Seasonal

Mountains with many faces

by Liv Larson Andrews for saints Florence, Leonard, Thomas and Pamela Over the phone, Grandma Florence’s voice was weary. “I just don’t know if I can do it anymore,” she said. “Do what?” I asked. “Say the creed.” “Oh.” My 95-year-old grandmother explained how she felt...

A geography of hope

by Elizabeth Hunter Have you ever ended up somewhere with no clear idea of how you got there? Maybe not just on a road, but in your family, congregation, career or community? While rolling through routines, the landscapes of home, office, school, church, forest, city...

Time to reflect

—by Linda Post Bushkofsky There’s something so compelling about the Ash Wednesday liturgy. It begins with the extended con­fession of sins where we acknowledge our unfaithfulness, pride, hypocrisy, self-indulgence, indifference, and prejudice, to name but a few of the...

Just notice: Walking into Lent with Martha

by Cara Strickland When I’m overwhelmed by feelings, schedules or circumstances, my therapist often tells me to "just notice." As I slow down and focus, I see things more clearly. This can motivate me to action, but perhaps more often, I am content to linger,...

A true, blue Christmas

by Kathleen Kastilahn Betty Landis recalls the December some dozen years ago when, as a seminarian, she struggled with four diagnoses of cancer in her family. It’s also when she first attended a Blue Christmas service. “I soaked it in,” Landis said. Now pastor of St....

Thankofferings: A season of gratitude

by Emma Crossen Gratitude is popular in November, though it usually goes by another name--Thanksgiving. Giving thanks often turns into giving other gifts. Charities raise most of their money at this time of year. Volunteers observe the holiday by serving a meal at a...

Love Language 2.6

by Sue Gamelin— I answered the phone and a voice said, “I can’t believe that you fixed meals for us for all those years!” One of our adult kids, whose first child had just reached table-food time, had arrived at a stage of new awareness. It wasn’t the awareness that...

Gratitude changes how we live

by Karris Golden— I've had some rough times the past few years. I have regrouped, started over and then circled back — the long way around — to start over again. During the worst times, fear, doubt and confusion overwhelmed me. It was tough for me to pull away from...

They remembered the Cool Whip

—by Twila Schock It was November 1994. I was a brand-new missionary in Slovakia, and I was homesick. Our trainers in missionary orientation had warned us missionary novices about culture shock. But I had cavalierly dismissed it, judging it to be for the faint of...