The Spire Online

Welcome to the online version of the Spire.

If you prefer a printable version, view and download a printable PDF copy of any previous issue here.

A Message of Peace and Rest in God

The last few years have been difficult ones for most of us, and we long to find solace. Music, especially in worship, helps from week to week. But in these fraught times we may need something both beautiful and new to our ears that will inspire us and bring us ever closer to God. What about a Requiem composed intentionally for the living as well as for the deceased? What about a text that asks…

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Between Here and There -- October 2022

In the mid 1940s, as World War II was nearing its end, a group of about 30 conscientious objectors took part in a research project that came to be known as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. These men agreed to a yearlong experiment with varying and restricted diets, work schedules, and exercise commitments that would lead them, ultimately, into a state of semi-starvation. Each week the men…

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Whenever I read the word bounty, I recall each year during this season, my mom would take stock of the Mason jars of tomatoes – sauce, juice, and whole – she had “put up” from the summer garden. In a similar vein, my dad could recite the exact planting dates, rainfall amount, and seed varieties unique to the garden that year. Both Mom and Dad knew those jars contained far more than their individ…

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God's Love in Action

You are loved. Take a minute and pause to reflect on how it feels to be loved no matter what. That is one tremendous gift from God. No matter how we fall, we are still loved without condition. What other gifts have been bestowed to you? Maybe you have the gift of clear communication, a sporting ability, musical talent, patience…so many possibilities. Whatever gifts we have, we owe our thanks to G…

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Gratitude in the Midst of Life’s Challenges

“Pain, trouble, and disappointment drain us, but trusting God, focusing on him, and thanking him revitalize us. It’s his presence within us that renews us physically, spiritually, and emotionally so we can keep going.” – Dr. Charles Stanley Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 15 individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease arrive at the WROC for fitness class. The fellowship, support, and encourage…

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Immigrant, Refugee – What’s the Difference?

Lots of Americans think immigrants and refugees are, basically, the same. Not true. If you look up the definitions, you will see that an immigrant is defined as “a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence.” For most of us, our ancestors were all immigrants. On the other hand, a refugee is defined as “a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a forei…

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Nurturing the Next Generation

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh One might wonder why generosity and gratefulness are not character traits that everyone is born with. Instead, they are character traits that are developed by those who are exposed to a solid foundation of good morals. Building these character t…

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One Person at a Time

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa, 1910 I’ve always found comfort in Mother Teresa’s quote. At the same time, I find Matthew 25:32-33 unsettling. Christ is clear throughout scripture that we are to love our neighbors, to reach out and care for one another. If I want to be a sheep, and I do, what does that look like? It seems overwhelming in the world we live in. Bu…

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