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EssayFeatured

Anxious America: How to Faithfully Respond to the Mental Health Crisis

November 28, 2022
In an age of increased anxiety and depression, where mental health struggles seem to be an almost universal experience, Christ uniquely offers the world neither distraction nor temporary remedies, but everlasting good news.
Featured Articles
Church

The Day the Chorus Sang . . . And the Journey to Get There

There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is joy after the rain. In a totally unscientific analysis, we may have already gained as many people since our Welcome Statement as we lost. Of course, it’s still early—while these people are a joy and a gift, they’re new friends. Things are still tentative, a little unsure yet. Not like the deep, decades-long, old friends who are no longer with us. In five to ten years will these new…
American HistoryFeatured
November 14, 2022

A Rent in the Fabric of the Earth

Forty years ago a memorial wall, placed in a rent of the earth’s fabric, spoke eloquently to the American people about both the heroism and the futility of war. May we have ears to listen.
Featured
November 7, 2022

How I Became a Zoom Parishioner

My heart is grateful for the opportunity to worship on Zoom. It has given me respite; it has kept me lightly connected to a congregation; it has nurtured my ponderings of the mysteries of God; it has given me a glimmer of hope for the institution of the church. It has given me time to become a more dimensional person whose identity is not solely centered in the pastorate. I expect that at some point I will return to in-person…
Featured
October 31, 2022

Adoption: Two Voices

How are your churches, schools, and other religious institutions preparing themselves to deal with adoptees and foster children? When deeply traumatized children walk through your doors and push your boundaries of orthodoxy and orthopraxy, are you going to receive them with compassion, grace, and understanding?
Featured
October 24, 2022

Disaster at the Pine Car Derby

Pine cars, like Little League trophies, find their way from shelves and fireplace mantels to boxes in the garage, and sometimes reside in the heart. If, as some have said, character is who we are in the dark, the shadows of Sam’s bedroom revealed the genuineness of one boy’s heart, and the workings of the Lord in a different kind of race. 
EssayFeatured
October 17, 2022

A Sacramental Moment in Hebrew Class

I was deeply moved by this simple gesture. The students and Amanda thought nothing of it. They did it naturally, instinctively. I realized that we were learning much more than the meaning of the Hebrew verbs, a’lu and ridu; we were learning to be attentive to one another and to share in each other’s learning. It was a sacramental moment, a foreshadowing of the community that Jesus has called us to be, a community in which the barriers dividing people…
EssayFeaturedMemoir
October 10, 2022

Holy Little Things: Finding Delight in God’s Small Gifts

How have I become who I am to this point? I can’t point to any single event or moment, but to an overflowing pile of little experiences. I suspect that these small things, these holy ordinary times will continue to be the ones that count the most.

Latest from the Blog

Daily blog by our regular bloggers & guest contributors.

  • Small Musings
    How blessed I feel that people take time to read my contributions. It feels like a privilege to hang out with such smart, thoughtful people—and that’s on both sides of the keyboard.
    November 30, 2022 Jennifer L. Holberg
  • What Do You Have?
    Jesus channels his grief into compassion. He stewards his pain, turns it into service. I’ve been asking Jesus to do the same thing in my own heart in this season.
    November 29, 2022 Brian Keepers
  • It Comes in Pretty Handy
    As we always note this time of the year, the Reformed Journal is a labor of love. But maintaining a good website and being able to fix the glitches that inevitably come does require some money.
    November 29, 2022 Scott Hoezee
  • Talking to People
    I want to listen in to other people’s conversations. But it is exhausting to keep up with everything. I have learned to value particular voices in the cacophony of competitive voices.
    November 28, 2022 Rebecca Koerselman
  • Something’s Gotta Give
    Someone’s gotta give. . .in order to kindle conversations that help us find a way between and through and above and beneath the suffocating and exhausting impasses.
    November 28, 2022 Heidi S. De Jonge
  • In Advent, all creation waits
    Our creature-kin are here to help. They enact, in their responses to the dark and cold, the mystery at the heart of Advent: The dark is not an end, but a door. This is the way a new beginning comes.
    November 27, 2022 Gayle Boss
  • The Simplest Gift
    It is such a small sacrifice, to fill our feeder with seed. The benefit and the blessing far outweighs any hardship that we could possibly have incurred.
    November 26, 2022 Katy Sundararajan
  • Lifelines
    Things break, disturbance and disruption come along, there’s a mess to clean up. In our culture, our churches, our politics. How do we manage? Well, one way is to find our lifelines.
    November 26, 2022 Debra Rienstra

Poetry

Poetry
November 29, 2022

This Cup

If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Not the cup that runneth over ...
Poetry
November 22, 2022

Photons of Thought

The sun feels warm upon my face -- I mean, upon my eyelds, from behind which I am looking thrpugh a wintry cloudless sky ...
Poetry
November 22, 2022

A Father’s Voice

I am remembering the day my older brother became a force to reckon with ...
Poetry
November 15, 2022

Ruach Elohim

The breath of God sighs over the wild wastes; The wind of God blows over the dark deeep ...
Poetry
November 15, 2022

Saul and the Witch of Endor

Often we need what we have sent away– dismissedas blasphemous on some happier day ...
Poetry
November 8, 2022

Leaning

An open hand and wit enough to grasp the punctured palm and hold on tight, like seas that cannot leave the shore . . .

Latest Podcasts

Podcast
November 29, 2022

“This Cup” by Marda Messick

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Marda Messick about her poem "This Cup." Marda's poems have appeared in The Christian Century, Delmarva Review, and several other journals. Marda is also a retired Lutheran pastor. She used to pastor at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Tallahassee, Florida.
Podcast
November 15, 2022

“Ruach Elohim” by Bethany Besteman

Rose Postma interviews Bethany Besteman about her poem “Ruach Elohim.” Bethany Besteman works as a worship coordinator and a church administrator for Silver Spring CRC in Maryland. She's also the intake editor for Reformed Worship, and is currently working toward a PhD in English Literature at Catholic University of America.
Podcast
November 8, 2022

“Leaning” by Sean O’Neill

Rose Postma interviews Sean O’Neill about his poem “Leaning.” Sean O’Neill was born in Scotland, but has lived in the US for the last 15 years. He has published fifteen books of poetry and two books of light verse. He is also the author of the best selling book, How to Write a Poem: A Beginner's Guide. When Sean is not publishing books, he is translating Italian and French books into English. You can find more of his work at…
Podcast
October 25, 2022

“Litter Me” by L. Ward Abel

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews L. Ward Abel about his poem “Litter Me.” L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals including a nomination for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, The Width of Here. He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia.
Podcast
October 18, 2022

“Grief” by Ann Iverson

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Ann Iverson about her poem “Grief." Ann is a writer and artist.  She is the author of  five poetry collections:  Come Now to the Window by the Laurel Poetry Collective, Definite Space and Art Lessons by Holy Cow! Press; Mouth of Summer and No Feeling is Final by Kelsay Books. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals and venues including six features on Writer’s Almanac.  Her poem "Plenitude" was set to a choral…
Podcast
October 11, 2022

“Canadian Summer Psalm 23” by John Terpstra

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews John Terpstra about his poem “Canadian Summer Psalm 23.” John is a poet and non-fiction writer residing in Canada, as well as a long time furniture maker and carpenter currently working on practicing retirement. Check out his poetry collections In the Company of All and Wild Hope, and find out more about John at http://johnterpstra.com/.
Around the Web

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body of water between green leaf trees

Reformed Church Center: Creation Care as Eschatology

Rienstra, Boogaart, House, Meyaard-Schaap, and Parks! Lots of familiar RJ names in a video conference from New Brunswick Seminary.

Jim Wallis on Michael Gerson’s untimely death

Michael Gerson died on November 17 from complications related to cancer. He was only 58 years old, and his untimely death is a national loss and a personal one for those of us who knew him.

Bono, U2, Franklin Graham, lament and more…

Bono interviewed by CT in advance of his new memoir

Calvin U board retains faculty who disagree with CRCNA Synod on LGBTQ+

Calvin's board of trustees allows "gravamina" for faculty who disagree with recent actions of the CRCNA Synod.

“Dark Tourism” — visiting places of tragedy and the macabre

Tourism for Calvinists?! A niche market for those who want to visit sites of tragedies.

Kobes DuMez on TheoEd Talk

Kristin Kobes DuMez talks about confronting our history in this TheoEd talk.

Keillor sitting in the sixth pew

Garrison Keillor reflects on his experience of a recent Sunday worship service.

Pew Study: 45% of Americans say it should be a “Christian nation”

A wide-ranging study shows all sorts of interesting, and sometimes contradictory, views about the role of religion in public life.

Cake Week!

Carol Bechtel on Jeremiah, the Great British Baking Show, and the Queen of Heaven. Quite a recipe!

Life in the Universe: video interview with Andrew Davison, scientist and theologian

The Center for Theological Inquiry interviews Andrew Davison, Starbridge Associate Professor in Theology and Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, about "life in the universe."

What We Have Lost: post 2022 CRC Synod

Clay Libolt on fond memories and good accomplishments of the CRC, and how it is slipping away.

What we mean by “post-evangelical”

From "Small Church, BIg Table" what is good and what needs to go about this overburdened term?