What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it?

by Valora K Starr Everything. That’s what The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have told us today as we honor his life and reflect on his message. Growing up, I witnessed my parents, whose eyes were glued to watching television (black and white then), read newspaper articles and attend community rallies during the […]

Walking with Jesus and stepping on toes

Walking with Jesus and stepping on toes

by Jeanette Bidne “Just because you disappointed someone does not mean you did something wrong.”  I have reminded myself of the truth in this statement several times in the last couple of years. I do not recall exactly who shared it with me, but I do recall how I felt when I heard it. I remember […]

Spiritual Abuse and its harmful effects

Spiritual Abuse and its harmful effects

by Becca Ehrlich Trigger warning: infant loss, spiritual abuse A few years ago, I went on a 3-week retreat to Costa Rica to appear on a TV show called Lost Resort. On the retreat, we had group activities and one-on-one sessions with leaders of the retreat called “healers.” I had gone on this retreat to […]

Tears, thorns and the power to recover from failure

Tears, thorns and the power to recover from failure

by Susan Schneider When the list of high school basketball players who made the varsity team was posted, Michael’s name was not on it. Instead, the promising sophomore was encouraged to join the junior varsity team. The fifteen-year-old went home and cried. He threatened to quit the sport altogether, but his mother encouraged him to […]

You don’t have to be good

You don’t have to be good

by Sarah Carson Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the first few lines of Mary Oliver’s famous poem “Wild Geese”: “You do not have to be good,” the poem begins. You don’t have to walk through the desert on your knees, repenting. All you have to do, Oliver says, is “let the soft animal of your […]

Practices for my resistance to climate change

Practices for my resistance to climate change

by LeeAnn Pomrenke Some of us are not built for giving things up completely “cold turkey.” Establishing more sustainable habits means that they have to be actions I can and will keep doing and be better for the environment. I know that thinking that my small actions cannot make a difference is an excuse that […]

Fear: Opportunity or challenge?

Fear: Opportunity or challenge?

by Emily Carson As a women in her 30s who still sleeps with her closet light on, I am no stranger to fear. Of course, some fears are more rational than others, and my fear of the dark admittedly falls into the irrational category. Is a giant green closet monster really going to be deterred […]

What an online community taught me about being the church

What an online community taught me about being the church

by Jenna Pulkowski I love stories—books, podcasts, TV series, movies, WebToons, etc. I don’t discriminate if the story captivates me. Five years ago, when one of my friends repeatedly encouraged me to check out the TV show “Outlander” on Netflix, I trusted her recommendation and gave it a try. I was hooked within 30 minutes […]

Surviving the pain of rejection

Surviving the pain of rejection

by Susan Schneider You weren’t invited to the party, but all your friends were. Ouch! You got the letter or phone call from a potential employer that began, “Thank you for applying, but….” Ouch again! The church you’ve always loved tells you that people who identify as LGTBQIA+ cannot belong. No doubt, we’ve all experienced […]

The spirituality of tension

The spirituality of tension

by Emily Carson The room was silent for a long time before the first council member spoke up. “No one here seems to be getting along anymore. There’s so much gossip. Something needs to change.” There were many pauses that evening as church council members took turns digging deep and sharing openly. Rather than continuing […]