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For many people, the one thing that stands between their leaving a church situation that is not working for them, or staying within and being unhappy, is friendship. Understandably, wherever we spend our time is where we make friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and […]

Although it’s been years since I’ve been in a regular church situation, I can still conjure up the feelings of dread I felt at “prayer time,” sitting around a circle (we’re told it’s “intimate”) and sharing details about our lives. The worst part was […]

I live in a society that is desperately afraid of being alone. So alarmed are we of solitude that we define normalcy by how many groups we belong to: “I go to church, Sunday School, and small groups.” “I volunteer through our Give-Back-to-Others program at […]

Are you a Mary? Or a Martha? Actually, it’s a dumb question, especially if you’re male, but if you’re female and you’re in an emotionally charged women’s Bible study focusing on your inhibitions and failures, doubts, anxieties, insecurities, and foibles, you might […]

In the highly controlled, conformist society into which I was born (the United States), how successful — and normal — you are depends on certain factors, many of which have to do with participating in groups. Indeed, one of the […]

Any time you stand up, stand out, or do your hair in a different style, people notice. Some individuals are really good about it, saying things like, “Cool hair. It frames your face well,” or, “That style’s . . . […]

We are a society that parses words, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — consider the difference of implications between “anti-abortion” and “anti-choice” — and how we phrase things makes a huge difference in how our listeners or readers […]

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