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Get Your Spirit in Shape - United Methodist Podcast
24 minutes | a month ago
Education & spiritual formation with Bryce Hillhouse
Bryce Hillhouse knows the value of education. He worked hard and made his own path. Today, he serves as Development Coordinator at the Lydia Patterson Institute a United Methodist-related and church-supported middle and high school in El Paso, Texas. Through their robust scholarship program, Lydia Patterson provides a quality education to impoverished children in Texas and Mexico. In this conversation, Bryce shares the value of education, the importance of spiritual formation, and the challenges Lydia Patterson has overcome at the U.S. – Mexico border and through the coronavirus pandemic.
25 minutes | a month ago
Technology and missions with Jenny Phillips
Energy is one of those things many of us can take for granted. We flip a switch and bring light to a darkened room. Outlets are plentiful where we charge our phones or power a tool. We have refrigerators that keep our food fresh and water heaters to make our showers comfortable. In some places where The United Methodist Church is in mission, however, that is not the case. Hospitals rely on cellphone flashlights. Students struggle to study at night. Vaccines are unable to be stored due to a lack of refrigeration. So when energy is unreliable or unavailable, our missionaries and disaster relief teams turn to innovative technologies to get the job done. The Rev. Jenny Phillips, Senior Technical Advisor for Environmental Sustainability at United Methodist Global Ministries, introduces us to some those cool technological advances and shares about the importance of care for creation as we care for others.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
Politics of compassion with Mark Feldmeir
“The length and width of our table determines the depth and breadth of our compassion,” teaches the Rev. Mark Feldmeir. “If we can get folks to the table and stay there, even in the difficult conversations, that compassion grows deeper and wider and allows us to be agents of compassion.” As the U.S. presidential election nears, we appear to be a divided nation—not only in politics but also in the church. In his new book, A House Divided: Engaging the Issues through the Politics of Compassion, United Methodist pastor, Feldmeir writes, “Americans are not nearly as polarized in their actual convictions as the current political rhetoric suggests.” In his book, and in this conversation, he encourages and equips us to have constructive conversations on challenging topics like climate change, immigration, and racism. By starting from where we already agree, we can become more comfortable with welcoming differing opinions to the table.
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Daily adventures in love with Adam Weber
“Maybe the big things in your eyes are actually really small things,” the Rev. Adam Weber wonders aloud, “and the small things in your eyes are actually huge.” Instead of searching for the big things we want to do for God, Adam encourages us instead to look for the places where we can love our neighbors, even the ones who are difficult to love. He’s learned that lives can be powerfully impacted by simple things like free cookies and basketball hoops. Adam Weber is the founding pastor of Embrace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in and around Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
38 minutes | 4 months ago
Faith & Racial Justice with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis describes herself as a seminary dean, mother and author. As a seminary dean and scholar, she shares a theology of anti-racism and racial justice that begins with the imago dei, the recognition that all human beings are created in the image of God. As an author, Dr. Gunning Francis wrote Ferguson and Faith after interviewing more than two dozen faith leaders who participated in the protests following the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. She shares how people of faith joined the work for racial justice, and how we are called to join as well. As the parent of two sons, she also shares some insights on how we can raise children to be anti-racist. This is an important and inspiring conversation.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Power, emptiness & satisfaction with Marlena Graves
In her new book The Way Up is Down, author Marlena Graves shares the example of Jesus, who, “Though he was in the form of God… emptied himself” (Philippians 2:6-7). In this conversation, Marlena and Joe talk about how all too often we do the opposite—trying to fill ourselves with power, money, comfort and more. Often, despite all our striving, we find that we can never be satisfied. When we surrender those desires and instead allow God to fill us, we can find the peace and satisfaction we desire.
32 minutes | 5 months ago
Proximity: From issues to people with Eric Soard
“Issues don’t move people,” shares United Methodist missionary Eric Soard. “People move people. And we need to be better at getting close to the people that are affected by the issues we are supposedly passionate about.” Soard learned about the importance of ‘proximity’—what John Wesley called “watching over one another in love”—while serving as an educator and the founder of Wesley College in Mwanza, Tanzania. After weeks of quarantine and stay-at-home orders, we all have a renewed appreciation of the value of proximity.
27 minutes | 5 months ago
Podcasts, media & spirituality with Todd Seifert
Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference Communicator, describes himself as a media mutt. He’s worked for print publications, digital media companies, produced videos and recently won the United Methodist Association of Communicators’ 2020 Best in Class award for his podcast In Layman’s Terms. Todd’s been a Sunday School teacher for years and loves sharing about scripture. He uses that knowledge in his podcast as he shares stories about the body of Christ while reflecting on God’s Word. In this conversation, we talk about how we can use media to help us grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Bishops United Against Racism with Bishops LaTrelle Easterling and Robert Farr
On Friday, June 5, 2020, we spoke with 2 bishops about racism, the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police, and the protests happening across the United States. They express their anger, how they approach the world and are treated differently because of race and gender, and some steps United Methodists can take to be part of the solution of dismantling racism. Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Episcopal Area participated in a vigil at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House earlier in the week. Bishop Robert Farr serves the Missouri Episcopal Area and wrote a powerful statement about the killing of George Floyd.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
Meet Bishop Thomas Bickerton
Meet Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the New York Episcopal Area. He was raised in West Virginia where his family worked in the glass industry and raised him in the church from day one. At West Virginia Wesleyan College, he developed an appreciation for the stories each person has to tell, which later deepened as he had opportunity to travel the world. When asked about the best part of being a bishop, he responded, “Being a bishop.” Bickerton is clearly enthusiastic about his ministry. Although a self-described driven personality, he talks about the importance of stillness, encouraging us to “just breathe” as an act of spiritual discipline. Please note: We recorded this conversation before the global pandemic.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Singing a sad song: Children and Grief with Gary Shockley
While serving as a hospice chaplain, United Methodist pastor the Rev. Gary Shockley, noticed parents, grandparents and other caretakers struggling to help children in times of grief. Because he is also a children’s author and illustrator, Gary created My Heart Sings a Sad Song, a wonderful new resource to help kids and their families as they experience the complicated emotions of grief. In this conversation, Gary shares some tips for helping children—and all of us—face our emotions during difficult times, including the grief we may be feeling during the global COVID-19 pandemic. We also talk about how Gary learned to use his gifts for art in his ministry.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Meet Bishop Bruce Ough
In the stillness of the night during a youth retreat, his pastor asked a simple question. “Bruce,” Bishop Ough recalls him saying, “have you ever thought about ministry?” Several years later, in another quiet moment at night, this time looking up at the stars, he was struck with a sense of his place in the universe and with God. As Bishop Ough shares his journey of faith and ministry, we get a glimpse into our own spiritual lives and the ways God speaks to us in the stillness. What a great reminder for these days of stay-at-home recommendations and quarantines.
34 minutes | 8 months ago
Coronavirus facts & inspiration with Bishop Yambasu & Megan Klingler
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area and Megan Klingler, a registered nurse who serves as the Primary Health Care Specialist of the Global Health Unit of United Methodist Global Ministries, share some great information about coronavirus and COVID-19, things we can do to help keep one another safe, and how the church is responding in Africa. We talk about why this virus is called “novel,” what the difference is between an epidemic and a pandemic, and how social distancing is an important way to keep one another safe. Bishop Yambasu also shares a couple of mini-sermons, sharing inspiring words for us to consider as we celebrate Holy Week and Easter during this time.
18 minutes | 8 months ago
Thoughts and encouragement during social distancing
Using clips from previous conversations, host Joe Iovino shares some thoughts and encouragement during this difficult time of social distancing to help “flatten the curve” and stem the spread of COVID-19 and coronavirus. Hear the words of Adam Hamilton, Jessica Lagrone, Matt Miofsky, a public health physician and more.
28 minutes | 8 months ago
Be bold: Living into our true identity with Rachel Billups
“When we put on our identity in Christ,” the Rev. Rachel Billups teaches, “when we lean into the fact that God has called us beloved children, we’re unstoppable. We become these super people. Not because there’s an extra chromosome of faith.., but [because] we actually trust what God says about us.” Billups, lead pastor of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Dayton, Ohio, is the author of Be Bold, Finding Your Fierce a wonderful book about living into our true, Christian identity. In our conversation, she reminds us to let go of the false stories we may have heard about ourselves, and fiercely live into the promises of Christ.
38 minutes | 9 months ago
Faith and pop culture with Matt Rawle
“Christ’s thumbprint is everywhere if we’re willing to see it,” teaches the Rev. Matt Rawle. That includes our books, movies, and music. Rawle, who serves as lead pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana, is the author of a series of books exploring the intersection between faith and pop culture. His latest, The Grace of Les Miserables is a six-week study for Lent. Using Victor Hugo’s familiar tale, Rawle explores the Christian themes of grace, justice, poverty, revolution, love and hope. In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about how we can find Christ’s thumbprint in the books we read, the music we listen to, and the movies and television shows we watch.
27 minutes | 10 months ago
Growing in faith, learning to serve with Clara Biswas
Clara Mridula Biswas serves as the director of a the Street Children Ministry and Community Outreach in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As you might imagine, her work with children connects her to families who may be struggling with overwhelming poverty, domestic violence, and people with HIV/AIDS – among other things. One of the beautiful aspects of Clara’s ministry, is she intentionally works to equip and empower people to be in service to others. Those who have been blessed through her ministry are encouraged to bless others. For example, children who have been taught music and dance, return as teachers. People she helps get the care and medicine they need, then guide others through the process. “I just help them from the back,” she says modestly, “but I let them do. So now they can do by themselves.”
37 minutes | 10 months ago
God’s divine economy of abundance with Katelin Hansen
How would your life be different if you focused on all God has already given you, rather than the things you lack? Katelin Hansen serves the United Methodist Church for All People in Columbus, Ohio as their Minister of Music & Strategic Initiatives Director. Her ministry has given her the opportunity to see what God can do with what we are willing to offer, like the young boy’s lunch that Jesus turns into enough to feed more than five-thousand people (see John 6:1-13). As you listen, consider what you have that might be used to glorify God!
35 minutes | a year ago
Listen for Love with Côte d’Ivoire missionaries
As you prepare for Christmas, what are you listening for? The Rev. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka and Francine Ilunga Mbanga Mufuk, a married couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo who serve as United Methodist missionaries to Côte d’Ivoire, do great ministries to strengthen women, children and families. Their story is an inspiration.
29 minutes | a year ago
Listen for Peace with missionary David Makobo
As you prepare for Christmas, what are you listening for? David Makobo N’Shikala knows the peace of the farm. After studying agriculture at United Methodist Africa University, he moved from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to Dakar, Senegal where he leads Senegal United Methodist Mission. David teaches farmers how to grow food in poor soil and how modern technologies can help them work with their land most efficiently.
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