MINISTRY & ACTION

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Check out the latest from Gather magazine.

 

It’s time to go deep

It’s time to go deep

–by Elizabeth Hunter The first day of summer—the longest day of the year—felt like the longest day of my life. Years of stress had taken a toll in the form of lost sleep, lost weight and lost relationships. Yet I was gaining much-needed perspective. You might call it…

Most merciful God

Most merciful God

–by Jennifer Phelps Ollikainen Whenever I realize that I’ve done something wrong, particularly something that impacted some­one I know and love, I feel the weight of it. My body feels heavy, and I usually can’t think of any­thing else until I make it right in some…

The unit that prays together…

The unit that prays together…

–by Linda Post Bushkofsky As this month’s issue makes clear, though prayer has been around as long as people have been on the earth, we have yet to run out of ways to discuss it, practice it and learn about it. Eight summers ago this magazine published a three-part…

Still listening

Still listening

–by Sara Zarr When I was a child, I prayed like a child. I chattered to God while walking to and from school, in the hours alone as a latchkey kid and when going to sleep at night. Often these prayers sprang from joy, or at least the kind of good mood one seems to…

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

—by Laurie A. Jungling Several months ago, some members of my congregation gave me a T-shirt that read, “Prays well with others.” I love the T-shirt, but every time I read that phrase, I wonder: Do I pray well with others? Do I pray well alone? What does it mean to…

Blessed are those

Blessed are those

—by Denise Rector In keeping with my half-hearted resolution to be healthier, I was on my way to get something good for me—smoothie mix. I came around the corner, and it was right in the middle of the aisle: a curved leath­er sectional, situated perfectly in front of…

My father’s pajamas

My father’s pajamas

—by Karen G. Bockelman My favorite photo of my father was taken more than 20 years ago. There he is, staring straight at the camera, his nearly bald head rising above a fringe of faintly visible hair. His round, German face beams. His eyes sparkle behind gold-rimmed…

Listening to God’s beloved daughters

Listening to God’s beloved daughters

—by Christa von Zychlin Who’s ever heard of the strong, strangely-named Zelophehad sisters: Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah (see Numbers 27:1-8)? Who could possibly wring laughter and empowerment from Tamar’s story (2 Samuel 13:1-22), along with deep, visceral…

I don’t like fences

I don’t like fences

—Adrainne Gray I don’t like gates, enclosures, pens, fences, walls. I never have. It’s part of the reason I felt more suited to the call of deacon or the office of Word and Service, positions that call one to go outside the walls of the church, mostly. The feeling of…

Ancestral tables

Ancestral tables

–by Venice R. Williams In some ways, I had been preparing for these days most of my adult life. I just did not fully understand it until my 98-year-old grandmother, Ora, arrived at our home for a two-week visit. My excitement about her stay spilled over into…

New eyes for worship

New eyes for worship

–by the Rev. Leila Ortiz Growing up in the Pentecostal church, I learned that prayer was my true con­nection to the Divine. I learned this in community. Every Tuesday evening the church lights would dim. As musicians played softly in the background, my friends and I…

In the stillness

In the stillness

–by Betty E. Landis Be still and know that I AM God! (Psalms 46:10) Weekly worship at the Lutheran congregation of my childhood led me to expect thundering organ music, resonant brass instruments and hearty, strong singing of hymns like the Doxology and “A Mighty…

Pray for the spiders

Pray for the spiders

—by Susan Sparks People can usually be divided into simple categories: beach people vs. mountain people, salt lovers vs. sugar cravers, those who believe Sasquatch exists vs. those who don’t, and the most common division (certainly the most personal to me): those who…

Ready for a change

Ready for a change

–by Sarah Carson Gather readers, I have some exciting news for you: This issue of Gather could change your life. I know, I know. You’re used to seeing these kinds of claims on the covers of magazines at the supermarket check-out. You’re skeptical. You’re asking…

After the storm

After the storm

—by Cindy Novak Kim Rathjen’s mountain-high experience usually takes place on the last day of Camp Noah when children and volunteers come together to celebrate and praise God during the closing ceremony. “To see the kids singing their hearts out brings tears to my…

God knows what we need

God knows what we need

—by Elizabeth Hunter The questions and demands for quantification from my youngest son can be so numerous they overlap and tangle. His persistence can tire me out, yet I appre­ciate it. I’m grateful for opportunities to communi­cate everything from the fact that…

My tenants, my teachers

My tenants, my teachers

—Anne E. Basye “God comes to you disguised as your life,” says a scrap of paper on my office wall—a quote from the writer Paula D’Arcy. In my life, God can show up as a tenant. Behind my home is a room and half bath that I rent to others, a lovely, light-filled space…

Prodigal Singing

Prodigal Singing

—by Betty E. Landis As we rounded the curve of the con­course, a child’s cries ricocheted off the tiled bathroom walls, into the carpeted gate area. It was ear­ly morning, and the howling was getting louder. Women and chil­dren spilled out of the bathroom with…

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic violence is a crime that includes both physical and emotional abuse. Many victims suffer in silence, afraid to seek help, or not knowing where to turn. Read Sara Larson’s story about her experience with domestic violence. Sara is chair of the budget and finance committee for the churchwide executive board, 2017–2020.
Apply for a RUHWG seed grant
Application materials for the 2020–2021 Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls’ seed grants must be postmarked or emailed by December 15, 2019. All applications must
be submitted by active units of Women of the ELCA who are familiar with the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative and the criteria of this program. Learn more.
The Enneagram and God’s grace
The Enneagram is a personality-type framework that centers on motivations, spiritual gifts and shortcomings. What sets this framework apart from others is that it offers a pathway to spiritual and personal growth.
What can the Enneagram teach us about our relationship with ourselves and God?
Use Gather as a ministry tool
Perhaps you know of a ministry, a hospital waiting room, a bus stop or a nursing home that could use some inspirational reading material? For a limited time (until we run out), we will send you an assortment of back issues for the cost of shipping. Place your order and learn shipping rates by calling our subscription order center at 844-409-0576. Please note the assorted issues will be chosen randomly.
Pretty bold, this Jesus who welcomes sinners (like us)
If we all welcomed sinners like Jesus does, wouldn’t that lead to all kinds of shocking situations? Audrey Novak Riley writes in this month’s devotion that we, like Jesus, must welcome and forgive sinners. And that includes a lot of people. (Ahem.)
Nominations open until Nov. 30
Nominations are open for secretary, treasurer and churchwide board members for the 2020-2023 triennium. Voting members of the Eleventh Triennial Convention, July 14-16, 2020, will elect four officers and 17 board members. The president and vice president are elected by ecclesiastical ballot, and thus no nominations are received at this time. Learn more and find the form here.
Have you scheduled your Thankoffering service?
For more than 100 years, Lutheran women have given thanks to God and dollars to mission through Thankofferings. Have you scheduled your service?
The 2019-2020 Thankoffering services in English and Español are available for download in PDF and Word.
Interchange going all digital
In January 2020, Interchange is going digital. The cost of printing and mailing requires the change. As always, you can download Interchange and Intercambio(the Spanish issue) online. To sign up to receive a copy by email, complete the Stay in Touch form on the website. For more up-to-date news, you are in the right place as a subscriber to Bold Connections.
Sign up for Daily Grace
Daily Grace is an on-the-go companion for your journey, offering a faith reflection every day. Encounter God’s extravagant, boundless and often surprising grace by signing up for a daily email message. You can also download the newly updated app for your IOS and Android devices.
The red shirts you loved so much
When you register for the Gathering 2020,you can order one (or more) of the shirts Women of the ELCA staff wore at the Churchwide Assembly earlier this year. You will pick them up at the event. Shirts are $25. Yes, they are long-sleeved because convention centers are chilly. Plus, many of you live in areas where long-sleeved shirts are handy. You can thank us later.
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