King: Sourdough baker

Jun 15, 2020 by

It should be emphasized up front: the primary motivation was neither self-improvement nor altruistic baking for loved ones. It was fear of shortages. Along with family, I was out of the country when COVID-19...

[read more]

Interfaith pilgrims

Jun 1, 2020 by and

On Friday afternoons, the corner office at First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., looks out on a steady stream of worshipers gathering for prayer. They park at the FMC lot and trek across a busy...

[read more]

Kriss: Belonging to the truth

May 18, 2020 by

I was struck by the words of Pontius Pilate during Holy Week as I walked the Stations of the Cross sponsored by Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa. I had never heard his “What is truth?” question quite like...

[read more]

Longhurst: No glib prayers

May 18, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many Christians are turning to prayer. But what to pray? It can be especially hard for worship leaders, who wonder how to find the words that speak honestly to God on behalf of...

[read more]

What the Amish can teach us about surviving apocalyptic times

May 11, 2020 by and

I took a walk the other day, because getting some respite from the narrow confines of my little suburban home is a blessing these days. About half a mile from our house, there’s a ubiquitous slice of strip...

[read more]

Peace be with you — even in lockdown

May 7, 2020 by

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with...

[read more]

Redeeming evil days

Apr 20, 2020 by

The Apostle Paul’s admonition to the church at Ephesus to “redeem the time” has always been good advice. But rarely has the reason — “because the days are evil” — felt more relevant. When times...

[read more]

No cause for shame

Feb 24, 2020 by

When 30 pastors gathered to talk about mental-health issues, one offered the perspective of both a caregiver and one in need of care. “As a patient, I can feel isolated,” said Tom Harder, pastor of First...

[read more]

Powell: Where’s the joy in tense times?

Dec 9, 2019 by

An acquaintance said to me, “Another year is almost over. Christmas will soon be here. I can’t get into the spirit with all the divisiveness around me. When will it stop?” She was expressing what many...

[read more]

Seeking inner peace

Sep 30, 2019 by

Anxiety must have troubled the writer of Psalm 139, who prayed, “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” These words of David speak to all of us. Everyone worries. To be...

[read more]

Book review: Flee, Be Silent, Pray

Jun 24, 2019 by

Twenty years ago, Ed Cyzewski left his Roman Catholic faith to become an evangelical. This led him to a hard-driving way of faith that required doing good things for God but left him stressed and anxious. Then...

[read more]

King: Shall I tell the truth?

Apr 15, 2019 by

“Dad,” said the brilliant negotiator, “you have a choice. If you agree to listen to what I’m doing in college without judging or punishing me, I’ll tell you the truth. Or I’ll just lie about what...

[read more]

How good is too good?

May 10, 2017 by

Have you ever had the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something extremely important? What about that sinking or jolting feeling when you miss a step and your foot hits air? Imagine this feeling was...

[read more]

Pluto and anxiety-free science

Aug 4, 2015 by

All you in the heavens, praise the Lord. . . . Sun, moon, and all you brilliant stars above: praise God! — Psalm 148 I’m writing this while watching NASA reveal new and stunning close-up photos of Pluto....

[read more]