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Church Bells

By Richard Jones Poetry

London is a city of churches and my mother loved the church bells calling to one another over the rooftops. She said you could tell one church from another from the sound of the bells. The bells were that distinct, like human voices. The bells at Saint Paul’s overwhelmed her, just as the grandeur of…

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John Wesley, After Field Preaching

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

Among the marsh marigold and cowslip, I found myself speaking of the spirits’ fruits, blackberries tangled on the vine. Spire pointing skyward proclaiming piety— this is where I left you to your tailored prayers. At Kingswood Hill I climbed and entered a topography of grace among the miners, unabashed, spoke that all our gifts are…

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Discipleship Training in Kailua Kona

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

The talk was on God’s tabernacle, a diagram with the palm of his hand, fingers tucked into the holy place, when you threw an apple to me. I wondered until I saw the rough square cut. Inside the fruit, a note damp with seeds and juice, You are altogether beautiful, my darling. There is no…

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The Burden of Bliss

By Lindsey Crittenden Essay

The following excerpt is from The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray, published this spring by Harmony Books, a division of Random House. © 2007 by Lindsey Crittenden. THE SUN was relentless, unrepentant, glaring through the side window of my little Honda as it lurched through commuter-clotted Friday traffic. It was a…

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A Fluid Compendium

By Suzanne Paola Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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A Conversation with Walter Brueggemann

By Bradford Winters Interview

Walter Brueggemann is professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, where he taught from 1986 to 2003. He has authored hundreds of articles and over sixty books, including Genesis (Westminster John Knox, 1982), The Message of the Psalms (Fortress, 1984), Hopeful Imagination: Prophetic Voices in Exile (Fortress, 1986), Hope…

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The Spirit of Promise

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

Amazing how the prayers come back, ———the cues to stand and kneel and sit, the hymns rising after so many years into the air of this small old church. ———We lean together in summer sunlight as the priest wafts past in an incense cloud and the small choir ———sings off-key in corner light. Yesterday you…

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Who Is My Mother, Who Are My Brothers?

By Sara Zarr Essay

  This essay will appear in Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, an anthology from Cascade Books, edited by Hannah Faith Notess. ON THE DAY of my baptism, my father stood at the back of the church—hung-over, or quite possibly drunk even at that early hour—and shouted, “Hooray for Sara!” as…

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Dinka Bible

By Adrie Kusserow Poetry

One morning after the crucifixion, a Sudanese boy came to see his mother and father. He found his hut burnt to the ground. Two figures dressed in white asked him, “Boy why are you weeping?” “Because,” he replied, “they have taken away my family, and I do not know where they have laid them.” The…

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We Shall Not All Sleep

By Shane Seely Poetry

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. —I Corinthians 15:51 After the smell of lilies filled the tiny country church; after we drove down valleys and across mountains through winter rain and fog and dissipating snow; after the funeral director took our coats and intoned…

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