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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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Skin Boat

By John Terpstra Essay

Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations The following essay is excerpted from a new book of the same title from Gaspereau Press (www.Gaspereau.com).   TODAY I believe in God. A visiting friend and I were listening to a jazz trio one Sunday morning in an Anglican church. The trio led off with a…

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Hosts

By Susanne Antonetta Essay

MY SON AT TWELVE believes in the Greek gods. Zeus, Athena. Jin favors Poseidon and Ares but likes them all. He can tell intricate stories, like the one about Baucis and Philemon, an old couple who took in Mercury and Jupiter disguised as travelers. A thousand villagers had turned the gods away, and a thousand were…

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In Nomine

By A.G. Harmon Essay

ACROSS THE HIGHWAY are a Taco Bell, a Comfort Inn, and a free-standing building that houses a Chinese buffet. A Case tractor company is nearby, and what looks to be an old service station, deserted, with orange-and-tan panels on the garage door and wild grass sprouting through the asphalt. Somewhat disconcerting is an abandoned Wal-Mart, a…

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Wine for Those Who Faint

By Priscilla Gilman Essay

I DECIDED that if I was going to read the Hebrew Bible, I was going to read the whole thing. Every word of it. No skipping over or skimming the genealogies, the instructions for building the temple, or the details of animal sacrifice. I bopped through the intricate plots of Genesis and Exodus, my rule…

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Conversion

By Deborah Joy Corey Essay

MY FIRST CONVERSION took place when I was five years old on a heaven-reaching swing in my cousin’s back yard. It was a bright summer day and we had just returned from vacation Bible school at the Baptist church. Red cherry Kool-Aid stained our lips. Kristy was giving me an underdog—and I was swinging high enough…

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Ritual

By Jonathan Callard Essay

I’M DOING A CLEANSE,” Odin says. “Me and Mara. Just broth all day.” We’re standing at the corner of Grant and Polk by city hall in San Francisco, waiting for our ride to the Headlands where we will meet DT and do the vernal equinox ritual—“I know of a sacred tree,” he’d said, “at Rodeo…

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Middles

By Lauren F. Winner Essay

The following passages are excerpted from Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, a “non-memoir” by Lauren Winner. © 2012 by Lauren Winner. Reprinted by permission of HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.   Middles might be said to be under-theorized. There is an abundance of work on opening and closure, but very little discussion of…what…

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A Bookwright’s Tale

By Barry Moser Essay

MY BROTHER SAID that I was a lazy dreamer when I was a kid. In a letter he wrote to me shortly before he died he said that all I did was sit around drawing pictures and reading books while he cut the grass, cleaned out the gutters, and painted the trim on the house. Well,…

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Transit Alexander: A Round

By Richard Rodriguez Essay

The following is a chapter in Richard Rodriguez’s new memoir, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography, forthcoming this October from Viking.   GOD formed you of dust from the soil. I was a sort of an afterthought. A wishbone. He blew into our nostrils the breath of life and there we were. You were his Darling Boy…

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