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Spring cleaning: order, disorder, reorder

Spring cleaning: order, disorder, reorder

by Anne Basye We've been doing it since time immemorial. No matter how rustic or transitory the shelter, humans—usually female— awaken one fine spring morning to surroundings that suddenly feel dank and stale. Into a sudsy bucket go knives, pots, clothing and whatever...

Sister Elisabeth Fedde brought God’s good news and mercy.

Sister Elisabeth Fedde brought God’s good news and mercy.

by Laura J. Gifford— The funny thing about angels is that we paint them as lovely and sweet, charming and even cherubic, yet whenever they appear in the Bible, their first words tend to be “Do not be afraid.” Sometimes we see artistic depictions of a fierce Gabriel or...

“You were messengers of God for me…”

“You were messengers of God for me…”

by Mary Campbell A mom we'll call Carmen and her two daughters fled Honduras after gang members began stalking her oldest daughter, whom we’ll call Ana. The gang’s leader wanted Ana, a teenager, to be his girlfriend. Before this, the gang had threatened the family,...

Is this what Easter is?

Is this what Easter is?

by Sarah Carson— When my daughter was 18-months-old, I saw an ad on Facebook for a free Easter egg hunt at a local garden center. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to spend a Saturday morning than helping my baby toddle through rows of potted plants and blooming...

The faith community needs to talk about suicide

The faith community needs to talk about suicide

by Sarah Carson— To call 2020 a “difficult year” would be an understatement. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to the economic upheaval caused by lockdowns and safety measures, to the bright light shining on the systemic injustices in America and elsewhere, is there any...

Never alone

Never alone

Elizabeth Hunter— I remember hearing the news about a 28-year old mom from Missouri who became ill with COVID-19, 26 weeks into pregnancy with her second child. She was intubated, sedated and placed on a life support machine. While fighting for her life and her baby’s...

Strong shoulders

Strong shoulders

by Linda Post Bushkofsky These words are for all who participate in Women of the ELCA. I’m specifically writing to white women like myself who are the overwhelming majority of this organization, but it’s important for the women of color in Women of the ELCA to read...

Near the cross

Near the cross

by Elizabeth Hunter— After the imposition of ashes, the kids and I traipse back to the pew. My youngest child stops in the aisle and whispers: “People are staring at my face. …Are people looking at my scar?” His eyes are anxious beneath the inky smudge, the barest...

Creating for Christmas: Lutheran artists bring their gifts.

Creating for Christmas: Lutheran artists bring their gifts.

Symbolic of the first gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus—gold, myrrh and frankincense— the tradition of gift-giving has long been associated with the seasons of Advent and Christmas. While we know Christmas isn’t about the tangible things, many of us hope to...

Called by name

Called by name

by Halcyon Bjornstad Often, when I introduce myself as Pastor Halcyon, people assume that Halcyon is my last name. In college, people I met presumed that I was a foreign exchange student from Norway. I was complimented on how well I spoke English. When I meet people...

Reading with children at Advent

Reading with children at Advent

by Elizabeth Hunter Picture books offer a way for adults near and far to share a faithful story or conversation with a child, especially this year when distance or the COVID-19 pandemic may prevent us from being together. Grandparents, godparents, Sunday school...

Advent is a threshold.

Advent is a threshold.

by Elizabeth Hunter— A few months ago, my dad’s friend, who is a carpenter, removed a drafty old exterior door from our 75-year-old house. Although I missed the solid, sturdy feel of our old door, its lock would sometimes stick, and I’d secretly feared a burglar would...

A future shaped by gratitude

A future shaped by gratitude

by Julia Seymour— Climbing the stairs at bedtime the night before Reformation Sunday, I smelled something suspicious. I followed the scent back down to discover that a toilet had backed up and flooded a significant portion of the basement. Wading into the mess, I shut...

Down the rabbit hole

Down the rabbit hole

by Helen J. Hollingsworth— Before I joined the Lutheran church back in my early 20s, I flew to a tiny island in the Caribbean. It was my first mission trip, sponsored by the denomination to which I then belonged. I arrived on the island, full of Holy Spirit vigor and...

Saints and sinners: Can we believe we are both?

Saints and sinners: Can we believe we are both?

by Anna Madsen— The word "saint" has this refreshing thing going for it: It defines a person based on the best of who they are rather than the worst. And who, I ask you, doesn’t want to be known for what we do right instead of what we do wrong? I, for one, like the...

The shape of what’s to come

The shape of what’s to come

by Sarah Carson— I vividly remember the moment that summer began to turn to fall this year. My daughter and I were in the car when I spotted a patch of red leaves high above the road. “Uh oh,” I said. “What, Momma?” my daughter asked. “That tree is turning red. It...

God’s time didn’t mean what I thought it did

God’s time didn’t mean what I thought it did

by Rebecca Eve Schweitzer— I learned two things about time: that God didn’t want us to waste time, and that God would work things out in God’s own time. The Christian tradition in which I grew up considered “wasting time” to be a sin. Verses of scripture were...

Keeping God’s time

Keeping God’s time

by M. E. Stortz As the seminar began, the speaker rushed to the podium, looked around wildly, and asked: “What time is it?” Some of us reached for our phones. Others checked their watches. Still others assured her she was not late. “No,” she said, now calm and at the...