The places we spend time affect us. A home, a piece of land, a church, a camp, a certain time or season of life – every place we encounter helps to shape us and our experience of faith. What might the preacher learn from paying close attention to his or her own past and current surroundings? What stories do the location, landscape, history, and even building structure of a congregation have to tell?

This book was written as my final project for my Doctor of Ministry degree. Both my mother and father died, and both my children were born over the course of the years I was working on this book. The end result is a labor of love and deep reflection on this clergy life, the congregations I have served, and the stories we tell as people of faith. The book can be ordered through Amazon:

Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at

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