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Stuffed animals minister to young and old

As a therapist, Ellen Jacobs knows something about the healing power that can be found in a hug. She also knows all too well the great need among young and old alike to feel loved. That is why Jacobs, a member of East Side Presbyterian Church in Ashtabula, Ohio, can often be found playing with stuffed animals. Well, maybe not playing, but rather inspecting and cleaning cuddly bears, giraffes, bunnies and more, before tying a tag on them and placing them in the church’s pews.

Picking out a frame

The canvas before us looks to be from a surrealist artist. In the center, a figure in a beaked plague mask rides a green horse. To one side, bed-sheet banners with the message “No Job, No Rent” hang from apartment windows. To the other side, shirts on marching protesters bear the inscription “BLM.” And scattered through the scene are darkened churches painted upside down.

God’s commitment to the poor is our commitment, too

In his book “Breaking the Code,” Bible scholar Bruce Metzger says that different types of Scriptures engage us in different ways. Revelation primarily engages our imagination. Paul’s letters like Romans develop our intellect. Old Testament law connects with our will. The Book of Psalms largely meshes with our emotions.