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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...

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...

Walking with neighbors is a Lenten practice

Walking with neighbors is a Lenten practice

by Christa von Zychlin—It's the season of Lent which means I’m trying to listen to the Lord a bit more.Sometimes I catch myself thinking: You want me to love WHO, Lord? And serve them too? Lord, if working with your people weren’t so hard to do, I could be...

Can the church be a place of hope for those with HIV/AIDS?

Can the church be a place of hope for those with HIV/AIDS?

by Andrena Ingram—By the time the month of March blows in, many of us are more than ready for the end of winter. But we could also use a reminder that March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Of the 1 million people in the U.S....

Changing tables

Changing tables

by Elizabeth Hunter—She sat alone at a cafeteria table. Taller than anyone else in our third-grade class, the new girl peered out from behind thick glasses. Some of the boys at our parochial school had already poked fun at those glasses and her...

What kinds of encouragement can we offer one another?

What kinds of encouragement can we offer one another?

by Linda Post Bushkofsky—Last fall, in the days leading up to the beginning of school, some moms in my community hatched a brilliant plan. Nearly every child in our town’s elementary schools walks to school, so the moms encouraged residents to...

Here I am, God

Here I am, God

by Catherine Malotky—Here I am, God, coming before you, trusting in your love for me, your acceptance, your welcome. I am your child, claimed by you in my creation, named by you in my baptism, shaped by you in my forming.I come from a long line of faithful...

Answering the call: Gather readers share their stories

Answering the call: Gather readers share their stories

The Bible study sessions in January/February 2020 issue of Gather remind us that God calls us all to a vocation. For some this means service in the church; for others this means faithfully loving and serving our neighbors in our careers, in our communities...

Against the current: Finding a place where I belong

Against the current: Finding a place where I belong

by Liz Colver—I got married two weeks before I turned 21 years old. I had my first child when I was 25 and began seminary at 27. I’m certainly not the youngest to do any of these things, so I was surprised one morning when, as I was dropping off my oldest...

May our hearts be homes where Christ lives every day

May our hearts be homes where Christ lives every day

by Helen Hollingsworth—It has been rightly said that everyone must be someplace because there really is no such thing as no place. There are all kinds of wonderful places to be. Maybe you aspire to be in some of them. Or some of you may be in those places...

Keeping the struggling flame lit

Keeping the struggling flame lit

by Julie A. Kanarr—It was Sunday morning, and I was preparing to lead worship. This Sunday marked the festival of the Baptism of Our Lord, the first Sunday after Epiphany. During the service, we would be affirming the promises God makes to us in baptism....

When a vocation knocks

When a vocation knocks

by Sarah Carson—I've had more jobs in my life than you will probably believe.I’ve been a dishwasher, a nanny, a stable-cleaner/horse-sitter. I’ve arranged flowers, delivered newspapers, waited tables and built towering displays of pop cans in grocery...

Winter boundaries, winter wonder

Winter boundaries, winter wonder

by Venice R. Williams—"That's why gardening season is over!”These are the words my teenage children, Josiah and Sojourner, used to toss my way whenever I would get on their nerves during the cold winter months. In playful- yet-truth-filled moments of...

One will be left: There is space for grief at Christmas

One will be left: There is space for grief at Christmas

by Kristen Glass Perez— I love Christmas. My husband, Javier, didn’t. Or perhaps more accurately, he didn’t love decorating for Christmas. In the six years that we were married before his sudden and unexpected death, we negotiated Christmas very carefully....

How to read the Scripture of Advent without missing the point

How to read the Scripture of Advent without missing the point

by Gwen Sayler—Have you ever seen a “Where’s Waldo” puzzle? Hidden in an illustration of a large group of people is a figure called “Waldo,” identifiable by his distinctive red and white striped shirt, hat and glasses.Although as a child I had never heard...

There are gifts in the waiting and not knowing

There are gifts in the waiting and not knowing

by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick— In Dr. Suess' Oh, The Places You’ll Go! an explorer journeys through the twists and turns of life. This little book is an engaging read, often given as a graduation gift. It’s known for its inspirational message—until the page where...