All Posts By

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell

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…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
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…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
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…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Bonnemaman’s Ladle, Progress, and Hope

The soup ladle pictured above is from Bonnemaman’s girlhood home. Bonnemaman was my wife’s lovable, buoyant grandmother whose life came up a few months short of a century, 1900-2000. Bonnemaman and her family lived in northern France, near the Belgian…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Names & Power

The first football game I ever attended in Iowa pitted the Dutch against the Norse. Who knew such strong ethnic sentiments still persisted? Team names like Highlanders, Celtics, and Vikings express similar ethnic heritages. Last month, after years of pressure,…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Endearing, Muslim Millennial: Ramy

Can a flailing, often failing, young Muslim man present the most appealing portrayal of “religion” on recent television? A millennial from an immigrant family in northern Jersey illumines the potholed path to meaningful religion? Ramy, a comedy series on Hulu,…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop

I'm satisfied with just a cottage belowA little silver and a little goldBut in that city where the ransomed will shineI want a gold one that's silver lined. I've got a mansion just over the hilltopIn that bright land where…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

To Be a Witness

I never did put a fish sticker on the back of my car. Many years ago, I considered it for a while -- a discreet little fish. Nothing attention-grabbing. Now I'm glad I didn't. What was my intention? Was I…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA