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Local Columns

Slices of Life: The Science of Happiness

Lately, I’ve been interested in happiness - scientifically speaking, of course. That sounds counterintuitive, oxymoronic even. How can the cut-and-dried factual-based world of science have anything to do with something as instinctive and emotional as happiness? Turns out they have more in ...

Pastor’s Corner: Don’t Let Christmas getaway!

Ever had one of those string of Christmas tree lights where half the lights work and the other half won’t unless you shake, drop, or attempt to lasso the garbage can or the ceiling fan with them, hoping to stimulate the unlit bulbs to magically light, for one more season? It’s then that ...

Slices of Life: Gratitude 2022 – a new perspective

November is typically a gratitude month. It’s a time for us to take stock of and count our blessings, be mindful of them, and appreciate all that life has bestowed upon us. We all know we should practice gratitude every day of the year, but heck, like the song, says: one out of twelve ...

Take a Mulligan: Give Thanks

St. Paul challenges us in Ephesians 5:20 "To give thanks to the Father for everything." Of course, not all of life's circumstances are always worthy of thanks, but probably in any circumstance we go through, we can find others going through much worse. So, although difficult, it is a ...

Pastor’s Corner: Black Friday Fever!

Have you wondered where the worst places are to shop on Black Friday? Basically, they are any box store, shopping or over-retailed strip malls and discounters. Yearly, Americans spend Thanksgiving Day gorging themselves on massive quantities of tryptophan, resulting in drowsiness, and the ...

Laity Reflection: Parables, an instruction for today’s life

One of the ways I learn best from the New Testament is to read and try to understand what Jesus’ parables meant for listeners in his time and for us as we read or hear them today. Sometimes he was speaking to his followers, but sometimes his audience included the temple chief priests and ...

Thanksgiving: Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is much more than a big meal with family and friends. It's a time to reflect on, and be thankful for, all of the good things you have. It's important to be grateful, not just on Thanksgiving, but each and every day. Rather than lamenting what you feel is lacking in your life, ...

Slices of Life: Rough November

It’s been a rough few days, or maybe a week - give or take. You know how those things go. People looking on from the outside wouldn’t necessarily see or know that I’m having a bit of a rough patch. You know how those things (also) go. We hide our rough patches because they aren’t ...

Dengler Domain: Population

As I reflect on my grandmother’s life – born in 1923 – it got me thinking how much the world has changed. She experienced a world war, the farm crisis, and the internet coming of age. In light of the recent election, I also thought about how many U.S. House of Representatives members Iowa ...

Pastor’s Corner: The Thanksgiving that ran ‘a-fowl’

My uncle was a big, strong farmer with enormous hands for fetching whatever needed tending to. His farm always looked great…a freshly painted house and barns, clean property, tidy and sharp looking. So, the results were priceless when it came to something my uncle couldn’t and shouldn’t ...