The wobbly manger

The wobbly manger

—by Venice R. Williams …she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). The manger captivated me as a child. Each year I anxiously awaited the approach of the Advent season and […]

Turn it around

Turn it around

—by Karen G. Bockelman Note: In the January/February 2019 print edition of Gather, the last line of this article was mistakenly cut off. A printable PDF of this article is available for download here. Sometimes we need to turn things around. When our daughter was 3 or 4 years old, she went through a phase […]

You are not alone

You are not alone

—by Sarah Carson I was thinking about this issue of Gather the other night when I pulled into the copy store parking lot. My to-do list was yards long, and I’d already called the store twice to beg them to help me meet my deadline. “Fear not,” I told myself, as I unbuckled my seatbelt […]

The fellowship divine

The fellowship divine

—by Linda Post Bushkofsky It was my first trimester of college, and I sang soprano in the chapel choir. That normally meant weekly rehearsals and the regular Sunday morning commitment. But that fall there were at least four memorial services held in our college chapel (deaths of retired professors, if I recall correctly), and the […]

Good guilt

Good guilt

—by Bev Stratton “I’m sorry.” I do not remember the circumstances, what he had done wrong or how I had exploded in anger, but I remember how important it was to tell my 8-year-old that I was sorry. I needed to apologize for my behavior, to make amends for hurting him, to reconnect. I hurt […]

A change of heart

A change of heart

—by Ryan LaHurd Every Tuesday and Thursday my wife and I care for our 2.5 year-old grandson. On those days you might find me racing friction cars down cardboard ramps, visiting the neighborhood fire station to touch a ladder truck or watching “L” trains stop at the station we can see from our dining room […]

Changed hearts

Changed hearts

—by Judith Roberts The day we purchased our house, we loaded boxes, furniture, toys and clothes onto my uncle’s truck. I was so excited. Our caravan of cars and trucks drove five miles north of the city of Hartford to our new home. Once we arrived, I played outside and watched the white families in […]

The inward focused spiral

The inward focused spiral

—by Sarah Carson Recently I got into a fight with my dentist’s office. It started innocently. I received a bill I didn’t agree with, and I left a message asking for a $30 charge to be removed from my account. But when it took several rounds of phone tag to get a reply, I got […]

Most merciful God

Most merciful God

–by Jennifer Phelps Ollikainen Whenever I realize that I’ve done something wrong, particularly something that impacted some­one I know and love, I feel the weight of it. My body feels heavy, and I usually can’t think of any­thing else until I make it right in some way. It’s worse when some­one else points out my […]

New eyes for worship

New eyes for worship

– by Leila Ortiz Growing up in the Pentecostal church, I learned that prayer was my true con­nection to the Divine. I learned this in community. Every Tuesday evening the church lights would dim. As musicians played softly in the background, my friends and I would quietly enter the room, spreading out to find personal […]