On March 15

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Recent and Future Reinventions

Recent and Future Reinventions

For seventeen years, I’ve been seeing myself much like this artist did. Which makes it exceedingly strange to be stepping away from the role I’m inhabiting on that paper there.
Beginning last month, I am taking a break from this work. I don’t know for how long.

Goodreads Giveaway Winners!

Congrats to Sam, Thomas, Rachel, Jill, and Jose who won our Advent giveaway on Goodreads! I'll be dropping your copy of Loving What Doesn't Last in the mail soon. Looking forward to hearing your reflections as you read.

Can We Talk About “the Media”? (Part 2)

Can We Talk About “the Media”? (Part 2)

These many years later, I don’t remember which department my colleague worked in. I only remember him flying across the newsroom with a proof sheet in his hand, suit jacket and tie swinging, as he made a beeline toward the Editor’s Office. I was a nobody junior reporter on the business desk trying to find my footing in my dream job at a medium-sized metro daily newspaper that won a Pulitzer Prize for its 1993 series “A Question of Color.”

I could tell my colleague was mad that day. Mad enough to risk looking like the angry black man.



Current Events & Culture
Love and Life


Love and Life

Current Events & Culture

A Message From Christina

I grew up on a hill in the middle of nowhere Northeast Ohio.

My words feel forged there, watching styrofoam cups melt at night in a burn barrel on a back 40 I imagine defending with a shotgun and my miniature Doberman pinscher.

(Disclaimers: It was the ’80s. We didn’t know any better than to burn styrofoam. It was more like an acre and a half, and my dog’s bark was much bigger than his bite. I also never owned a shotgun.)

From that little piece of Appalachia, I’ve transplanted several times: Minneapolis, Cleveland, and now non metropolitan but magical Southern Oregon.

A writer, editor, and refugee of the Fourth Estate, I am also an ordained pastor puttering in the spiritual R&D department of wherever Jesus is taking us next.

My best guess? It won’t be so much in the “thin places,” but the thick ones, those dense moments of human existence that feel like banging your forehead against concrete block, where the chasm between what is and what should be gapes, as impossible to traverse as the canyon between Lazarus and Dives.

What I look for is Love showing up with skin on. Right here.

Christina Kukuk

Writer + Preacher

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“Well, It Isn’t Junk to Me”

I’m not sure what epitaph will be engraved with the artist’s palette Grandma picked years ago for her grave marker, but this would be my choice.

I heard Grandma say it more than once when extended family members (read: daughters-in-law) disparaged the piles of seemingly useless materials she saved.

The piles got completely out of control: stacks of foam meat trays in not just white, but blue, green, yellow, and pink; empty spools bare of thread; buttons, clothespins (especially the old fashioned kind), empty baby food bottles and their caps, bits of cloth, yarn, ribbon and thread. She collected natural materials, too: dried thistles and milkweed pods, money plant, gourds.

These worthless things became craft projects, costumes, floral arrangements. She flooded the entries to the local County Fair with milk-pod interpretations of “The Owl and the Pussycat” or “Alice’s Wonderland.” Once, when she broke her leg falling into a hole the dogs had dug between the shed and the back-porch door, she gave her ample plaster casts a second life. Turned on end, with an extra bit of paper mache and paint, they made the best camels I have ever seen grace a home porch Nativity creche.

“Well, it isn’t junk to me,” Grandma would say….