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

By Church, Featured

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 faces be pillars here, teaching, leading, on the Consistory? We hope.

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How I Became a Zoom Parishioner

By Featured

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 worship, wearing just my regular clothes and contributing to the reign of God in a different way. But maybe not.

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Adoption: Two Voices

By Featured

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?

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Disaster at the Pine Car Derby

By Featured

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. 

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A Sacramental Moment in Hebrew Class

By Essay, Featured

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 and the resulting prejudices had broken down.

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The Most Conservative People on Campus

By Education, Featured

Yet: voter suppression, race-based discrimination and violence, politically motivated censorship in the schools, and gratuitous red-baiting remain depressingly familiar features of our present-day situation—but arguably worse, now aggravated by segmented cable TV and social media, mainstreamed by elected officials, and fortified by the proliferation of self-styled paramilitary groups itching for civil war; and getting worse, in part because the current trend of eliminating the arts, closing down the languages, gutting the humanities departments, and reducing the liberal arts requirements in our colleges and universities systematically deprives students of the opportunity to understand the present crises at a crucial point in their civic formation.

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God is in Control (?)

By Essay, Featured

If God is totally in control, then the child-like part of my heart can sit back and relax. God’s got this, after all. I don’t have to be responsible, I don’t have to face consequences, and I can avoid the painful feelings of grief and sadness.

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