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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...

“Those people are nothing but drunks and addicts…”

“Those people are nothing but drunks and addicts…”

by Susie Gamelin— We had just settled into our circle of chairs for a discussion about homelessness when the woman on my left decided to set the agenda for our conversation. “Those people are nothing but drunks and addicts who sleep on the sidewalks in broad daylight...

Multiple metaphors: Considering fathers and divine images

Multiple metaphors: Considering fathers and divine images

by Hannah J. Hawkinson— "Celebrate Father's Day with a beer in one hand—and a beer in the other hand!” “Happy Father’s Day to the king of the castle, the master of all you survey!” “Dad, I love you as much as you love the remote. Happy Father’s Day!” Those were just...

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...

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...

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...

How we moved from debating prayer to engaging in it

How we moved from debating prayer to engaging in it

by Julie A. Kanarr— I was leading a new small group class on prayer, and—truth be told—it wasn’t going well. Two of the participants were turning the discussion about types of prayer into a debate about the effectiveness of prayer. The disagreement escalated into an...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

What did the risen Christ look like?

What did the risen Christ look like?

Several years ago, a friend and I attended a midday matinee. I can’t remember much about the movie, except that it was a delicious pleasure. I remember moving from the inky blackness of the theater, out the front door and into the dazzling light of a late...

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...

Let’s make time to celebrate

Let’s make time to celebrate

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— 2020 is quite the year of celebration! ELCA congregations are commemorating 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the U.S., 40 years of Lutheran women of color being ordained and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve...

Lessons from the woman who loved too much

Lessons from the woman who loved too much

—by Julia SeymourI live a life of flannel shirts, sweaters and jeans. My Sunday clothes are knit clergy shirts, so comfortable I can forget I am wearing them, and soft, relaxed skirts. Usually I wear leggings and flats, but I can occasionally be coaxed...

Let’s Gather from home

Let’s Gather from home

As we live into the unprecedented measures being taken to keep us healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are lamenting the need to stay away from our congregations and Bible study groups. Although you may not be able to meet in person with your...