Gather, the magazine of Women of the ELCA, offers a mix of articles, theological reflections, bible studies, devotions and stories of comfort and challenge that help readers grow in faith and engage in ministry and action. I don’t know why, but it had fallen off my radar until recently wherein I decided to reintroduce myself to what it had to offer. Last week, I received the September issue and couldn’t put it down! Each story spoke to me. There was an article on Grief and the many forms of loss that can cause grief. Practical advice from those who have lost loved ones on what is helpful to say to someone at a funeral and what is not helpful to say was creatively penned in poetic form. I, for one, still want to improve on that myself, so I read this helpful article with great interest. There was a story on emotions, and even how our negative ones like anger, can be a gift, as they provide a window into ourselves that can help us transform into more loving and compassionate servants to our neighbor.
The magazine also includes bible studies. This month’s, “No Hard Feelings?” written by Anna Madsen is chockful of provocative ideas about the value of emotions. She writes about the poetry of the Old Testament, and how the writers of Scripture used language to share a range of emotions—including anger—with God and each other. “Within these old, old texts we will discover that anger was hardly taboo to the Hebrew people, that they recognized both anger’s righteousness and its risk, and that they realized that by venting anger in prayer and communal liturgy, they staved off toxic and dangerous manifestations of it in their personal lives.”
Top all this off with fun stories about the blessings of our furry or feathered companions in our lives and Gather was a true joy to read. I highly recommend!
Gather is published 10 times a year with combined issues in January/February and July/August. A print subscription is $19.95 a year, but right now they are offering a special rate of $9.95 for new subscribers! Digital access (computer, iPad, Android) is free to print subscribers. To subscribe, call 1-844-409-0576 or order on line: https://www.cambeywest.com/GAT/?f=intro995WB