Holiness in our Midst

Holiness in our Midst: Session 61

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION LXI: ON COLLECTIONS

What do you collect? Why?

I collect Midwest art, mostly original watercolor paintings of Iowa fields, fences, barns, and windmills. Decorating my home with them is my way of preserving the Forties and Fifties way of life. Setting the mood in my living room are prints of a red one room schoolhouse and a little white church as well as a tapestry of a country home. My small town/rural theme happens to extend out my windows. My bedroom overlooks a field and forest. My office window features the road out of town. The living room view is of a parklike setting with three large trees and a quiet subdivision. My daily surroundings are all of one piece.

To describe some of my artworks:

  • Two paintings by Ankeny, IA artist Pat Hykes depict gas stations from my past. They were done from photographs. One is of the Handsaker gas station on Highway 65 between Colo and Zearing. I’m glad for the visual reminder of the landmark place where we filled up on our way to visit my paternal grandparents down the road Geneva. Only an overgrown stone marker and an abandoned farmhouse are currently on the site. Another painting is of a long-gone gas station/grocery store in Panora. A family friend, Naomi Beal, lived above the store growing up.
  • A panoramic watercolor depicts the rolling Iowa countryside in spring. The rows of corn are just visible in spring, magnifying the contours of the land. It is a study in greens.
  • A Midwest storm is brewing in black and deep blues and purples in another watercolor.
  • My favorite is called “Wash Day in May.” Clothes blowing on the line stretch from a farmhouse to a barn. In the foreground in a lush garden.

Rounding out my décor and colorful calendars and sayings that give me pause, like the plaque over the stove that reads: Gardens and families must be tended daily. My home helps me remember a time when people talked to each other face to face, families gathered for reunions, and churches were the social centers of the community. I can’t turn back time, but my collection reminds me to extend the spirit of civility that was the overlay of a vanishing way of life.

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What do you collect and why?

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about a special collection. What was your first piece? Do others add to it? What special feelings do your things evoke?

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session LXI.  
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.   

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 53

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION LIII: ON PICTURING HEAVEN

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What would Heaven look like to you?

Heaven for me would need to have all the elements of a warm coffee shop on a frigid morning. I know that now. Last week, I experienced good food, good background music, and good company, all at the same time. At Niland’s Café in Colo, IA, I was savoring a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs (with cheese), hash browns (extra crispy), white toast (golden brown), and heavily-caffeinated coffee (with cream). Oldies were playing on the radio; I was humming along. Something Simon and Garfunkel. In walks a group of local coffee shop “regulars.” I have been an ad hoc member of their group for 25 years. Our topic of the day was about Heaven, about our fervent wish that Wherever We Go After We Die, that there should be a place where we could replicate the togetherness and understanding we have known for hundreds of mornings. When we are together, political differences dissolve. We all love stories about funny dogs and life’s daily ironies. We debrief. We sometimes cry. We laugh a lot. We like it that we are aware of each other’s strengths and interests. Mary says to me, “There would have to be pencils and paper for you.” Yes! I often sit and write after I have finished my paper. I add that I would hope for daily newspapers to read, ones I could hold in my hand. We conclude that, until We Know For Sure, we will just keep enjoying our little Heaven on Earth, with a side of biscuits and gravy.  

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about what Heaven would look like to you. Do you have a place that is a slice of “Heaven on Earth?”

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session LIII.  
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 52

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION LII: ON KEEPING CHRISTMAS

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: How will keep you Christmas alive in the coming year?

This holiday season has already held memories of good times with co-workers, clients, family and friends. My fervent wish is to keep this spirit of peace and goodwill alive in the New Year, especially the upcoming one that holds so much local, national and global turmoil. As I ponder how I will keep Christmas alive, a poem by Howard Thurman comes to mind. He reminds us that after the “song of the angels is stilled…the work of Christmas begins.” He urges us “to find the lost, heal the broken, feed the hungry…and to make music in the heart.” His message invites me to keep advocating for the hunger and homelessness causes in my community. Perhaps, instead of throwing up my hands and speaking of hopelessness, I can identify my circles of influence and vow to always speak positively about those with whom I disagree and to keep on “doing good” in my own neighborhood. How will you keep the holiday spirit alive?

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about your plan to “Keep Christmas.”

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session LII.    
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in Our Midst: Session 50

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION L: HOME PLACES

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Where is your “home place?” Is it the house you grew up in? Can you still visit it? What makes it meaningful?

Early last month, October 2016, I would have said that my “home place,” of course, was the house I grew up in. It could be found east of Nevada, IA, by turning north off Lincoln Highway onto Story County Road S27. First you looked for the third farmstead on the east side of the road. Tucked next to a big white home was my place, a small two-story frame house with a brown faux brick exterior and a stone foundation. I always thought of it as a cottage.

I reference past tense because I came across it on Oct. 18 in the middle of a controlled burn. On a random mid-day drive through the countryside, I was stunned to see smoke rising from my childhood home. The next day, I drove by again; the smoldering ruins and what was left of the foundation were being bulldozed and buried. The following day, fresh dirt covered the area. I could see the milk house through the trees. My landmark, my touchstone to my early years, was simply gone. It held memories of birthdays, Christmases, my first day of school, happy hours roaming the barns and fields. To see it was to be instantly connected to my past.

Lately, “my” house had been used for storage, the owners had said the last time I stopped by to walk the farm. I should have read the signs that its life span was limited. The reality is that I’m left pondering new questions about the whereabouts of my “home place?” Is it the farmstead that still surrounds the empty spot? Is it the farm where my grandparents had lived? Where is “home” when the house I grew up in is gone? It seems my new answers will take some time…

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write about the place that you refer to as your “Home Place.” Is it still standing? What are your most vivid memories of life there? Do you still visit it, or does it only exist in your imagination? Is your “home place” a multitude of locations?

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session L.   

      2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 49

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLVIV:ON AUTUMN MEMORIES

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Share an autumn memory.

In my early teens, we lived in Urbandale, IA. As a family, we did lots of fun outings. An autumn memory stands out. One September Saturday morning we picked up black walnuts at Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines, a wooded bottomland along the Raccoon River. It was holy ground: The family togetherness, the leafy canopies of red, yellow and gold, the chilly weather that made us huddle closer. It was a time before my sisters Jean and Janet went off to college The rest of us (my father, stepmother, brother Jerry, sister Jill, and me) hopscotched from Iowa to Minnesota and on to Colorado by the time I graduated from high school. But that beautiful day, time stood still as we stooped to fill bushel baskets full of black walnuts, some with and others without hulls. Our bright sweaters blended with the colors in the trees. We were a contented bunch, laughing and calling to each other, “Over here. Over here.” On the way home, we stopped at an orchard to buy several boxes of Golden Delicious apples. The distinctive odors of walnuts and apples permeated the car, even though the harvest bounty was in the trunk.

That evening my brother and father sorted the walnuts for drying in the basement. In time, they would take off the hulls and crack the shells. I remember that a vice and a hammer were involved. The rest of us were assigned to pick “the meats” with nut picks, careful to toss any shells. The walnuts were stored in plastic bags in the freezer in the basement (the “deep freeze,” we called it), ready to be added to cakes and cookies.

Later in the season, we reaped the rewards of our outing. Mom made baked apples with walnuts; I don’t remember the exact recipe, but cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter were among the ingredients. My parents made applesauce. During the holidays, Dad made his caramels and fudge, some batches with walnuts, using his mother’s recipes. The apples were kept in boxes in the garage, fair game for snacking anytime throughout the long winter months. Our bounty lasted through the winter and the memories a lifetime.

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write a journal entry about an autumn memory. Recall where you were, who you were with, and the sights, sounds and aromas of the day. Why does it stand out?

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XLVIV.
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 48

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLVIII: ON MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What is your favorite musical instrument? Why? What is your favorite song featuring it?

My heartstrings happen to be tuned to guitar strings. A fervent hope is that Heaven’s music is not limited to harps, with all due respect to those fine instruments. If my life were a melody, there would be guitar licks as accompaniment. Different chords transport me instantly back to places where the guitar reigned supreme. Suddenly, I am back in the 1960s listening to Joan Baez sing Bob Dylan’s“Forever Young.” Or I’m sitting around the fire at campsites singing along to “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying.” Or I’m at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, hearing original Midwest musicians sharing their tunes. Or I’m back in Brazil at a restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the sensuality of Spanish-inspired guitar music completing the experience.

A grace in my life is that my church, First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Ames, IA, frequently features the guitar rather than piano or organ. My favorite music composed for guitar is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” When I sing it (with revised, gentler lyrics) to persons with disabilities, they get a celestical light in their eyes. Such is the effect of great guitar music!

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  1.   Write about your favorite musical instrument. What memories do you have of learning to play it or first hearing it? What is your favorite song featuring it?

 

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XLVIII.   

2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 45

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLV: ON TREES

A tree with meaning to me is a white oak growing near the shelter house and overlooking the lake at McFarland Park in Ames, IA. It honors the memory of fellow Nevada (IA) native Bill Horine, nature writer/photographer and outdoorsman. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 99.

I met Bill in 1994 at a master’s graduation party for his daughter Ruth Book. I asked him:” Do you think you can tell me how to respect the land?”  He said, “Well, I don’t think I can tell you, but I think I can show you.” He showed up in my driveway a week later, asking if I wanted to visit an ailing friend of his, an ash tree. For the next seven years, until I moved out of town, he imparted his wisdom as we drove around the area hunting for the geographical center of Iowa or visiting local parks.  He loved to point out eagles. He felt that I “needed” to see a half million birds at the same time and arranged for me to travel with his family to Desoto National Refuge near Missouri Valley. At 5 a.m., we crouched silently along the water’s edge and gazed in awe of the geese landing at sunrise. “We are only guests here on earth,” he was fond of saying.

Once I asked how I could thank him for all that he “showed” me. He said, “That’s easy. Plant a tree and think of me.” Remembering these words, his family and I planted the tree last year just in time to mark the first anniversary of his death (which, coincidentally, was on Thanksgiving Day!) A living legacy to a person who was mentor to many! This spring a rock will be placed next to the tree commemorating his life and work as an “Outdoor Photographer, Writer, Storyteller, and Conservationist…Inspiring generations to enjoy, value and care for the outdoors.”

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Share about a tree that has meaning for you.

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  1.   Write about a tree that has meaning for you. Where is it? When and why was it planted? How are you connected to it? Do you visit it?

 

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XLV.   
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 43

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLIII: ON ARTWORKS

Do you have a favorite piece of art? On the surface, mine is nothing that would be hung in the Louvre. It is a simple print of a cute grey kitten poking its head out of an enamel coffeepot. Blue background, rustic Western setting, barn board framing. But there is a story and a powerful message behind “The Cat in the Coffeepot”; I recall both each time I view it.

On a weekday evening in the late Seventies, I was having supper at Bon Ton, a Hungarian restaurant at State and Elm in downtown Chicago, with my good friend Ann-Helen Anderson. I even remember what I was eating. She did not talk shop, although we both worked at The Quaker Oats Company and co-led a weekly noon hour Bible study. She was worn out from spending every spare hour caring for her aging mother and having no life of her own. And she needed to vent. I had finished my shish kabobs on lemon parsley rice and was starting on my dessert of French pastries, and she was still speaking of her mother as a burden. I turned to her with sudden inspiration and said: Have you ever thought of being grateful that you have a mother? (She knew the story of mother dying when I was seven.) She grew quiet…and began brainstorming ways she could make her mother’s last days one of grace and beauty…

Fast forward ten years. Ann-Helen and I had lost touch. She was leaving Chicago to spend a year on a mission assignment in Alaska. Her mother has passed away and she was selling and giving away a lifetime of accumulations. Would I like to choose an item? I look at thousands of items and my eye fell on “The Cat in the Coffeepot.” Ann-Helen told me that it rightfully belonged to me. The picture was a gift from her mother to thank her for all of their quality time together: drinking morning coffee, traveling together, telling stories. Ann-Helen said she had gone home from our supper and began showing daily gratitude and loving care for her mother in every possible way until she passed away.

The picture traveled with me in 1988 when I moved back to our family farm in Iowa to care for my aging grandmother Bessie and my grandparents’ lifelong companion Sadie. I put it away in a closet.

After a year of missing Chicago and growing tired and weary of living a life removed from the beat of downtown Chicago, I was just going through the motions of being present to my family. The day came when caregiving was becoming too much of a burden for me; I was more than ready to resume my exciting free-wheeling life. I did my duties, but without a joyful presence. One day, when I was secretly beginning to pack my things, I came across “The Cat in the Coffeepot.” A thought, almost like a voice, came into my head: Have you ever thought of being grateful that you have a grandmother?” Ann-Helen’s story had become my story. I renewed my efforts at small daily kindnesses and stayed the caregiving course for both my grandmother and her companion.

Now, whenever I see this piece of art, I am reminded to be very attentive to my words and actions in the company of others (and to the devastating effects of the deliberate absence of kind words and actions), because they may have profound unseen consequences down through the years.

AFTERWORD: As I was writing this, I was doing laundry in my apartment building. My neighbor’s clothes were in the dryer when mine were finished. I went ahead and folded them. Just received a note:

“Thank you for folding our clothes! That’s an unexpected kindness. Have a good weekend!”

        #10 Debra

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What is your favorite piece of art? Is there a story behind it?

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  1.   Consider writing in your journal on the following topic: What piece of art that I created holds special meaning?

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XLIII.   
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 42

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLII: ON HYMNS

Confession: I am a hummer. I can’t help it. While driving my car along Iowa’s country roads, caring for persons with disabilities at work or walking along local streets, humming is an unconscious habit. To take note of the current playlist on my hummer is to gauge the barometer of my well-being.  Especially hymns. The hymn demanding the most air time and the one that has brought me the most comfort in recent months is Be Still, My Soul. Written by Kathrina von Schlegel and translated by Jane L. Borthwick, this hymn has brought peace to me during work upheavals, family deaths, and national political mayhem. (Did I mention that my rent was just raised?)

The first verse reminds me: Leave to thy God to order and provide/In every change, He faithful will remain.

Other lines that still my fears: Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know/His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still my soul: thy Jesus can repay/From his own fullness all He takes away.

Be, still my soul: when change and tears are past/All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine/Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Is there a hymn that that has brought comfort, hope or healing to you lately?

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What hymn speaks to you today and why?

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Consider journal entries on the following topics: What was my favorite hymn as a child and why? What hymn do I hum most often today and why?
  3. I remember a studious young pastoral intern at Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago who encouraged us in the powerful experience of praying hymns as prayers. Is there a hymn that falls into that category for you? Reflect on your choice in a journal entry.

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XLII.   
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 41

 

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XLI: ON JESUS’ QUESTIONS

Jesus was a question-asker supreme. His first questions were directed to his parents at the Temple: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

(Luke 2:49 NIV). He cried out the last one from the Cross: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mat. 27:46 NIV). Throughout his ministry, his everyday questions stirred those along his path to think more deeply, consciously and reverently.  The estimates of the number of questions Jesus asked in the New Testament differ; some say as high as 307. What we do know is that he asked thought-provoking (even enemy-provoking) questions at every turn. Here is a sampling:

“Who do you say I am?” (Mat. 16:15 NIV).
“How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38 NIV)
“Do you love me?” (John 21:17 NIV)
“What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (Luke 24: 17 NIV)
“Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45 NIV)
“Does any man condemn you? Neither do I, condemn thee. Go, and sin no more.” (John 8:10 KJV)

The question that currently speaks to me in the midst of a season when politics, weather, and world events seem to have gone wild is: “Why are you so afraid?” (Mat. 8:26 NIV). Jesus asked this question before he stilled the storm. I hold the scene on the Sea of Galilee in my mind as I entrust my storms to the One who calmed the waves so long ago.

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Which of Jesus’ questions currently speaks to your heart?

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. A faithful Bible class at a Church of the Brethren in North Carolina kept track every week of what prayers the class members shared and how each prayer was answered. The class even tracked a category of prayers that they called “Unspokens.” That latter category reminded me that there are prayers that we do not wish to share with a whole group. For journal reflection, call forth your deepest prayer needs by picturing Jesus asking you the question that he asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51 NIV).

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1. Read aloud Session XLI.    
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison atcommunications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.