Faith Reflections: Called to wait expectantly

Faith Reflections: Called to wait expectantly

by Emily Heitzman Every year at this time, as I turn on the TV or a Christmas music station, I am reminded of the many people who cannot relate to the majority of Christmas songs, TV shows and movies, which emphasize the importance of going home for the holidays.  I cannot help but think about […]

A God who shows up

A God who shows up

by Emily Heitzman I just don’t understand people who start playing Christmas music right after Halloween. I have friends who do, especially my former colleague who could not wait to get her hands on Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” album the minute she took her costume off. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cranky […]

Faith reflections: Making room for baby Jesus

by Susan Schneider And 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) Growing up as a child of missionaries in the Philippines, Christmas trees were uncommon. We did not decorate a […]

Consumerism and our identity

Consumerism and our identity

by Julia Seymour An advertisement from a cosmetics company went viral on television and on the Internet a few years ago. In the commercial, women described themselves to a forensic artist who could not see them. He made a second sketch based on a description from a stranger who encountered the woman in the waiting […]

God as mother

God as mother

by Michelle Terry My 3- and 5-year-old sons are playing superheroes again. In the heat of battle against the “bad dudes,” my 3-year-old sustains an injury. Being a superhero is a dangerous line of work. Immediately, he turns back into my preschool son, and he’s tugging at my legging, tears streaming down his face, expecting […]

The tapestry of vocation

The tapestry of vocation

by Rebeckah Selnick We ask little children what they want to be when they grow up. Even when the answer is “a princess” or “a cowboy,” this innocent question can set a precedent for a lifetime. As students, we take aptitude tests. We choose course work to set a track to the future. We look […]

Three ways to add something for Lent

Three ways to add something for Lent

by Laura Gentry I don’t give things up for Lent. Instead, I add something. After all, Lent is not just about fasting; it’s about feasting. The whole reason for giving up something is to make more room for God in our lives — so that we can feast on God’s mercy. Adding a spiritual discipline, […]

Just one tunic?

Just one tunic?

by Sarah Scherschligt   Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money — […]

Valentine’s Day: Beyond flowers and candy

Valentine’s Day: Beyond flowers and candy

by Angie Shannon During my grade-school years, the bulletin boards were covered with red cupid silhouettes announcing Valentine’s Day. I took great care in selecting boxed Valentines for my classmates, addressing each tiny envelope in anticipation of the big day. In retrospect, it occurs to me that we had the kind of parents and teachers […]