Alissa Anderson

Alissa Goudswaard Anderson (’10) lives with her husband Josh in New York City, where she is earning her Master of Divinity at General Theological Seminary. Alissa enjoys private kitchen dance parties, big Midwestern thunderstorms, and perusing other peoples’ bookshelves. For more, find her online at or tweet her @episcotheque.

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Spring Cleaning

I would even go so far as to say that tidying, a good spring cleaning that freshens any staleness that has settled in over a long winter, can be a spiritual practice.

Butt Dust

…while remembering that we are dust is meant to be striking and a bit uncomfortable, I’m confident that no one wants to remember being “butt dust.”

The Better Story

It is up to the reader to decide which story is true—or if not to determine truth, at least to decide which is the story they will believe.

Training Collar

People know that collar = priest. Seeing a twenty-something woman in a collar is something of an anomaly.

Excuses, Excuses

I got the syllabus, and I saw something new: forty percent of my final grade in the class is “social media impact.”

Girls in bikinis, boys doin’ the twist

There was definitely no dancing, underage drinking, etc. And the truth is, even if the setting was different, I’m more Rory and Paris than Madeleine and Louise. Pizza and The Power of Myth sounds way better than staying out late dancing and drinking… or whatever it is people do on spring break.

Treating the Common Cold

Yup, definitely melting my brain. Totally worth it, though—and my cold is almost gone! It’s like they say: television really is the best medicine.

Ode to Advent

“I think Advent is my favorite season, but by the time I’ve finished all of the work and grading, Christmas is here and I never really got to enjoy it.”

Death Comes to the Umbrella

Before New York, having an umbrella blow inside out was a fluke, something astonishing that might happen in really bad weather. Mainly something that happened in cartoons or Mary Poppins.

On beginning. Again.

Even though I said last semester that I was going to cut all my extracurriculars to make time for some of my own projects, I didn’t actually manage to quit anything


I think that is because our true home is with God, and we will never feel completely at home until we are with God. This is “heaven” to me—the ultimate homecoming.

Beyond Words

Part of the problem for me, I realized, was that I don’t listen for God’s voice verbally. I don’t expect to have a conversation with God in this way.

A Beautiful Mess

No human is purely hero or purely villain, and I think most of us would agree that the very best stories reflect this complexity, this beautiful mess.

Outside Looking In

I think what fascinates me about windows is the same thing that’s always drawn me to books—all the stories and worlds that are playing out in addition to my own.

Easter Joy

The whole idea of resurrection is something of a mossy mystery—thinking about what it means for the Christian faith and, especially, what it means for how we live today.