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Esther is an unlikely hero, but one we need

by Debbie Blue— While I love the VeggieTales version of the book of Esther, this biblical woman’s story is more R-rated comedy than child-appropriate. If you’re looking for a woman role model to include in the children’s Sunday school curriculum, Esther may not be the...

Can our relationships with food feed our souls?

by Anne E. Basye--My friend Georgia is a poet. Her poems are all about food: dizzying incantations to butternut squash, Chanterelle mushrooms, ripe tomatoes and the alchemy of transforming them into something delectable.A chef, baker and school food...

How best do we stand up for what we believe?

When I was 19 I took a weekend field trip with my Christian Faith and Ethics class to visit Chicago.We toured the city to meet people doing God’s work across a multicultural landscape.We met a pastor who ministered among young gang members in a...

Love my enemies, too?!

by Angela T. Khabeb--Jesus encourages us to us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28).I recently took part in a pastoral leadership class led by a university professor...

Were we born for just such a time as this?

I stood at my neighbor Stephanie’s dining room table, paying close attention to her instructions. Stephanie was teaching me how to fold small circles of dough into triangles that would cradle the dollops of sweet fruit filling we’d spooned into their...

Shalom proclaimer: My father’s wisdom follows me still

by Anna Madsen--Shalom is a word that is broad in the extreme. It has to do with wholeness, with fulfillment. Shalom paints a vision of the way things will one day be with all hands helping. Shalom knows of a lion lying down with a lamb, of the thirsty...

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is still here with us

by Ralen Robinson--“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:4). The day of Pentecost has always been one of my favorite Sundays. When I was very young, on the seventh...

Making room for each other and God’s spirit

by Elizabeth Hunter--Sometimes I wish I could spend every day at the beach, with its bright sunshine, seagull cries and undulating waves. Especially when I don’t feel the sense of community I crave. Especially when God feels hidden or I’m tempted to just...

A time to remember, a time to let go

by Venice R. Williams--Four years later, what I remember is that it was a beautiful, quiet November morning. The children had left for school, and I had just finished the breakfast dishes. I was packing my garden bags with Elephant Garlic, Chesnok Red...

A place for us all in God’s limitless story

by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick--The kitchen counter is covered with a fine layer of flour. My hands rock back and forth over my grandmother’s rolling pin, smoothing cookie dough into a flat oval. My 3-year-old son’s eyes sparkle with delight as he selects...

Take aim: Developing the muscle memory of faith

by Julia Seymour--It has been said that one needs 10,000 hours of practice to truly develop a skill and be considered an expert in one’s field. Let’s say that we don’t need to be faith experts, but we want to be proficient at demonstrating our faith...

Symbols of the resurrection: The true story of the Easter egg

by Heidi Haverkamp— An egg doesn't seem like much. Small enough to sit snugly in your palm in a plain white or brown shell, available to buy in any grocery store, convenience store and even some gas stations, an egg is one of the most unassuming, common foods we know....

The ministry of Jesus invites us to “Taste and see”

by Elizabeth Hunter— Do you associate sounds, sights or scents with feelings or memories? I know I do. Just a hint of ginger stirs up thoughts of Christmas and my mom’s peppernut cookies. Walking by lilies of the valley awakens memories of Easter and being held in the...