Long-Distance Relationship

College friends. We play cards until we’re too tired to see straight; no one wants to call it quits. The first night together again is always like that. Even though our oldest kid is in college now, and we really need the sleep. Our lives are miles apart; time is precious. Everyday friends. How else would I get to the

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Near to the Heart

I wish the highs would last a little longer. The sun shines, the drummer drives the beat, the teaching comes together, the prayer is powerful. I want that feeling to stick around. Not that everything is perfect. Far from it. There is loss, and suffering. But a sense of being in the right place, at

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Hunger

May Day breakfast. Euchre and Pizza. Friday Food & Friends. Are we busy or lonely (or both)? I contemplate community often. At home, at church, at bars, at fellowship functions and sporting events. What are people looking for? What do they need? The feeling of isolation is epidemic in our society. Not just our country. Surrounded by people,

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Repairing the World

Our Second Annual Streetfest Against Violence displayed unity across the community to join in God’s work of repairing the world (WAND, FOX, and WCIA).  This sermon excerpt from one of New Covenant’s first pastors, Martin Shupack, on 2.10.2019 at New Hope Fellowship Church, Alexandria, Va., articulates why “social action” — rightly understood — is both integral to the

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what do we have to offer?

“But I’m not an event planner!” My grace is sufficient for you. Each objection met the same answer. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 Despite the wild success of last year’s Good Friday Streetfest, I wasn’t convinced it should be an annual event. I would have

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Your Audience

the question  The forecast promisedrain in the wildernessoutside Stockton, Illinois. So I brought boots,wool hat, mittens, down coat.April is fickle. I came to Sabbath Place,a silent cabin with loud refrigerator hum,to work  On a sermon for Easter. I felt obligatedto hike trails before the deluge  Of words onto screen. The sun shone asheavy thoughts gatheredgray overhead.  Surrounded by trees,bright

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Nonconforming

This note from our sister Paige Weston makes me want to slow down and read Wendell Berry’s poem again and again. I hope it blesses you as well. -Renée I think often about the instruction in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your

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Showing Up

I’ve been searching for signs of spring. Slim purple crocus, not yet open. Faint and fuzzy buds on the trees, promising foliage for summer shade. I am looking for evidence of God. Not just in nature, but in the people around me. As we pray together, I hold their hands and ask for God’s presence

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Opportunity Knocking

Mississippi is on my mind. It’s spring break, the season of Habitat trips to the Delta, where the seeds of Spring Initiative after-school-and-so-much-more-program germinated. Teenagers who built houses in our nation’s poorest counties are now hard-working adults in their thirties. They’ve devoted their lives to empowering young people in the Mississippi Delta to beat the odds, access the

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Our Father

Everybody prays. Is this true? I wonder. Hypocrites pray. Gentiles pray. Observant Jews going about their ordinary jobs before they were summoned to follow Jesus. They obviously prayed. Children pray and teachers pray. People of all religions, and no religion, pray. “Our Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9(CEB) Jesus has just instructed his followers to

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