Latest articles

Check out the latest from Gather magazine.

Here and now

Here and now

by Elizabeth Hunter— For me the words "Here and Now" are forever connected with a 30-year-old song by the late Luther Vandross. He won a Grammy for soulfully singing: “Here and now, I promise to love faithfully. …Your love is all I need.” His song is also known as an...

The seed power on our doorsteps

The seed power on our doorsteps

by Venice Williams— I find mustard seeds annoying. Now I may be wrong in assuming this, but I would guess that the average gardener who has planted mustard greens from seed (and not seedlings) probably shares my irritation. No matter the variety, the seeds are so...

Into the wilderness for Lent

Into the wilderness for Lent

by Sarah Carson— It's 4:30 in the morning, and I am Googling, “What does it mean that Jesus was led into the Spirit by the wilderness?” Oops. I take a sip of coffee and hit the “back” button on my browser. “What does it mean that Jesus was led into the wilderness by...

Signs of the kingdom: In Jesus’ stories we recognize our own

Signs of the kingdom: In Jesus’ stories we recognize our own

by Jennifer Ginn— Teresa's eyes sparkle from her little Zoom square, as she describes finding her new home. After 30 years in New York working in banking, she’d been ready to move closer to family. She’d downsized several times previously but did so once again—this...

Wrapped in prayer

Wrapped in prayer

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Lutheran women might not have originally conceived of the prayer shawl, but we were early adopters. Across the church, for at least two decades, women have been knitting and crocheting prayer shawls, working their prayers into the stitches,...

Sticky stories

Sticky stories

by Elizabeth Hunter— I used to write my favorite funny or encouraging quotes on sticky notes. I’d clip cartoons and inspiring images from newspapers and magazines. Magnets, tape and pins were corralled in a drawer so that I could daily see—and share—food for thought...

“This was not on my list.”

“This was not on my list.”

by Susan Sparks— Growing up in the south, I learned many important lessons: The word “hey” has a minimum of 19 syllables. Okra can be a side dish, an entree or a dessert. And you must always, always write a thank-you note. No matter what the gift. My first year out of...

Our vocation: It’s about learning to sing

Our vocation: It’s about learning to sing

by Mihee Kim-Kort— When my kids were a little younger they said all kinds of things in response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Today my sons will still say things like play for the Steelers or the Golden State Warriors or be an engineer....

The road to Bethlehem

The road to Bethlehem

by Audrey Novak Riley— There are likely thousands of pieces of art—from greeting cards to Renaissance masterpieces— depicting the holy family on the way to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth. Gentle Joseph leads a sweet little donkey with meditative Mary on its back. A...

Advent ache

Advent ache

by Julia Seymour— Christmas—the stretch of holy days, not the holiday—is the shortest church season we have. The twelve days of Christmas make for a season shorter than even the briefest time after Epiphany, no matter how early Lent begins. Lent itself is 40 days. The...

For all the saints

For all the saints

by Lisa A. Smith— "Mommy, why did God make it so we die?" my 5-year-oldson suddenly asked. We were sitting together on the sofa. The question pierced me. I reached over to hold him before responding. He has been asking a lot of questions about death lately. It can be...

Expand the table

Expand the table

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Women of the ELCA leaders were thinking about new models for ministry—models that could best serve the mission and purpose of Women of the ELCA in a changing world. Based on recommendations from an exploratory committee, the churchwide...

The grief puzzle

The grief puzzle

by Ron McCallum— For a year now, I’ve been thinking about grief. Not just my own grief, but collective grief from the pandemic, societal grief over unjust systems, and the grief of my relatives and friends. Grief is difficult. For my daughter-in-law, it came with the...

The Holy Spirit travels light

The Holy Spirit travels light

by Jennifer M. Ginn— I expect the luggage pickup and car rental at O’Hare Airport to be just as I remember it from long ago. I plan to retrieve my suitcase from the luggage carousel, take the elevator down to the rental car counter and pick up my car. Not anymore!...

Abide with me, alight on me

Abide with me, alight on me

by Catherine Malotky— God, it has been a very, very long couple of years. We have labored at life through contentious political conflict, a life-threatening pandemic, the trauma of watching George Floyd and many others extinguished before our eyes, and continuing...

Save a seed to save yourself

Save a seed to save yourself

by Venice R. Williams— It's that time of year when it feels like time is running out. So much remains in the ground, longing to be harvested. The collards and kale, standing strong and sturdy, can wait. Acorn squash and Harvest Moon pumpkins have stolen the spotlight...

Body, mind and spirit: Parish nurses provide care

Body, mind and spirit: Parish nurses provide care

by Anne E. Basye Deliver a baby in the middle of a winter night? No problem for Brenda Bauer. The only RN within 20 miles of Grenora, North Dakota, the deaconess-nurse was caring for the community from St. Olaf Lutheran Church, part of the three-point Grenora Lutheran...

Divinely claimed: Your baptism is a portal into the body of Christ

Divinely claimed: Your baptism is a portal into the body of Christ

by Denise Rector— I grew up in the denomination named for baptism, with altar calls and baptismal pools. I was baptized when I was old enough to contemplate the outward manifestations of the ritual, which will sound familiar to most Christians. The ritual included...