The more I listened, the less I injected my answers, and the more my empathic imagination began to grow. I had learned in seminary that “theology is application” (thank you John Frame), and that my theology “should be a home and not a prison” (thank you Richard Pratt), but it took years of listening to stories before I could actually be faithful to that training.
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.
April FietOctober 10, 2022
My work with RCA Disability Concerns has forced me to wrestle in deeper ways with ableism—the subtle, pervasive bias evident in attitudes, actions, or systems that consider a person with a disability as defective, broken, and “less than.” When I was hired in 2009 to launch this new RCA ministry, I resisted emphasizing the church's many ableist practices because it seemed too difficult to start there. But as I’ve observed and repeatedly experienced ableist practices and systems over more than…
Terry A. DeYoungApril 25, 2022
This year marks thirty years since I received that early vision of God’s calling on my life. Paying attention to the various details around my experiences has led to a celebratory incarnational theology. It is a privilege and honor to live amongst and serve the nations God has placed me with here in Hannover. It has enabled a continued reliance upon, and a relationship with, the God who called me so long ago. It is a relationship that is situated…
Gretchen Schoon TanisFebruary 7, 2022
Like many pastors I spent too much of my time being a program director for children, youth, college students, singles, families, older adults, recovering divorced people, and all the other niche groups in the life of any church. That’s a fine thing to do, or it can be, but I wish I had spent less of my time being that person. I wish I had spent less of my time as a manager and a therapist and a community activist.…
Doug BrouwerJanuary 10, 2022
Mrs. Goehring—may she rest in peace--knew nothing of what that jock in the back of the class was discovering in words she’d assigned us from Portia’s courtroom speech; but that morning in sophomore English, the schoolmarm won a game she didn’t really know I was playing. The ball games are long gone, but the lines of that speech showed up on my screen and then in a haze of memory just a day or two ago.
James SchaapNovember 8, 2021
How are we to discern the body of Christ? Like my friends in that teeming church full of different voices, different beliefs, I want to be generous, to be open to transcendent mystery, to be a co-traveler. I want to listen for those words of grace, perhaps even speak them one day.
Marilyn PaarlbergNovember 1, 2021
My son, who only knows cameras to look like i-Phones, was silenced by the discovery of his grandfather’s camera. He ran his fingers over each button until his curiosity was satisfied enough to move onto another. And then he hit the button that released the back panel of the camera, the place where 35 mm film was once stretched and loaded like a canvas awaiting its artist. My sister and I smiled at his sheer delight in this mysterious contraption.…
Jill CarattiniOctober 25, 2021