing our faith

by Scott C. Weidler Worship is powerful—more powerful than we realize. As we gather around Jesus Christ, present in God’s word and the sacraments, to be sent out into the world, are we fully cognizant of our words, actions and songs—especially our songs? I can’t help...

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Katie Luther’s legacy

by Audrey Riley. On January 29, 1499, a little girl was born in Saxony, not far from the city of Leipzig, Germany. No one could have foreseen that she would live on in the hearts of her sisters in faith for centuries to come—but that’s what happened. Little Katharina...

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Messenger of God’s love

by Laura Jane Gifford Imagine committing to live in a room perhaps 10 feet long and 11 feet wide—for the rest of your life. You’ll speak frequently with outsiders who seek your prayers and advice, but a curtain will hide their faces. Your everyday life will be one of...

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A woman’s place 500 years hence

by Barbara Berry Bailey In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Gather is carrying out a series of conversations with 21st century women who offer perspectives on the role of churchwomen. We hope to add some new images to those we instantly think...

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