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Subscribe to the CSA Newsletter
CSA’s free weekly publication, a carefully curated collection of original articles at the intersection of spiritual formation and social action.

Recounting Joy (Week 4): An Advent Practice

By Laurie Nichols

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” – Romans 15:13

Many think of joy as an elated state. A dictionary definition tells us that joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” In the Bible, however, we find something a little bit different—something that looks a bit more like a peaceful, vibrant, and contented cheerfulness instead of a dance party.

A Prayer for and of the Church

By Myrto Theocharous

Our Father of our crucified and resurrected Christ,
We gather together to seek You,
not of our own initiative but because of the call of Your Spirit in our hearts,
the Spirit that reveals to Your worldwide church that Your will is not yet being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Church + Gracious Spirit of God = Hope

By Al Tizon

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

When I look at the church, I see a people striving in the Spirit to love God and neighbor in faithful effective ways.

Church + Recognizing God’s Presence = Hope

By Kristyn Komarnicki

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

I try not to look at “the church,” as I used to understand that word, anyway—as an organized institution or loose network of denominations.

Church + Reformation = Hope

By Erina Kim-Eubanks

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

I believe that in this season of unprecedented challenges—the pandemic, political upheaval, racial uprisings, unceasing grief and violence, and more—many American churches have been faced with their long-standing idols.

Church + Embodied Faith = Hope

By Brandi Miller

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

I am watching a movement of people who aren’t just discarding their faith but choosing a more embodied one that pays attention to people’s holistic personhood.

Church + God’s perfection = Hope

By Shane Claiborne

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

The Christian landscape is much bigger than the toxic evangelicalism that so often hijacks the headlines and colonizes our faith.

Church + Stifling the Spirit = Hard to Hope

By Myles Markham

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

Candidly, I haven’t experienced a lot of hope for the church lately. I’m in a season where it would seem that even progressive mainline traditions are stifling the work of God with bureaucracy, allegiance to hierarchy, and trying to resuscitate things that maybe just need to die before they can be truly resurrected.

Church + God’s faithfulness = Hope

By Nikki Toyama-Szeto

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

The church plus God’s faithfulness give me hope. As I look at the story of God, and see the ways that God works for justice, particularly on behalf of the vulnerable, that gives me hope.