Still listening

Still listening

–by Sara Zarr When I was a child, I prayed like a child. I chattered to God while walking to and from school, in the hours alone as a latchkey kid and when going to sleep at night. Often these prayers sprang from joy, or at least the kind of good mood one seems to […]

Pray for the spiders

Pray for the spiders

—by Susan Sparks People can usually be divided into simple categories: beach people vs. mountain people, salt lovers vs. sugar cravers, those who believe Sasquatch exists vs. those who don’t, and the most common division (certainly the most personal to me): those who hate spiders vs. those who hate snakes. Me? I hate spiders. I […]

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

—by Laurie A. Jungling Several months ago, some members of my congregation gave me a T-shirt that read, “Prays well with others.” I love the T-shirt, but every time I read that phrase, I wonder: Do I pray well with others? Do I pray well alone? What does it mean to pray “well”? Should I […]

Ready for a change

Ready for a change

–by Sarah Carson Gather readers, I have some exciting news for you: This issue of Gather could change your life. I know, I know. You’re used to seeing these kinds of claims on the covers of magazines at the supermarket check-out. You’re skeptical. You’re asking yourself, Has Gather really become another in the long line […]

Blessed are those

Blessed are those

—by Denise Rector In keeping with my half-hearted resolution to be healthier, I was on my way to get something good for me—smoothie mix. I came around the corner, and it was right in the middle of the aisle: a curved leath­er sectional, situated perfectly in front of a gigantic TV and stand. For the […]

After the storm

After the storm

—by Cindy Novak Kim Rathjen’s mountain-high experience usually takes place on the last day of Camp Noah when children and volunteers come together to celebrate and praise God during the closing ceremony. “To see the kids singing their hearts out brings tears to my eyes every time ” says Rathjen coordinator of inreach and outreach […]

My father’s pajamas

My father’s pajamas

—by Karen G. Bockelman My favorite photo of my father was taken more than 20 years ago. There he is, staring straight at the camera, his nearly bald head rising above a fringe of faintly visible hair. His round, German face beams. His eyes sparkle behind gold-rimmed glasses. It is not a professional photograph, taken […]

God knows what we need

God knows what we need

—by Elizabeth Hunter The questions and demands for quantification from my youngest son can be so numerous they overlap and tangle. His persistence can tire me out, yet I appre­ciate it. I’m grateful for opportunities to communi­cate everything from the fact that jumping off of the garage roof is not a good idea, to the […]

My tenants, my teachers

My tenants, my teachers

—Anne E. Basye “God comes to you disguised as your life,” says a scrap of paper on my office wall—a quote from the writer Paula D’Arcy. In my life, God can show up as a tenant. Behind my home is a room and half bath that I rent to others, a lovely, light-filled space with […]

I don’t like fences

I don’t like fences

—Adrainne Gray I don’t like gates, enclosures, pens, fences, walls. I never have. It’s part of the reason I felt more suited to the call of deacon or the office of Word and Service, positions that call one to go outside the walls of the church, mostly. The feeling of being restricted bothers me. It […]