Conversation Skilz

In all my 25+ years of helping people talk to each other, I can be confident of two things: 1. People already know what they are supposed to do and have the ability to do it; 2. They won’t do it on their own. Let’s begin with number one. People already know what…

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Author: Amanda Box Publish Date: July 2, 2018

Where Are You Going, Abram?

After over 10 years of dreaming, praying, and visiting Philadelphia, the time has come for my family and I to finally move out of Texas and into the city of brotherly love. This has been such a long, exciting, anxious journey filled with doubts, struggles, enthusiasm, questions, frustration, affirmation, and joy. During these…

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Author: Steven Brice Publish Date: June 28, 2018

Keeping Ourselves–and Young People–Near the Cross

I’ve always been slightly jealous of congregations with “real” youth groups. You know the ones I’m talking about: the ones with well-painted and decorated class rooms. The ones with a full-time youth minister who, despite congregational complaints that he is an overpaid song leader, makes a difference in the lives of teenagers. The…

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Author: Alyssa Johnson Publish Date: June 27, 2018

Are the Doors of Your Church Open?

I love to walk through the neighborhoods near my home. I love the rhythm of my footsteps and the space that is created in my mind as I move my body in a repetitive motion and take in the sights and sounds around me. On these walks I pass many churches—churches that I…

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Author: Amy Bost Henegar Publish Date: June 25, 2018

Seeing with Godly Eyes: Part 1

Mirrors are funny things, aren’t they? I mean, they are simply a piece of glass with an aluminum coating, but they allow us to see ourselves (and the world) in a different light. My daughters love looking at themselves in the mirror. When they are little, they stare at that cute baby looking…

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Author: Daniel McGraw Publish Date: June 21, 2018

Leaving Church: What I’m Learning (Part 1)

“Come and help us learn to be the people of God in the neighborhood where we find ourselves.” Three and a half years ago, we moved our family from Thousand Oaks, CA to the Portland, Oregon area—Beaverton, to be specific. We left our jobs at Pepperdine: I was associate chaplain, and my husband…

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Author: Jen Hale Christy Publish Date: June 20, 2018

Refining Our Approach

Living in a community with a variety of interests and backgrounds can render the task of influencing this mosaic of an audience as a challenge. For example, even during my relatively short time as a professor, we have had more than one update on generational characteristics. Communicators are familiar with methods for reaching…

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Author: Anessa Westbrook Publish Date: June 18, 2018

Humbled Himself: A Father’s Day Reflection

Let me tell you about someone really humble: me. That joke never gets old. Maybe that’s what Paul is doing in Philippians. Even while calling the Philippians to humble themselves, he can’t help but point out that he is a “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil 3:5). Apparently, it has always been hard to talk…

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Author: Eric Gentry Publish Date: June 15, 2018

Lessons Learned from My Dad

As I considered what I might write this month for CHARIS, especially with consideration for Father’s Day, I initially thought I might write an article about spiritual lineage. Father’s Day is one of those holidays that honestly makes me a little uneasy. The holiday presents similar challenges to that of Mother’s Day: how…

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Author: Amy McLaughlin-Sheasby Publish Date: June 14, 2018

Playful Contemplation

I consider myself a bit of an amateur contemplative, and as such, prayer labyrinths are one of my favorite spiritual practices. The weather was great the other day, so I decided to try my hand at passing down my love of walking a labyrinth to my two girls, ages 5.5 and 2.5. The…

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Author: Chess Cavitt Publish Date: June 13, 2018


The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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