Leading with Love and Song

Lessons from Creative Arts Camp that Just Might Change VBS Forever (and for the Better)

My friend Christina started talking to me about Creative Arts Camp during Holy Week last year, when my focus was obviously elsewhere. She told me how amazing it had been the first time the previous summer—how they taught dance, writing, visual arts, culinary arts, and music to a diverse group of more than 50 kids signed up from ages 7-14. She filled my ears with... Read more

Can We Believe in Light?

Pittsburgh Poets Contend with the Tree of Life Massacre

We asked regular Bearings contributor Ellen McGrath Smith to gather some poems from Pittsburgh writers for our Tree of Life Special Issue. Alas, an email glitch kept the piece from getting to us before publication of the issue. We share them now as an opportunity for further reflection on the particular tragedy at Tree of Life and on the culture of gun violence... Read more

Oh God of Mercy, Oh Wild God

Dancing from Grief to Possibility

The poet Gerald Stern (b. 1925) had much in common with the 11 members of Tree of Life Synagogue who were murdered on October 27. He was raised by immigrant parents in a Jewish household not far from the synagogue, in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. And, like most of those who died, his life was shaped in complex ways by the experience of living through... Read more

Plato, Basketball, and Your Life Work

Lessons I Have Learned, and Other Clichés

Mark Collins launches our regular Creative Insights section with a video on his, um, adventures making furniture from repurposed basketball court boards. His “Plato, Basketball, and Your Life Work” explores vision, revision, and purpose as, well, often something of a poke in the eye. Literally. “Varnish,” Collins tells us, as he considers how we build lives that... Read more