Praying for Refugees, Immigrants, and Ourselves

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 9, 2018

On Friday, June 29, an interfaith prayer-walk for immigrants and refugees was held in Painesville, Ohio, a few miles north of where I live.  Although I did not attend the event, I spoke with two friends who did. One shared the prayer handouts with me. First, the prayer-walk was organized by five different local faith […]

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Seeking God

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 2, 2018

If there’s one thing scripture tells us to do, it is this: Seek God! In Deuteronomy we read, “You shall seek the Lord, your God; and you shall indeed find him” (Deut. 4:29). Similarly, the psalms talk about seeking. “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of […]

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Creation as Divine Revelation: 3 Poems

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 25, 2018

Some theologians have said that nature is our “first scriptures.” This means that long before the Bible was ever written, God was revealing God’s own self through the natural world. This “divine revelation” through creation continues today. Here are three little poems that celebrate God’s revelation through three simple experiences with nature: sunlight on water […]

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Four Short, Short Stories

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 18, 2018

It’s time for some short, short stories again. These true stories come from a variety of sources. #1 – “The Good-For-Nothing Glue” I found this story in Readers’ Digest. In the 1960s, Spencer Silver, a chemist in 3M’s research laboratories, was working with pressure sensitive adhesives. He developed an adhesive that did not stick very well. […]

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Our Rivers, Our Kin

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 11, 2018

When I was growing up on our small farm in northeast, Ohio we had a creek that ran through our back woods. As kids, we often played in and around it. We fished for crayfish there, waded in it, built log bridges over it, and simply enjoyed the sound the water made as it flowed […]

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Where Does Prayer Begin?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 4, 2018

One morning during prayer I read this petition from a booklet I was using: “Help us to reach out to those who are elderly, lonely, or ill.” I paused. Then I chuckled. “That sounds a lot like me!” I said. I qualify for the elderly part. After all, I’ve been around the sun 73 times. […]

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A Reflection for Memorial Day

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 28, 2018

Memorial Day is an American holiday set aside to remember and honor all those who died while serving in the American Armed Forces. The origin of the holiday is not entirely clear. In fact, several cities claim to be the birthplace of the holiday: Charleston, SC; Waterloo, NY; and Columbus, GA. The Charleston story is […]

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How Do You Feel about Bugs?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 21, 2018

How do you feel about bugs? This question recalls a true story about my grandnephew, Aaron. When he was about 10, he was on the playground one day with some other boys when they spotted a praying mantis. Almost instantly, some of the boys began to torment it with a stick. Aaron protested, saying praying […]

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The First Pentecost: A Wild Time Was Had by All

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 14, 2018

The first Pentecost was anything but a tame event. The winds howled, the walls rattled, the earth shook. What’s more, “tongues of fire” descended upon everyone huddled in that upper room. Clearly the Holy Spirit came not as a gentle breeze, but more as a hurricane or earthquake. The disciples too seemed filled with this […]

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G. K. Chesterton: “The Apostle of Common Sense”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 7, 2018

I just finished a book entitled G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense, by Dale Ahlquist. I thought I would share a few thoughts on this fascinating writer with you today. Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a British writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, art critic, and lay theologian. During his life, he produced 80 books, 200 […]

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