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Sacrament Service in Slippers

By Teresa Bruce

When 2022 began, I never imagined that before 2023 arrived, I’d find myself in a sacrament service where most attendees wore slippers. Now, I’ve done so twice as the old year yields to the new. Please indulge me as I share written snapshots from the experience. We nearly missed the first service while watching another …

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End at Start, Light with Dark, Holiday or Ho Hum, Go and Come

By Teresa Bruce

The holiday season can be joyous, but it can also be jarring. Voices raise in harmonic “alleluias” or in discordant disagreements. Thoughtful, generous giving can elevate giver and receiver, but keeping-up with others’ expectations can break or badly bruise budgets. Family gatherings draw loved ones closer into togetherness … or conflict. Loneliness lengthens into life-altering …

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New Year and Medias Res

By Jennie LaFortune

It’s that time again. Lots of talk about beginnings and endings, welcoming your new life, and releasing your old self. Blah. To be fair, I see the value in ushering a new wave of months’ promises and a fresh starts. I swing between embracing the invitation for blank slates, and thinking it’s all a trick …

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Old and New, Give and Take: Hellos, Goodbyes, and Dill Pickles

By Teresa Bruce

Gatherings, greetings, and goodbyes. Welcome, Baby New Year, and farewell, Old Man Time. Endings yield beginnings. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The exchange of one year for another evokes reflection, but this isn’t about New Year’s resolutions or figurative arrivals and departures. When I was pregnant with …

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Putting Away Baby Jesus

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

There are still a couple pockets of Christmas lingering around our house. The new year brings its own agenda, and in my post-holiday vigor it’s time to get on with life. While I pack up Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the camels I want one last chance to ponder putting away baby Jesus.

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Resisting the Resolution Rabbit Hole

By Teresa Bruce

  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Scheduling self-improvement to the turn of the calendar feels as authentic (and as effective) as placing a stray calico, a rescue mutt, a diminutive owl, a fluffy rabbit, and a garden snake in my chain link–fenced backyard and saying, “Everybody, teach yourselves a few new tricks. I’ll see …

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Sabbath Revival: Leaving the Foyer

By Sandra Clark

I love everything that Annie writes, and today I resonated the message from this dear piece and remembrance from the vault. Although we aren’t in a new year, the new start of school is always a good reset time for me to rethink where I am and where I’m heading. 

In my old filing cabinet next to the piano, there is a folder marked “spiritual insights” with articles and quotes that, at some point in my life, sparked something within me. Lately I’ve needed some spiritual sparks—the shape of my testimony worn down by mundane daily-ness and taken for granted for too long—so I’ve turned to this folder to see if anything still hits a chord or can provide some New Year’s motivation.

Halfway through there is a paper (handwritten!) that I wrote as a 17-year-old college freshman for an honors religion class. We were asked to write weekly thought papers responding to the scriptural reading assignments. Mine tended toward the confessional, ardently admitting my failings and doubts on a variety of subjects. I enjoyed taking my testimony out and poking and prodding it like a specimen on a table in front of me. Keep in mind that every weekly paper included some variation on this theme:

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Things that Grow Underground

By Jennie LaFortune

It’s that time of year. Goals are made, diets started, enthusiasms sparked, and there’s not a treadmill in sight available at the gym. And then January 13th hits and it unravels. Or maybe I’m the only one familiar with this pattern, but somehow I doubt it. I’ve had years where I was serious about my …

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I Did It! I Kept A Resolution!

By Hildie Westenhaver

As a person who constantly fails at New Year’s Resolutions, I rarely make them anymore. Last year something clicked and not only did I make a couple of resolutions, but I actually kept them. One was to go all year without drinking Mt. Dew. This is a really big deal because I’m pretty much an …

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Living By the Rules

By Ashley Dickson

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Never have, never will. I do, of course, believe in self-improvement, accomplishing new things, and the like. But I have a different method. I set rules for myself. Rules that I do not break — ever. The secret for living by the rules is to make them specific …

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