Reflections | March 4, 2024

Tiny stories

Messenger invites our readers to tell a story in under 100 words to illustrate something they appreciate about being part of the Church of the Brethren.

What kind of content are we seeking? A tiny story has a beginning, middle, and end. It’s not an opinion or a description or a little essay. It’s a narrative, an account of something that happened. We’re inviting a miniature story that conveys one thing that you like about the Church of the Brethren. You don’t necessarily have to say what that thing is; it will be evident in your story.

Submissions should be emailed to Submission indicates permission to publish in print or online.

The following examples come from Messenger web editor Jan Fischer Bachman.

Youth Sunday joy

It was Youth Sunday. We passed around conch shells and flowers for all to wonder at God’s beautiful creation. Teens sang, danced, and finished the service doing tumbling passes down the aisle. The morning was full of joy, creativity, and acceptance of the expression of talents by youth who had been taught, after all, “Don’t run in church.”

Another way of doing lovefeast

The building had congregations speaking three languages. The Korean church came to lovefeast, bringing trays of sushi and pastries to enhance the traditional shredded beef and fruit. I watched an older pastor kneel in front of a young boy and carefully wash his feet. I saw humility embodied. Servant leadership. Welcome for others even when it means changing traditions. A living image of Jesus.

Unexpected love

Plans for the St. Croix workcamp had gone awry. Youth piled out of rented vans at a home for adults with disabilities for an unanticipated service morning. We heard screams. Clearly apprehensive, teens reluctantly entered and followed instructions to accompany residents to the garden. Under the trees, some blew bubbles, eliciting visible delight. One girl rolled clay in a ball and placed it in the hand of a blind and deaf man. He rubbed it into a snake and handed it back, a repeated exchange that became a wordless conversation. Connections blossomed amidst the flowers.
“Can we come back tomorrow?”

Enriching favors

“I have a weird favor to ask,” she texted. Yes, we could drive three hours to pick up a loom. Along the way, my daughter and I stopped for coffee and hiked to a waterfall. Once we had the loom, we ate lunch on a small-town restaurant porch facing a park with a stream. When she picked up the loom, our friend taught my daughter how to use it. The “Brethren Transportation Service” weaves relationships.