Remembering Brian Doyle (or why the world became less literate, joyful, and human on May 27)

the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

by Jeff Munroe Brian Doyle had me at The whole weasel question. (As opposed to “You had me at hello.”) I was undone by the powerhouse poem, which ends with his dying brother asking, “And what was it you did instead of paying attention?” Brian was a prolific poet, novelist, essayist, and the editor of Portland magazine. His exuberant writing …

We Belong to Each Other

the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

by Carly Tazelaar If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. –Mother Teresa We all go through a season of intense transition at one point or another in life, and many of us more than once. This year, 2017, has been one of those years for me. In March, I got …

Turn

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

by Dana Vander Lugt I’m a sucker for all things nostalgic — old photo albums, worn notes or ticket stubs. I can’t resist the “On this Day” Facebook pictures that pop up, showing me my posts and memories from this day just two, five, eight years ago. I’m a slow, distracted organizer because I’m constantly pausing inside drawers and cupboards …

Prayers at 200

Jennifer L. Holberg Uncategorized 0 Comments

I’m actually writing this on Tuesday, 18 July–the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. The date is being commemorated the world over by all lovers of Austen’s work, including the Bank of England, which announced today that the new 10 pound note would feature Austen come September. As it should. Not only to mark Austen’s significant place in literary history, but because …

You’re Not a Very Good Joiner

the12 editor Uncategorized 4 Comments

by Luke Hawley When I got my current gig teaching in a small town in Iowa, I thought of it primarily—maybe singularly—as a stepping stone. It was a three-semester temporary contract and I figured we could gut it out in rural America for 18-months. We didn’t even try to sell our house in St. Paul because I figured we’d move …

Belonging and Living Unto Christ

the12 editor Uncategorized 1 Comment

By Brian Keepers This summer I’ve been reading a gem of little book by Marilyn Chandler McEntrye titled Christ My Companion: Meditations on the Prayer of St. Patrick.  McEntrye, a professer of English at Westmont College, takes the famous prayer attributed to St. Patrick (fifth century missionary to Ireland), known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” and offers insightful reflections on each …

My Indian Village

the12 editor Uncategorized 6 Comments

by Katy Sundararajan Last week we went to the village where my mother-in-law grew up. Many India villages, including this one, do not meet the standard American perception of remote, rural, and minutely populated peasant villages as described in fairy tales. Rather, Indian villages design fairy tales of a whole new caliber with all manner of vibrant, almost garishly painted …

Superheroes for the Real World: An Extended Universe

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 6 Comments

Another summer, another parade of superhero movie releases. Ho hum. Actually, I like superhero movies as much as the next geek, and I’ve gone on record loving this summer’s Wonder Woman. I freely admit that we need these larger-than-life stories to help us deal imaginatively with an overwhelmingly complex world. Nevertheless, the other night, I passed up the chance to …

Our Good Samaritans

James Schaap Uncategorized 3 Comments

“It is best that we do not behold our spiritual beauty.” Rev. D. R. Drukker, The Beauty of the Lord. Eerdmans, 1927. Okay, at least the man in the ditch in the famous New Testament parable, the poor guy put upon by robbers, wasn’t alone, says the gospel of Luke. The road above him was not a freeway, but at …

Let the Circle Be Unbroken

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

I got to church very late last Sunday. So late, in fact, that the minister was leaving the pulpit precisely as I arrived. I know that in many congregations people might think I’d missed the most important, the central feature of the service–the Preaching of the Word. But at my home congregation in Michigan the central event of worship is …