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 […]

Real

Real

–by Diane Norstad “Who are your ‘real’ parents?” That question was my first sense of being different in a negative way. My parents had told me about my adoption when I was little. We always thought of it as a good thing. As the Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 4:4-6, But when the fullness […]

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 […]

What’s wrong with keeping secrets?

What’s wrong with keeping secrets?

–by Susie Gamelin A few years back, our family decided to play a game while recovering from a generous Christmas brunch. Each of us wrote on a slip of paper some­thing we thought the others didn’t know about us. The unsigned slips of paper were put into a bowl, drawn out one at a time […]

Great Thanksgiving

Great Thanksgiving

—by Kathryn Haueisen But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:32). …but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15). For those of us […]

The work of repentance

The work of repentance

—by Katrina Browne When I was in my late 20s, my grandmother revealed something to me about my ancestors. They were slave traders. The DeWolfs from Rhode Island sent ships to Africa. They sold people at auction. They did this throughout the Caribbean and the American South. One family member actually traveled from Rhode Island […]

Sainthood of sinners

Sainthood of sinners

—by Elizabeth Hunter We church people are flawed, stumbling, redeemed saints. But can we handle that fact? What do we do when our church has deeply hurt people or creation? Apologize? Admit that we’re missing something? In this final issue on the topic of repentance, Katrina Browne (p. 26) urges us to take an honest […]

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 […]