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The unit that prays together…

–by Linda Post Bushkofsky As this month's issue makes clear, though prayer has been around as long as people have been on the earth, we have yet to run out of ways to discuss it, practice it and learn about it. Eight summers ago this magazine published a three-part...

In the stillness

–by Betty E. Landis Be still and know that I AM God! (Psalms 46:10) Weekly worship at the Lutheran congregation of my childhood led me to expect thundering organ music, resonant brass instruments and hearty, strong singing of hymns like the Doxology and “A Mighty...

Still listening

–by Sara Zarr When I was a child, I prayed like a child. I chattered to God while walking to and from school, in the hours alone as a latchkey kid and when going to sleep at night. Often these prayers sprang from joy, or at least the kind of good mood one seems to...

Pray for the spiders

—by Susan Sparks People can usually be divided into simple categories: beach people vs. mountain people, salt lovers vs. sugar cravers, those who believe Sasquatch exists vs. those who don’t, and the most common division (certainly the most personal to me): those who...

Am I doing this right?

—by Laurie A. Jungling Several months ago, some members of my congregation gave me a T-shirt that read, “Prays well with others.” I love the T-shirt, but every time I read that phrase, I wonder: Do I pray well with others? Do I pray well alone? What does it mean to...

Ready for a change

–by Sarah Carson Gather readers, I have some exciting news for you: This issue of Gather could change your life. I know, I know. You’re used to seeing these kinds of claims on the covers of magazines at the supermarket check-out. You’re skeptical. You’re asking...

Blessed are those

—by Denise Rector In keeping with my half-hearted resolution to be healthier, I was on my way to get something good for me—smoothie mix. I came around the corner, and it was right in the middle of the aisle: a curved leath­er sectional, situated perfectly in front of...

After the storm

—by Cindy Novak Kim Rathjen's mountain-high experience usually takes place on the last day of Camp Noah when children and volunteers come together to celebrate and praise God during the closing ceremony. “To see the kids singing their hearts out brings tears to my...

My father’s pajamas

—by Karen G. Bockelman My favorite photo of my father was taken more than 20 years ago. There he is, staring straight at the camera, his nearly bald head rising above a fringe of faintly visible hair. His round, German face beams. His eyes sparkle behind gold-rimmed...

God knows what we need

—by Elizabeth Hunter The questions and demands for quantification from my youngest son can be so numerous they overlap and tangle. His persistence can tire me out, yet I appre­ciate it. I’m grateful for opportunities to communi­cate everything from the fact that...

Listening to God’s beloved daughters

—by Christa von Zychlin Who’s ever heard of the strong, strangely-named Zelophehad sisters: Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah (see Numbers 27:1-8)? Who could possibly wring laughter and empowerment from Tamar’s story (2 Samuel 13:1-22), along with deep, visceral...

My tenants, my teachers

—Anne E. Basye “God comes to you disguised as your life,” says a scrap of paper on my office wall—a quote from the writer Paula D’Arcy. In my life, God can show up as a tenant. Behind my home is a room and half bath that I rent to others, a lovely, light-filled space...

I don’t like fences

—Adrainne Gray I don’t like gates, enclosures, pens, fences, walls. I never have. It’s part of the reason I felt more suited to the call of deacon or the office of Word and Service, positions that call one to go outside the walls of the church, mostly. The feeling of...

Prodigal Singing

—by Betty E. Landis As we rounded the curve of the con­course, a child’s cries ricocheted off the tiled bathroom walls, into the carpeted gate area. It was ear­ly morning, and the howling was getting louder. Women and chil­dren spilled out of the bathroom with...

Age and experience

 —by Sarah Carson Well dear readers, it’s May again which means it’s time for Gather’s annual intergenerational issue. One year ago I wrote to you in this column about family—about whether I’d ever have one of my own and what I’d learned about it from the many...

By the skin of our teeth

by Elizabeth Hunter— Three weeks before my dental appointment, I started trying to do the right thing. I flossed my teeth twice daily. Someone had suggested this dental boot camp strategy several years ago, so I tried it. Before having kids, I was a daily flosser,...

Can we be different together?

By Gwen Sayler— To say that we live in anxious times is an understatement. Harsh rheto­ric fills our airways, and violent actions our news—often pitting one religion against another or el­evating one religion above others. How are we called to respond? Scriptural...

Famine forgetters

by Anne Basye— When you were planning your Easter menu, did you consider the pos­sibility that the meat, vegetables and staples you needed might not be available? That store shelves might be emptied by crop failure, drought, guerilla fighting or a natural disaster? I...