No greater love than friendship

No greater love than friendship

by Amy Waelchli “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15: 12-13 NRSVUE) I’m a self-proclaimed “Word Nerd.” I sometimes struggled with deadlines in my seminary studies of Biblical Hebrew and Greek, because […]

A mother’s wisdom 

A mother’s wisdom 

The Rev. Ralen M. Robinson  “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26) Her arms are outstretched, always ready to embrace me from the harsh world. Her mouth is upturned in a smile, greeting me. Her voice flows out, blanketing me with love, and her presence shields […]

The Poem That Prays 

The Poem That Prays 

by Sarah Carson For as long as I can remember, there have been two places I’ve turned when things get challenging: 1) to my faith, 2) to poetry. As someone who grew up in church, I’ve learned prayer can be powerful when I have questions, doubts, and even anger. It can be a way to […]

Easter joy

Easter joy

by Ralen M. Robinson They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. (Luke 24:2-3) When my sister and I were little, we eagerly looked forward to spring–and Easter. Easter Sunday meant fluffy dresses, frilly white ankle socks, colored barrettes and shiny little white […]

Finding something in nothing

Finding something in nothing

by the Rev. Ralen M. Robinson Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8) The cool clay forms within my hands, molding and contorting to the pressure of my fingers as it forms into a round ball. It […]

Five steps for creating rest in a world of busyness

Five steps for creating rest in a world of busyness

by Dr. Crystal L. Hall This article offers five steps with accompanying biblical principles for creating rest in a world of busyness. As a coach for women in ministry, I’ve helped dozens of lay professionals, pastors and deacons create sabbath practices that stick with these steps. 1. Build awareness of how your culture has shaped […]

New

New

by Josh Kestner I’m holding on for as long as I can before I buy new tires. My tires are just old. My rear passenger-side tire is slowly leaking air. Every week or so, I have to fill up the tire to get it back to its baseline pressure. It’s cumbersome, but it’s easier (and […]

Communion and Dinner Church

Communion and Dinner Church

by Melissa Woeppel A communal worship experience that has been important in my life of faith is the practice of dinner church.  Dinner Church is a pattern of worship set around the place of eating, like a dinner table. Worship happens as those gather to eat, share, sing, pray and reflect on Scripture. This Christian […]

Stories that feel

Stories that feel

by Sarah Carson There is a wealth of scientific data in support of the power of a story to make a difference. Storytelling has demonstrated benefits across disciplines—from treating survivors of abuse and trauma to helping students learn more effectively to selling us things we don’t need. Interestingly, it’s not just that a story itself […]

Faith Reflection: From tension to transformation

Faith Reflection: From tension to transformation

by Emily Carson Jesus consistently stepped into tense situations rather than tiptoeing around them. He didn’t avoid difficult interpersonal dynamics; he embraced them and recognized that tension is often a catalyst for transformation (of people and systems). Tension can be defined as the state of being stretched. We can experience it individually, and it also […]