All Posts By

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell

Essay

Banana Republic

Have we settled on a name for the events of January 6 yet? “Capitol Riot” is what I hear most. To me, riot sounds too spontaneous, too haphazard, when increasingly it appears there was more than a little plotting and…
Essay

Nature has its own religion

My father-in-law died last summer from COVID-19. Minimizers and deniers might ask “Did he die of COVID? Or with COVID?” He never had the virus. He withered and waned from months of confinement to his small room with minimal human…
Essay

The Dutch and John Wayne

The United States Post Office in Pella, Iowa is a little jewel. The small but stately red brick colonial structure sits just off the town square. It was built in 1937, as part of the New Deal, long before Pella’s…
Essay

Christmas Changes Everything

On occasion my sermons take the form of “Tales from New Heidelberg” -- stories centered around Pastor Branderhorst and old First Reformed Church in New Heidelberg, a fictitious little Dutch enclave on the North American prairie. Think poor-man's Garrison Keillor.…
Essay

Advent Gloom

Advent: Discipleship in DarknessAn original work of poetry by moi Darkness. The dreadful darkness. The dismal darkness. The dreary darkness. The very, very, dark darkness. Four feeble candles on a wreath is all I have to hold back the bleak…
Essay

Morning Routines

Morning routines. We all have them. Unless you’re like Pentecostals and contemporary worship folk who say they have no order of worship or liturgy. They just do the same things in the same order every week.My morning routine includes looking…
Essay

Trouble in Providence

Someday I’m going to compile a list of “Christian words” which need a 200 year time out -- mothballed until they can be brought out again, fresh and new. Words that aren’t necessarily untrue, just exhausted, exploited, stretched almost beyond…
Essay

Get On the Bus!

Back in the day when I was a faithful mass transit rider, the best bus route for me dropped me about ten blocks away from work. From there, I had to walk. Most of the time that was okay, even…