From One Draft Dodger to Another

the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were …

Give God a Crack

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

by Heidi S. De Jonge December 2006. I sat in a chair in the room just off the side of the chapel at the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, my back to the window, the light coming in over my shoulder, softly brightening Sister Virginia’s face. I had just poured out my heart to her. I figured that was …

Inappropriate Halloween Costumes

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 1 Comment

No, I’m not going to decry oversexualized harem girl outfits for seven-year-olds or ax-in-the-head gross-out costumes for grownups. Nor am I going to indulge in a jeremiad about church people celebrating a pagan, consumer-driven holiday. Instead, I’m going to contribute to the problem. After all, I’m learning from my nation’s leaders that giving offense, whether maliciously or clumsily, is now, …

Basic Principles at Holland Center, Lodgepole

James Schaap Uncategorized 13 Comments

You think I’m exaggerating when I say that from up there on the hill, you can watch your dog run away for three days, but Holland Center Christian Reformed Church, Lodgepole, SD, is so far off the beaten path, it makes Alton, Iowa, my home, feel congested.  Nothing but endless rolling grasslands all around. Perkins County is not just “big” country, …

Or Maybe Not?

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

Let me say first what this post is not: It is not an indictment of women and men who have posted #metoo in their Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds. It is not a denial of the seriousness of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. It is not meant to shame into silence those who need their voices to be heard. This …

I’m not your Mommy and #MeToo in the Bible

Jes Kast Uncategorized 1 Comment

Why was it so hard to post that on my Facebook this week? Have I internalized what shouldn’t be normal as normal? Have I learned ways of coping with what should not be tolerated? The sexual comments come almost every day when I walk to and from work. In my suit, in my clerical collar, in a dress, the assaulting …

Poverty Up Close

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 3 Comments

I have been working my way through Matthew Desmond’s searing and award-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.  Although he changes people’s names and a few details to protect people’s identity, Desmond tells the story of what it is like to be poor in America by focusing in on Milwaukee and by following the lives of a …

Tinker, Failure, Soldier, Why?

Rebecca Koerselman Uncategorized 2 Comments

Two weeks ago, I asked about the best ways to enact change in society. While at a conference, I heard Mary Beth Tinker explain how she, a shy, rule-following junior high student in 1965, decided to wear a black armband in support of the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War as a response to Senator Bobby Kennedy’s call …

Through the Fire

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

by Heidi S. De Jonge Wildfires are consuming homes and lives in northern California. Tens of thousands of acres have been flattened by the flames. Several of these fires started and grew so suddenly that people had no time to think or pack before fleeing for their lives. Lord, have mercy. People experience anxiety in the face of threats. Sometimes these threats …

Stephen Paddock’s Missing Motive

the12 editor Uncategorized 12 Comments

by Jeff Munroe We want a motive, because we want the senseless shooting in Las Vegas last week to make sense. We want there to be some reason, however perverse, that those innocent people were massacred. But there isn’t a motive. There won’t ever be a definitive motive, because Stephen Paddock was not making a statement. He wasn’t a one-dimensional …