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72 minutes | 2 months ago
Holiday Special: Light In The Darkness
For the last episode of our season, we're bringing you some light in the darkness of a challenging year on this Keeping Faith Holiday Special. We're catching up with Kate Werneburg, Luke LaRocque and Dave Photiadis from episodes past to hear what's bringing them joy, connection and yes, even faith in this holiday season like no other. Together Kate, Luke & Dave reflect on memories of holidays growing up. The traditions that meant to the most to them. And how they're updating them to resonate with their lives now. They share the need for us to lean into peacemaking as we connect with family & friends. And that taking care of yourself is a key part of being able to do that work. And they share the practices they use to help them stay spiritually connected this time of year. And offer blessings for each of us this holiday season. Because yes, it's still possible to find meaning, even if this season looks different. Thanks for being part of Season 2! We'll be back in the new year with more info on what's coming up next for Keeping Faith. In the meantime, you can catch up on episodes and find spiritual practices to help support you through the holidays at keepingfaithpod.com. And share your thoughts with us on this episode or season via email at email@example.com. Or find us @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
68 minutes | 3 months ago
Living In Love With The Universe
When Stephen Scharper saw his childhood nature area bulldozed to make way for a new rec centre, he felt a spark alight within him. It was a deep understanding that the health of natural world is a direct reflection of the health our societies. And that in order to save one, we have to fight for the health of both. And this belief has driven his curiosity about the cosmic connection between us and the natural world in every aspect of his life. Prof. Stephen and I talk about his life-long fascination with nature and his adventure-filled childhood among the forests, creeks and toboggan hills of suburban Conneticut. He reflects on the memory of Richard Nixon visiting that rec centre as the moment he realized we have to fight for what we value. And fueled his commitment to the social justice movements of the 1980s & 90s. And he shares his belief that we need to find joy in the hard work of social change. Because without it, we're missing a key part of the cosmic experience. Because how do you make a difference, and make sure you're not running on empty? This is his story. Stephen Scharper is an associate professor at the Department of Anthropology and the School of the Environment at The University of Toronto. He is the author of several books on theology and ecology, including a new edition of The Green Bible, released in November, 2020. Find Stephen's Breathing With Nature Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Find out more about his story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
68 minutes | 3 months ago
Growing up with a scientist father in one of Toronto's most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, Luke LaRocque's life looked different than what you'd expect of a "traditional" Christian upbringing. So it wasn't a surprise when in college he began to question whether the term "Christian" even fit him at all. But after years of searching, he came to realize that what really mattered was whether that faith felt true to him - regardless of if he fit the label perfectly. Luke and I talk about his belief that faith is inherently political. And at the same time, struggles with seeing his faith used for political gain. He shares his challenge with the term "evangelical." And the deep need he sees for us to have conversations across our divides. And as he leaves a job he loves, he reflects on his deep belief that what we're here to do in the world is so much more than our job titles. Because how do you find belonging, when you feel like you don't fit in? This is his story. *Heads up! There are a few technical issues with this episode. But it's a really good one. So bear with them, and you won't be disappointed! Try out Luke's Praying With Technology Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Find out more about his story and join the conversation @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
72 minutes | 3 months ago
Part Of A Legacy
Danielle Webber grew up struggling to explain her Unitarian Universalist faith to her friends. Because while she went to church on weekends and attended Sunday school, services began with the lighting of a chalice and included Buddhist meditations and modern poetry more frequently than stories about Jesus. So as an adult, when she began looking for a career to bring together all of who she is, she saw it as an opportunity dig deeper into the complex faith she's held dear all her life - going to seminary to become a Unitarian minister. Reverend Danielle and I talk about her life as a 3rd generation Unitarian Universalist. And how this family legacy has deeply shaped her life. She describes the evolution of her beliefs from the time she was a kid to being a minister now. And how at the core of it all, remains a deep trust in every person's capacity for good. And she talks about how we're all inherently spiritual and that being part of a spiritual community - whatever form that takes - helps you live into your values in a way you can't do alone. Because how do you carry forward the legacy of your past? This is her story. Find Rev. Danielle's Morning Writing Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Hear more about her story and share your thoughts with us @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
76 minutes | 3 months ago
Finding My Ground
Alkarim Versi grew up loving urban life in Nairobi, Kenya. But it wasn't until he ventured outside the city and into the natural world, that the deepest parts of him truly came to life. And since then, he's learned to lean on this connection to nature to help him find his ground, no matter where he finds his feet. Alkarim and I talk about the multicultural history of Kenya. And the effects colonialism's had on faith communities and the role they play in people's lives. He recounts the solo camping trip that first brought him into deep connection with nature. And how it's become the place he returns to again and again, for healing and strength. And he shares his thoughts on how you too can get outside and connect with nature. Even if you're afraid to take the first step. Because how do you find your ground, no matter where you are? This is his story. Try out Alkarim's Walking Barefoot Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about his story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
61 minutes | 3 months ago
A Hundred Percent Of More Than One Thing
Talia Chernow grew up between worlds - being raised Jewish by her father and attending Unitarian Universalist services and Pagan rituals with her mother. So by the time she reached her coming-of-age in both the Jewish and Unitarian traditions, she'd come to see herself as a mix of it all - as a Jew-Una-Pag-atarian. And now, it doesn't surprise her she's added one more tradition to the mix - as she shares her life with an atheist, raised Muslim. Talia and I talk about how she makes all these diverse - and sometimes opposing - traditions fit. She shares her struggle to claim her place as a full member of any one of them. And to be seen by others that way too. And she reflects on how wrestling with all of this has taught her faith is something she defines for herself. And that it's possible to be 100% of more than one thing too. Because how do you make sense of everything you are? This is her story. Find Talia's Mindful Knitting Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.
58 minutes | 4 months ago
Live: How To Read The News, Mindfully
This week, we decided to do something a little different on Keeping Faith. With all eyes on the US election, we know the news cycle has been tense and overwhelming. So to help you find some calm in the chaos, we're talking about how to approach the news mindfully. I'm joined by friend of the podcast and mindfulness practitioner, Colin Oliver. And together, we'll guide you through a mindfulness practice you can use to help you process even the most difficult news stories. ***Replay: This episode originally aired live on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Share your thoughts on this episode or your experience trying out the Breath Focus Practice on Instagram & Facebook @keepingfaithpod.
57 minutes | 4 months ago
Listening In The Chaos
When Jessica Rose left for L.A. two years ago to pursue her acting dreams, all signs pointed to it being a life-changing move. Turns out it was, but not in the way she expected. Soon after arriving, Jessica's life fell apart and she found herself alone - with no job, nowhere to live and no one to lean on. But instead of running from the chaos, Jessica decided to sit in the middle of it. To dig deep and ask what it had to teach her. And that turned out to be the most life-changing move of all. Jessica and I talk about how this journey brought her out of her head and back to her heart. And to trust the wisdom she found there. She reflects on the events of her life as a trail of breadcrumbs from the universe, leading her to find strength she never knew she had. And she talks about how being completely alone led her to find the community she always craved. Because how do you start picking up the pieces, when everything's fallen apart? This is her story. Try out Jessica's version of the Morning Pages Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook. ***Don't forget! Next week, we're bringing you a special LIVE episode of Keeping Faith! Find the link in our bio on Instagram or on our website at keepingfaithpod.com/season2.
72 minutes | 4 months ago
Finding My Place, Anywhere
Kayla Rao grew up all over the world as the daughter of Canadian diplomats. And while they never explicitly talked about faith as a family, lessons on morality, hope and empathy were everywhere. But when Kayla's father unexpectedly passed away when she was in her early 20s, she began searching for a sense of stability and meaning she never craved before. 10 years later, it's landed her with a husband and kids in the middle of a big, loud, Jewish family. Kayla and I talk about her life-long experience as an outsider. And how it's led her to feel comfortable raising a family in a culture she doesn't share. She talks about the radical empathy she's learned from seeing the challenges people face across the globe. And how all of this has given her deep faith in the goodness of humanity. Because how do you find your place, when you feel like you never belong? This is her story. *Head's up: There are a few technical issues with this episode. Bear with them, and we promise you won't be disappointed! :) **There's a brief story about domestic abuse at 33:33 min. If you'd prefer to skip it, fast forward 1 min and restart at 34:41 min. Find Kayla's Morning Problem Solving Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and tell us your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Facebook & Instagram.
73 minutes | 4 months ago
Sitting In Discomfort, Together
When Ian Aley & Megan Bjella found out they were expecting a child the week COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, they knew this journey to parenthood would be different than anything they'd planned. But there was a time not too long ago when they weren't sure they'd even get to this place, as they struggled to agree on whether to become parents at all. Together, the 3 of us talk about how they built a life together, when they disagreed on such a fundamental thing - having kids. And how when they each let go of wanting a specific outcome, it created space for them to come together. And we talk about the faith they have in living life in community - how it's taught them the importance of sitting with discomfort and to keep showing up for each other, even when you disagree. Because how do you move forward together, when you're not on the same page? This is their story. Try out Ian & Megan's Intention Setting Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com. Find out more about their story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Facebook & Instagram.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
Trailer: The Person Sitting Next To You
The world's an uncertain place right now. It's true. And when times get tough, we begin to look for something - anything - to help us hang onto hope. In the past, that's meant turning to religious communities and spiritual teachers to help us interpret the signs and show us the way forward. And that can be very comforting. But what if that doesn't work for you anymore? Or what if that never worked for you at all? Who do you look to, to help you stay optimistic about the future, when you feel jaded by the fate world? Well, what if it turns out you didn't have to look very far at all? What if you could find support in the stories of people just like you - asking the same questions, working through the same challenges and still moving forward when times get tough? What if your greatest spiritual teacher was the person sitting next to you? All you had to do was ask them their story. Well, that's exactly what we're doing on Season 2 of Keeping Faith! Join us starting Thursday, Oct 15 for ten new episodes about faith, hope and what - from God to Google - you put your trust in, in this uncertain world. Find us at keepingfaithpod.com or on Facebook & Instagram @keepingfaithpod. And subscribe to Keeping Faith wherever you listen!
92 minutes | 6 months ago
We're All Deeply Spiritual
For our last episode of this season, we’re doing something a little different. I’m sliding into the guest seat to talk about my personal journey with faith, hope and how exploring spirituality has changed my life. And who better to hop into the interview chair than our Episode 8 guest, my husband, Dave Photiadis. Together we talk about my search for a faith tradition that reflects all of who I am. I share my love of sacred spaces as places to feel big feelings and ask life’s big questions. And I reflect on the origin story of this podcast and my faith in millennials as a resilient, creative, spiritual generation with the capacity to change the world. And we’re giving you our whole unedited conversation. Expect for a few, you know, ums and awws. Because how do you stay optimistic about the future, when you feel jaded by the fate of the world? Try out my spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com And if you want to reach out with your thoughts on this episode or this season, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you! Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
62 minutes | 6 months ago
We're Here Now. That's What I Put Faith In
This week, we’re gleaning wisdom from generations that have come before us, as I talk to Rev. Lynn Harrison. After years of frustration with her music career, Lynn took a step back. She became a Unitarian Universalist minister at First Unitarian Toronto, figuring her music would fade into the background. But as she’s learned throughout her life, it’s in our moments of doubt that we learn we’re on the right path. Lynn and I talk about the deep listening she’s done to figure out her calling. She shares the importance of reveling in life’s ups and downs and that being present to it all is where we find growth. And she reminds us that spirituality is personal and a reflection where you are at this moment in life. Because how do you take a step forward, when you’re unsure what comes next? Try out Lynn's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
60 minutes | 7 months ago
Absolute Truth Doesn't Exist And I'm Ok With It
After growing up in his mother’s radical faith tradition, Dave Photiadis left home on a mission to uncover the truth about life, faith and how the universe worked. But as he began building new relationships and exploring faith on his own, he realized absolute truth may not exist at all. Dave and I talk about his experience living a dual life within the faith of his family and out in the everyday world. He reflects on his process of coming to terms with his past and finding comfort in life’s unanswered questions. And he talks about the healing power of nature and how it’s played a vital role in his own healing journey. Because how do you move forward, when you’re still recovering from your past? Find Dave's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
50 minutes | 7 months ago
Writing Is My Spiritual Home
When Rachael Simpson left her family farm for life in the big city, she knew she needed to recapture that feeling of home. So she turned to the spiritual practice she’s had faith in her entire life – writing. Rachael and I talk about her life as a writer, finding magic and meaning in the everyday moments we often overlook. She shares her passion for exploring history as a way to connect to her roots. And she reflects on home as a spiritual place – one you can create anywhere. Because how do you feel at home, no matter where you are? Find Rachael's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
61 minutes | 7 months ago
I Changed Faiths. It Was A Question Of Integrity
When Kate Werneburg decided to convert from Catholic to Anglican in her early 20s, for her it was a question of integrity. And this pursuit of integrity has become central to her entire life. Kate and I talk about the process of making your faith your own as an adult and finding practices and rituals that reflect who you are. And she talks about her life as a theatre artist and how this work is informed by her commitment to creating justice and equality for all. Because how do you stay true to your values, when you’re still figuring out what they are? *Please note this episode very briefly mentions suicide. Find Kate's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
46 minutes | 7 months ago
Now Is Ok, Even When I'm Not
While recovering from an eating disorder in the hospital, Megan Bjella stumbled upon the contemplative practices of mindfulness, meditation and yoga – which changed the course of her life. Megan and I talk about healing as an act of faith and how movement’s been central to restoring her relationship with her body. And she reflects on how she’s learned to trust the present moment. And to take the journey of healing one step at a time. Because how do you take a step forward, when you’ve taken a step back? Find Megan's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
56 minutes | 8 months ago
I Left My Religion And Found My Faith
Rachel Hearn was a devout Christian when a high school history class on the historical Jesus led her down a path of spiritual questioning and away from her Christian faith. But instead of disappearing from her life, faith and spirituality became more important to her than ever. Rachel and I talk about her swing from Christian to atheist, and how her years of personal exploration have landed her somewhere in between. She shares her passion for asking life’s big questions and how she puts faith in the process of change. And she reflects on how spirituality has become foundational to how she builds relationships and finds community. Because how do you find your centre, when you’ve given up what you believe? Find Rachel's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
49 minutes | 8 months ago
I Bashed My Brains In And I'm Grateful For It
When a wakeboarding accident left Leah Nielsen unable to read, walk straight or use a computer, she knew her life would never be the same. But that turned out to be a blessing. Leah and I talk about how in the 5 years since her accident, she’s had to lean on her faith for everything. She shares her struggle with depression and grief. But how through her suffering, she’s realized she isn’t alone. And she reflects on how losing the life she planned has given her opportunity and purpose she wouldn’t otherwise have. Because how do you find your footing, when you can’t walk in a straight line? Find Leah's spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
56 minutes | 8 months ago
Even An Atheist Can Find A Higher Power
When James Hampton stepped into his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting as an atheist, being asked to find a higher power didn’t come naturally. But he soon discovered an incredible sense of calm in giving over his fears and doubts to something greater than himself. Now 4 years sober, James and I talk about the ease he’s found in sitting with discomfort and the faith he’s grown in the power of prayer. And he reflects on his work as a high school drama teacher and the faith it gives him in the goodness of humanity. Because how do you handle challenge, when you’ve let go of the one thing you’ve used to cope? Find James' spiritual practice in our Spiritual Practice Library and dive deeper into this episode's topics on our Blog at keepingfaithpod.com Facebook: @keepingfaithpod Instagram: @keepingfaithpod
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