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Get Your Spirit in Shape - United Methodist Podcast
20 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Meet Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
Growing up as a preacher’s kid in Kentucky, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett dreamed of a career in athletics. A passion for education, led to a career in pastoral ministry, but those lessons from her athletic background never left her. For example, in basketball no one makes every shot. “So it’s so important not to focus on the misses,” she teaches, “but to keep moving forward.” Today, Bishop Debra serves as resident bishop North Alabama Conference. Also, as part of her work as a bishop, she serves on the World Methodist Council chairing their Committee on Evangelism. Meet Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett.
34 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Digital discipleship: Being a presence of grace with Ryan Dunn
Recently, many of us have grown increasingly comfortable in digital spaces. We may have worshiped on Facebook, connected with family on Zoom, had a meaningful conversation over Twitter, or joined a prayer group on Twitch. All of which raises questions about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ online. The Rev. Ryan Dunn, Minister of Online Engagement with RethinkChurch, joins for a conversation about digital discipleship. How can you and I be a pleasant presence of grace when we’re online?
30 minutes | May 5, 2021
Life together: The UM Social Principles, with Sharon Austin
The United Methodist Social Principles call us to faithful engagement with the world around us. They remind us of our connection to God, one another and the created world. Living a life in service to God and others has been part of our United Methodist history since John Wesley in the 1700s who visited those in prison, preached against slavery, and led the first Methodists to help their communities with things like healthcare and education. All of this is in service to what Jesus lifted up as the greatest commandments: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, who was part of the team that worked on the 2020 revision of the Social Principles, talks about the importance of the Social Principles and the why they have been revised—although still waiting for General Conference approval.
26 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Evangelism: Sharing the Good News with Priscilla Pope-Levison
When we think of evangelism, many Christians feel some guilt. We know it is something we ought to be doing, but it makes us uncomfortable. In this podcast episode, we talk to Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, professor and Dean at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and the author of Models of Evangelism. In this conversation, she helps us better understand what evangelism looks like in real life (in contrast to the caricatures) and encourages us to explore ways to share the Good News with others more naturally and comfortably.
33 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Following God’s direction with Donna Fowler-Marchant
When faced with resistance, we sometimes back down, even when we believe we are doing what God has created us to do. In this conversation, the Rev. Donna Fowler-Marchant, author of a new book titled, Mothers in Israel: Methodist Beginnings Through the Eyes of Women, introduces us to some of the amazing women of the early Methodist movement. Each chose to follow God, even when the tradition of the day (and many of the men) were saying what they were doing was wrong. You may have heard about the bold strength of Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles. But do you know about Mary Bosanquet Fletcher? How about Sarah Lawrence and Mary Taft? Learn from their example of the conviction to follow where God leads.
35 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Race, racism and the UMC with Rudy Rasmus and Jevon Caldwell-Gross
Two of the authors of I’m Black. I’m Christian. I’m Methodist. talk about the importance of confronting racism both within the Church and throughout society. They share stories of their experiences as United Methodist pastors and differences they have noticed in the ways we talk about and process racial injustice. The Rev. Rudy Rasmus, senior pastor of St. Johns United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, and the Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross, teaching pastor at St Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, talk with Joe about the state of the Church, our politics and societal ills. Along the way, they encourage us to look deeply at our congregations and communities.
30 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Holy Spirit: Transforming the ordinary with Jack Levison
Many of us have questions about the Holy Spirit. We’ve heard things and assume others, but we’re unsure if any of them are true. Jack Levison, Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Perkins School of Theology and the author of several books, addresses many of these issues and helps us to understand how the Holy Spirit infuses our ordinary days with the extraordinary presence of God. Jack talks specifically about Pentecost, Jesus’s baptism, and the way the Spirit works in our lives today.
30 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Holistic health around the world with Kathleen Griffith
As many focus on their health in a new year, Kathleen Griffith reminds us to have a holistic approach—body, mind and spirit. “When one is unwell, one’s whole being is affected,” explains the interim Global Health Team Lead and the Program Manager of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. “We are such integrated beings.” Griffith also shares how the Abundant Health Initiative of the UMC’s audacious goal of reaching one million children with lifesaving intervention was reached in the fall of 2020.
23 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Being present: Give Love 2020 with Mark & Deirdre Zimmerman
Our final Give Love: Advent 2020 conversation is with Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman, United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries missionaries serving in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mark is a physician and Deirdre a nutritionist who care for people at Patan Hospital and through community outreach programs. In this conversation, we talk about their life as a missionary couple, parenting, and how being fully present to patients, students, colleagues, and to God, helps them in their work of sharing the love of Jesus by caring for the physical needs of others. Hear the rest of our 2020 Give Love missionary episodes.
18 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Providing nutrition: Give Love 2020 with Temba Nkomozepi
We continue our Advent 2020 missionary conversations with Temba Nkomozepi, a United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries missionary serving as an agriculturalist for the Mujila Falls Agriculture Center in Kanyama, Zambia. Temba helps provide healthy, nutritious food, and teaches others how to best grow crops and maintain livestock. It’s important work that helps improve the health of the people of Zambia. Hear the rest of our 2020 Give Love missionary episodes.
16 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Making Connections: Give Love 2020 with Lily Maijama’a
Our second missionary conversation for Advent 2020 is with Lily Maijama’a, a Global Missions Fellow with the General Board of Global Ministries serving the West Africa Initiative of Liberia where he serves as a project manager. But Lily’s service goes far beyond his office job. He trains young people in the dangers of the internet and might organize a football match (what we in the U.S. call soccer) just to meet people and invite them into a small group. A passion for connecting people to one another and to Jesus Christ, drives him. Hear how he began to understand his skills for church leadership and how he uses them to reach out to those who are not yet part of the church.
16 minutes | Nov 27, 2020
Activated faith: Give Love 2020 with Ben Lasley
We begin our missionary conversations for Advent 2020 by meeting Ben Lasley, a Global Missions Fellow with the General Board of Global Ministries serving Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up in North Carolina, Ben was active in his United Methodist church where he developed his relationship with Jesus Christ. In Philadelphia, he serves as a community organizer, coordinating a meal service for those experiencing homelessness and overseeing a community garden. Ben’s enthusiasm for his work is contagious. He says it helped “activate my faith.” It isn’t always easy. There are many challenges, but when we are willing, God works in and through us.
24 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
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 | Oct 15, 2020
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 | Sep 4, 2020
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 | Aug 21, 2020
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 | Aug 7, 2020
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 | Jul 24, 2020
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 | Jul 10, 2020
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 | Jun 19, 2020
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.
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