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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Friendship: Not a 'joiner'

I've never been much of a joiner, but I'm eternally grateful to my friend Norma for bringing me into a writer's group — and instant, long-lasting spiritual bonds.

Norma, Sharon, Pat, Ann and I meet once a month at the public library for lunch and discussion. We take turns reading short writing assignments aloud. Each of us can write something so different from an identical starting point. We came together three years ago as a purely secular group, but our faith runs so deep that spiritual themes often permeate our writing. Three Lutherans and two Presbyterians, the Common Lectionary allows us common ground.

For me, this lunch commitment is a holy obligation that forces me to struggle with writing that would otherwise go undone. True intimacy comes from what we reveal to each other in our writing. Children's marriages and pregnancies, travel, bouts of depression, long-hidden secrets, doubts and uncertainties, moving, beginning to date again, serious health concerns — we've shared them all.


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