Marked with the Spirit

It’s one of the most important lines to be spoken before baptism . . . that you may receive the gift of the promised Holy Spirit. I’ve been present for hundreds of baptisms. What’s said at those baptisms is rarely the exact same thing twice in a row. In some churches pastors and ministers…

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Author: Jason Locke Publish Date: August 5, 2016

The Power of Blood

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the First Colony Church of Christ. — “Jesus was indubitably male, yet, if he is to be the perfection of our humanity, he must also be the perfection of female…

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Author: Kelly Edmiston Publish Date: August 3, 2016

Looking for Millennials … In All the Wrong Places

A conversation I hear repeatedly in many congregations is the lament over the loss of younger adults. Even many of the younger adults who do remain within the congregation seem to be less than fully engaged in the life of the church. The question I’m often asked is, “Why?” I don’t know that…

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Author: Carson E. Reed Publish Date: July 22, 2016

Shepherding with Paddle Strokes and Pigskin

Wally Bullington walks around in some of my favorite shepherding memories. Wally was a football coach, now retired, but still known by most people as “coach.” Wally loves God. And he shoots straight, but always with love and with warmth and follow-through. One scene I recall was during a church-wide father/child canoe trip…

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Author: Lynn Anderson Publish Date: July 21, 2016

For the Kids

My childhood was awesome. I spent a substantial part of my childhood in rural Indiana, with a large backyard and a wild pack of older brothers. My most vivid childhood memories involve the joy of being small—hiding in our ramshackle fortresses during Nerf gun fights, wandering through cornfield mazes behind our house, crawling…

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Author: Amy McLaughlin-Sheasby Publish Date: July 18, 2016

To Remember Is to Listen

Prayer Vigil for Emmanuel AME

By the time this post is published we will be one week out from a yet another “officer involved shooting.” This one also caught on video. Protests have started and activists have taken to the streets. People have chimed in on Facebook and Twitter. Those reserving judgement until more facts come out will…

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Author: Kasey McCollum Publish Date: July 13, 2016

Smallness and Significance

I love the beach. I have been going to St. George Island, Florida, with my parents every summer for 25 years. While those years are full of wonderful memories, it is more than memories that keep me coming back each year. There is something about the beach that reminds me of who I…

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Author: Justin Simmons Publish Date: July 11, 2016

The Hardest Command

No one ever asked Jesus which was the hardest command, but had they done so, I feel confident it would be to love your enemies as you love yourself. Oh, how I struggle with that one! I have dealt with this command fairly well at its most abstract level: national enemies. When I…

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Author: Steve Kenney Publish Date: July 6, 2016

Fluffy Hair Prayer

This morning a friend and I went to visit someone from our church family who suffered a stroke that affected the left side of her body. As we walked into her room, she was fixing her hair. We began to chat while the hair fluffing continued for several minutes. We talked about her…

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Author: Amanda Box Publish Date: July 4, 2016

But, Isn’t That…Selfish? The Paradoxical Nature of Love

This is part 1 of an ongoing series. Find the rest of the series here. — Last month I shared an article referencing a sheet of paper I have hanging up in my office with the title, “7 Responses for Healthy Systems”. This list comes from Peter Steinke’s excellent little book How Your Church…

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Author: Ben Fike Publish Date: July 1, 2016


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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