Entries by Amber Inscore Essick

Birds of Paradise

My husband John and I were on our honeymoon when I was first introduced to what has become my most beloved pastime. Relaxing in a mountain cabin at the end of the winter, we enjoyed our first week of our marriage by feeding and identifying birds. “There is something Eden-like about it,” my husband had […]

Finding Love in the New Year

I didn’t exactly party hard this New Year’s Eve. Recovering from a cold, I stayed in with my dog, wore pajamas, watched the deleted scenes on the Parks and Recreation DVDs I got for Christmas, and toasted 2018 with a shot of cough syrup. Being under the weather takes the pressure out of New Year’s […]


Buford probably never paid homage to another person in her life. Widowed young, no children, innumerable opinions, Buford got to work and never stopped— fixing her house, tending her garden, building porches, painting ceilings; climbing on ladders, rafters, scaffolding, even into her seventies. When she finally decided to move to the nursing home, she ordered […]

Discipleship, Not Diet Culture

“New year, new you!” We’ve all heard it before. As the holidays wind down, and New Year’s Day approaches, the onslaught of diet culture begins. Countless ads, commercials, messages, and our friend’s Facebook pages promise us that we will love ourselves better and live more fulfilling lives if only we participate in their weight loss […]


When candles lifted for Silent Night wax-dripped and wick-burned lie haphazard, dropped in baskets forgotten; When cotton ball sheep masks tinsel halos spray-paint gilded gifts of the wise shepherd staff and wooden trough find storage corners to mark time til next December; When liturgies recited carols sung luminaries extinguished bulletins recycled sanctuaries draped in cloak […]

Sometimes I Really Hate This Time of Year

We are in the thick of Advent. Inside the church, we are quick to turn our focus to Elizabeth, to Mary, to drawing parallels between the waiting time of pregnancy and the waiting time of Advent. Outside the church, Christmas cards show up in our mailboxes each day with pictures of smiling families dressed to […]

The Divine Waggle

At 20 months and 2 days old, my son extended his hand towards his sister, and waggled his fingers back and forth. It was his first ever unprompted wave. As all three of us stood there in the haphazard transition between car and door of childcare, I whooped and clapped and started an awkward mom-version […]

The Pastor’s Advent

As I write this, I’m sitting on my living room couch. I showered this morning, but I’m wearing what my husband’s aunt calls “soft clothes” – a sweatshirt, and lounge pants, and slippers. I haven’t worn mascara in more than a week. “What are you going to do today?” my husband asked me, this morning, […]

Ask a YCW: Sexual Harassment Edition

Dear Askie, I’ve been really shocked and saddened lately by so many of my female colleagues, friends, and parishioners posting #metoo online with their stories of sexual abuse and harassment. I knew such things happened, but I had no idea how widespread this problem really was. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this kind […]

“I Believe the Women”

With great understanding, Wisdom is calling out as she stands at the crossroads and on every hill. She stands by the city gate where everyone enters the city, and she shouts: “I am calling out to each one of you! Good sense and sound judgment can be yours. Listen, because what I say is worthwhile […]