Traditional homemade soup. What comes to mind? For many of us, I suspect it evokes the memory of delicious aromas from our favorite being cooked in our parent’s home when we were growing up. Being of Dutch descent, for me it is the memory of my mother huddled over the stove cooking traditional Groentesoep met balletjes (vegetable soup with meatballs). For many of you in North Dakota, it may be Knoephla, the traditional German soup. Regardless of your cultural background, the tradition of making soup and its accompanying aroma and taste often brings back fond memories.

So why have I brought up soup? Soup is one of many “tradition anchors”. In some small way, it helps define us; in a more substantive way, it encourages us to pass down traditions to our children. Regardless, it is a tradition worth preserving.

I think we would all agree that soup is a tradition, not a value. Nevertheless – and this is what I’m really talking about – I think we sometimes confuse traditions and values. Traditions can spring from values, but rarely does it happen the other way around. Traditions are customs passed to future generations. On the other hand, values are principles that form the basis of one’s life.

For example, singing hymns versus contemporary worship songs in our Sunday services is a decision about tradition; worshiping the Lord is the value. While traditions often have their roots in personal values, they are not the same things.

We at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fight for values. In turn, these values help us preserve our dearest traditions. Values are the underpinnings of who we are and what we hold to be true, and therefore matter most.

We ask that you help elect and support North Dakota legislators who share and protect your values. Please write to your senator and representatives to remind them that your Christian values are important, and thank them for supporting those values. Please visit our Action Center for an easy way to send this message to your legislators. Thank you for speaking up for your family’s values!


Mark Jorritsma
Executive Director

P.S. Our family has a favorite soup recipe that has become a tradition in cold winter months – a comfort food in the truest sense. If you are interested in trying something new, here’s the recipe for our Chicken Broccoli Cheese Chowder. Enjoy!

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Chowder

3 cups cooked chicken, diced into cubes
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion
15 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups Potato Buds
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
¾ tsp salt

Heat broth, onion, and broccoli to boiling, then simmer 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat until cheese is melted. Goes great with sourdough bread. Serves 6-8.