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Religion

  • What can we learn from the stories of marginalized outsiders?

     Scripture has always fascinated me and caused me to ponder the wonders of the God Who Is. It has been the source of great comfort and tremendous challenge. It has brought me to my knees and raised to unimaginable heights. It has allowed me to meet majestic insiders and marginalized outsiders, sometimes housed in the same person. In every instance, Scripture has been an invitation to be more than I thought I could be. It has also been the impetus for me to empower others similarly.

     

  • Fighting monsters is for brave warriors

     I remember meeting a math teacher at Brunswick Community College who, years ago, initiated a Fight Your Dragon process. Apparently, she had heard — too often — the cry of students who feared math and had convinced themselves it was far too difficult a challenge. They opted to take the road more traveled, the path of avoidance and denial.

     

  • What is obscenity and what do we do about it?
  • Evangelization is about naming grace

     Every decade has its buzzwords. This is true in religious circles, as well. It seems as if we need new nomenclatures to help us renew, and hopefully deepen, our understanding and commitment to any cause with which we are involved.

    Though I’d scarcely call it a buzzword, evangelization has been voiced as essential to Christianity from its beginnings. In the earliest gospel according to Mark, we read a terse command: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Then comes the Great Commission, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel.”

  • Social studies steers students into vineyard learning

     One of my daughters teaches social studies in a Connecticut middle school. She’s been happily committed to this vocation for nearly 30 years. I am always interested in her experiences, observations, perceptions, and perspectives on today’s methodology.

     

  • Scars tell stories

     

     

    I don’t know Craig Scott. I do know a quote attributed to him. “From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, ‘I survived.’” The quote is powerfully real. It describes so many survival experiences, so many scars, so many stories.

  • Mother's day memories make me smile

     


    My mother died in April 2011, six months shy of her 98th birthday. I received the news while I lay in a hospital bed clinging to life by a thread. Her life and mine had been entwined for nearly 74 years. They were years filled with laughter and tears, sorrows and joys. They are now memories of life attacked with the bravissimo peculiar to Italian heritage.

  • Caro, the story of a good shepherd

     Once upon a time, in a land quite far from here, there lived a shepherd whose name was Caro. He was a gentle man who lived a simple life on a tiny patch of land he had inherited from his father, and his grandfather before him.

     

    Caro lived in a little hut made from stone that had been gathered from the hillside nearby. It had only one room, and its furniture was sturdy but simple: a table and chair, a straw mat for sleeping, one oil lamp, and a few pots and pans for cooking. A huge fireplace provided heat and light.

  • Survivors are our stars
  • The fourth ‘R’ in education

     Years ago, we hummed a tune regarding the three R’s –– readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic –– all taught to the tune of a hickory stick! Nowadays, we’ve retained the infamous R’s and denounced the punishment of the hickory stick. We try to make education available to all. Sometimes, our success is called into question, but always we make the attempt. However, I wonder if we give short shrift to a fourth R, or even stop to consider it a crucial component in the educational process. The fourth R is relationship.