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.

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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Prayer Walking

An important part of Confirmation Class is learning new prayer practices. So many of us think that we must have the proper, fancy words to pray, but we really don’t. There are so many ways to connect with our creator, through art, music, scripture, etc. Our first practice, and one of my favorites, is prayer walking. I love to go walking on trails through nature, listening to wildlife and e…

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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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Message from Jo Forrest -- September 2022

For God so loved the world… One of the most quoted verses from scripture affirms God loves creation so much that God chose to reach us in a body. Jesus’ presence brought all the ethereal notions of God’s love to life in tangible ways by the way he touched people, fed them, healed them, hung out at dinner with them, worshiped with them. All ways we can follow and model. Faith in God might be somet…

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As I write this article, my garden is in full bloom. The impatiens have outdone themselves this year; orange and red flowers brilliantly line the border. The zinnias are blooming with an array of rainbow colors along with the hydrangeas. Last year I planted a few perennials and then waited with hope for them to reappear. But only one plant came back, which made it easy to keep track of the rest…

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Between Here and There -- September 2022

Okay, friends. Here’s the truth: plenty of times in the past few years felt like life and work were held together with scotch tape and bubble gum. I have a suspicion that I’m not alone in this sensation. Weekly changes to programming, monthly shifts in our kids’ schooling, daily shifts in availability. No bounds seemed untouched by constant change. While still true to some degree, this most recen…

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Meeting a Great Need: Mental Health for Teens and Parents

Frederick Buechner once wrote that “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” I’ve known and loved this quote for about a decade or so now, but am only recently learning to articulate how it may, possibly, play out in my life. I’d like to challenge you to consider your own deep gladness, as well as invite you in to mine. It was within the context…

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It's You I Like

If you stop in my office you will see that I am a big Mr. Rogers fan. Fred Rogers was all about inclusion, love, and grace. When you watched his show you always felt like he was looking straight at you and telling you that you are loved. He talked about our feelings (it’s okay to be angry sometimes) and how to say I’m sorry. Most of all Fred, like Jesus, gave us grace – grace to know that when we mess …

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