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Peace in a Pod
33 minutes | 10 months ago
Spiritual Journeys in the Time of Pandemic
https://www.peaceucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Spiritual-Journey-Podcast-7_12_20-4.21-PM.m4a Subscribe on: Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music This is a conversation among the Peace Church Spiritual Journey team in June 2020 about how living through a pandemic and confronting racism shapes and is shaped by our spirituality and practices.
17 minutes | a year ago
Loving Kindness Meditation
View English transcript of this episode at: https://www.peaceucc.org/podcast/loving-kindness-meditation/ This is a 17 minute Loving Kindness Meditation led by Gary Boelhower. https://www.peaceucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Loving-Kindness-Meditation.m4a Podcast Transcript This is a form of Loving Kindness Meditation, a Buddhist practice that has been embraced by many people throughout many traditions. We will send loving kindness to ourselves, to those we love, to those who are helping in so many ways to provide the essential services that are necessary during this difficult time, to our healthcare workers in hospitals and test centers and nursing homes, to those who are grieving the death of a loved one, and finally to our whole human family that is hurting so deeply at this time. This meditation will take about 17 minutes [Editor’s Note: The audio says 12 minutes] of quiet for this meditation, hopefully without interruption. We begin by taking a relaxed but attentive posture—this could be sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and back straight but with relaxed shoulders, or you could sit crossed legged on a pillow or cushion, or you might want to lie on the floor on your back on a mat or blanket with your arms extended alongside your body and your palms up. Choose a position that works for you and then close your eyes or just soften your gaze, whatever feels right to you. We begin with 3 deep cleansing breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Feel free to sigh or blow as you exhale, releasing any tension or stress that is within you. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Now let your breath find its own natural rhythm and just be aware of your breath entering and leaving your body. When your mind feels calm, bring your attention to your heart, to the center of your being. Repeat the following phrases to yourself, slowly, one at a time, taking in the message, allowing the words and feelings to settle in your heart. May I be well. May I be at peace. May I be filled with love and kindness. May I have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill my body and my being. Direct feelings of love and kindness to yourself as you repeat these phrases slowly: May I be well. May I be at peace. May I be filled with love and kindness. May I have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill my body and my being. If there are other phrases that are meaningful for you, feel free to use them throughout this meditation. Now bring to your mind and heart the image or sense of someone you love—a spouse, partner, friend, parent, child…someone you wish to hold especially close at this time. Direct the phrases of loving kindness to this person: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Bring to your mind and heart further images of people you wish to hold especially close at this time. Direct the phrases of loving kindness to these special people in your life: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Now bring to your mind and heart the image or sense of a person who is providing essential services during this time—perhaps a checkout person at the store or a trucker delivering needed supplies or a farmer picking crops or your postal carrier. Direct the phrases of loving kindness to this person: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Bring to your mind and heart further images of people who are helping in so many ways to provide the essential services that are necessary during this difficult time. Direct the phrases of loving kindness to them: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Now bring to your mind and heart the image or sense of a healthcare worker or first responder, perhaps a physician or nurse or EMT whom you know. Direct phrases of loving kindness to this person: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Bring to your mind and heart further images of people who are working in hospitals and test centers and nursing homes and direct phrases of loving kindness to them: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Now bring to your mind and heart an image or sense of someone who is grieving the death of a loved one from this pandemic. Direct phrases of loving kindness to that person: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Bring to your mind further images of those who are grieving in Italy and Spain and China and Singapore and India and throughout the United States and across the entire globe and direct phrases of loving kindness to all those who are grieving: May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. And now expand your great heart of loving kindness and speak your wishes of peace and love to all persons throughout the world, letting your love radiate outward. May you be well. May you be at peace. May you be filled with love and kindness. May you have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill your body and your being. Allow your feelings of loving kindness to shine outward, to fill all the hearts and beings who are experiencing stress and fear and uncertainty. May you all be well. May you all be at peace. May you all be filled with love and kindness. May you all have ease and well-being. May love and peace fill all of you, your bodies and your beings. And now rest just for a few seconds with your heart open. Allow yourself to be filled with love and kindness and peace. May you be at peace friends, each of you is a precious gift to this world. The podcast is available on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music.
17 minutes | a year ago
Episode 2: “I See God In Everyone”
View this episode at: https://www.peaceucc.org/podcast/episode-2-i-see-god-in-everyone/ Subscribe on: Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music—– This interview happened on October 22, 2019 with Doug Bowen-Bailey talking with Bill Hardesty. This is the second episode of Peace Church’s podcast, “Peace in a Pod,” a series of conversations with members and friends of Peace United Church of Christ exploring their spiritual journeys and efforts to live out Peace’s mission of praising God, following in the way of Jesus, and building the beloved community. The tabs below share resources for accessibility and links to what is discussed in the podcast, including View Video Read Transcript Resources To view the transcript of the conversation, click the CC button while playing the video. Podcast Transcript >> Doug: Welcome to Peace in a Pod. My name is Doug Bowen-Bailey and I am part of a team who will be talking with members and friends of Peace United Church of Christ in Duluth, MN, exploring some of their spiritual and faith journeys. We look forward to the insights shared and hope that you will find something to inspire you and help you feel connected to Peace Church’s efforts to praise God, live in the way of Jesus, and build the Beloved Community. Well, welcome to Peace in a Pod. We’re excited to be here today talking with Bill Hardesty, a member here at Peace Church and we want to start off with a question from Krista Tippett who’s the host of “On Being,” and she asks all her guests, and we think it’s a really powerful question: what was the spiritual background of your childhood? >> Bill: Well, as I think about this question, I have been able to kind of get in touch with some things that I hadn’t thought about for a while. My mother took me to Sunday school but it didn’t have a real impact on me. But my spiritual connection came from her teaching me about God and God’s love and mentioning that throughout my childhood and that love was represented in my home. >> Doug: So you went to Sunday school but didn’t regularly attended church services? >> Bill: No. And I was always a searching person and I went to a Methodist college, Hamline University, and I wasn’t baptized til I was 21. >> Doug: So, can you talk about your journey that brought you to Peace Church? >> Bill: Well, I had been very active in the Methodist Church and then dropped out for many years because of some hurts and also some pain from a difficult divorce. And I was talking to Bob and Kay Stephens who were friends. And they said, “Why don’t you try Peace Church?” And that was just exactly at the right time for me. It was in the fall of 1983. So I came and immediately I felt welcomed and I saw several people there and talked to a few that I knew already. You know, I was seeking a community that could embrace me and love me and that’s what I found here in Peace Church. >> Doug: One of the things at Peace Church, we talk about living out the questions. It’s not necessarily a community that has all the answers but it’s more than we kind of live out the questions together. So I’m wondering what are some of the questions that you’ve been thinking about recently. >> Bill: Well, one of the primary ones for me and I think it’s very basic to everything that’s going on in this society, in the world today, is the division in our society. The great heat in conflict between various groups which stems from folks not understanding where others have come from and what their values and what their difficulties have been in life. Other ones are our response to climate change and war and violence. And as a 81 year old disabled person, a big question for me as what is my purpose for the remaining several years of my life and how can I daily live like Jesus taught us. >>Doug: You know, one part of our mission statement is “living in the way of Jesus.” With your experience and wit where you are now in your life, are there specific examples of ways that you try to take steps to kind of follow the way of Jesus? >>Bill: Well, I can mention a follow-up from the first part of this question and that is I’ve really been working on trying to understand others and not demonizing others and I found myself doing that along with a lot of other people. And I recently read a book, “Strangers in my own land,” which was very impactful and I learned a great deal about the values and the struggles and the cultural life and economic life of people who have felt they’ve been left out in this country. Part of this learning is then speaking out when I see other people doing that or participate in that with other people in a group and I’ve been challenging other people to, “Let’s look at how other people may be different from us but how we may relate to them in a more impactful and meaningful way.” >> Doug: So that book, is it written by Arlene Hochschild, who’s she talks about going down to Louisiana? >>Bill: Yes, she is a sociologist. >>Doug: Yeah I remember hearing an interview with her. She’s a sociologist from Berkeley. >>Bill: Yes. >>Doug: The thing that stuck out with me from that was she talked about how people have a deep story that help them understand the way they kind of navigate through the world. But what strikes me thinking about having been a member here at Peace Church with you for so long, is I feel like you have always raised good questions about access as we were going through different projects with the community in terms of making sure that as we were renovating, that we’re always keeping in mind how do we make it the most accessible for everybody to come in through the doors to be able to be a part of this congregation. So for me, I kind of see part of your deep story, I see that concern for just making sure that it is accessible, not only for you but for everybody. I’m curious to know – kind of where did that, where did the roots of that come from? That concern to make sure that all are really truly welcome. >>Bill: You know Doug, I think it’s in my DNA. I recall as a very little child in the first years of grade school when bullies would pick on other people or people who laughed at the that kid or the girl that wasn’t dressed as well as some of the others, that I was always their defender and always tried to be their friend and I just seemed to pursue that through my whole life. >>Doug: I’m curious. You’re part of the spiritual journey team and I’m curious to know both where have places been where you felt kind of a connection to a spiritual community and what are some of the practices that you use to support your own spiritual journey? >>Bill: Well, I would say that worship is significant for me through the music, the sermon, the prayers the participation of children and other small groups here at peace. Like I’ve done some significant books studies that have really brought me close to other people and a small group and I felt very spiritually connected also on some of our teams that I participated in. Certainly the Dismantling Racism team in the past and also currently the Spiritual Journey team is one that makes me feel very connected spiritually to others. >>Doug: You mentioned about kind of presence of children in worship. I’m curious if you found- what thoughts you have on to the nature of Peace Church being an intergenerational place? Because it seems to be in our society, we’re so often segregated by generations. That it’s young people hanging out with young people and you know there aren’t that many opportunities for people to mix between the generations. So I’m just wondering what that opportunity to have a place like this means to you. >>Bill: Well, it’s important and I have found myself trying to cultivate friends from all generations. There is a family that had children and one of their children was born on my birthday. And they have moved away but we are still in contact and see each other a couple times a year and that connection came through sharing birthdays at Peace Church. I try to reach out to people and particularly children. I ask children their name and, depending upon the context here at Peace Church try to get to know young families. And I made some friends with a couple of younger families currently. Last Sunday, my wife and I went out to lunch after church with one of those families. I would like to see more intergenerational activity where several generations would participate in a certain activity or an event or a way of celebrating each other’s stories together. >>Doug: So I asked you before about kind of some spiritual practices: what you do to enhance your spiritual journey? Are there any resources or practices that you would recommend to other people as they’re thinking about their own spiritual journey? >>Bill: One important spiritual practice would be is reflecting. You know, we all lead busy lives and I think we’re task-oriented and in the past I have viewed reflection as kind of a waste of time,like daydreaming you know. And you want to be productive and produce something, but I found as I become older that it’s deepened my faith and spoken to me on, in so many ways, when I reflect, either on something I’m reading or in nature, I’ll sit outside and watch animals in my backyard for hours at a time, like those squirrels and chipmunks and rabbits and deer. The resources that I would recommend, I really like the Daily Devotionals that the UCC Still Speaking provide
15 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 1: A Pastoral Journey
View this episode at: https://www.peaceucc.org/podcast/episode-1-a-pastoral-journey/ —– This interview happened on October 1, 2019 with Doug Bowen-Bailey talking with Rev. Kathy Nelson. This is the first episode of Peace Church’s podcast, “Peace in a Pod,” a series of conversations with members and friends of Peace United Church of Christ exploring their spiritual journeys and efforts to live out Peace’s mission of praising God, following in the way of Jesus, and building the beloved community. The tabs below share resources for accessibility and links to what is discussed in the podcast, including View Video Read Transcript Resources To view the transcript of the conversation, click the CC button while playing the video. Podcast Transcript Doug >> Welcome to “Peace in a Pod”. My name is Doug Bowen Bailey and I am part of a team who will be talking with members and friends of Peace United Church of Christ in Duluth Minnesota exploring some of their spiritual and faith journeys. We look forward to the insights shared and hope that you will find something to inspire you and help you feel connected to Peace Church’s efforts to praise God, live in the way of Jesus and build the Beloved Community. Welcome to our first episode of “Peace in a Pod.” We wanted to start off with the first episode with talking with Pastor Kathy Nelson. She just announced this past week to the congregation in church that she has plans to retire in December of 2020. And so we thought it’d be a great opportunity to talk with her a little bit about her, you know, experience as a pastor here at peace Church, and her spiritual journey that brought her to this place. So thanks, Kathy, for being a part of this. So the first question – We actually are kind of starting off with a question that Krista Tippett who is the person who has the “On Being” podcast asks all her guests. She asks people to talk about the spiritual background of their childhood. So I’m wondering if you could share a little bit about what was your growing up years like and how that formed your faith? Kathy>> I’m unusual in the United Church of Christ in that I actually grew up in a United Church of Christ congregation. So I grew up always going to church in St. Louis Park at Union Congregational United Church of Christ and had a great experience of church. Wednesday night activities, youth group. I also had a female associate pastor. So I grew up with a woman as a pastor who was really my mentor. Grew up going on church canoe trips. Actually the first time I ever went in the Boundary Waters, it was with a church youth the trip and we did that – Went out of Sawbill. I still remember that and did a one-mile portage for my very first portage – into Beth Lake I think it was. But so learned to love the outdoors through church. And after that experience then went on to work for camps and outfitters and so that was formative for me. And also having a woman for a pastor. So I can’t imagine life without growing up in the United Church of Christ and the liberal perspective that it brought. So this was just a normal to me. I also after college went and served for a year with the United Church of Christ in their youth services program so as a one-year volunteer service learner and again, sent me to St. Louis where I worked in the inner-city in youth programming with kids in the inner city. So it’s been so formative for me to be part of the United Church of Christ. Doug>> So can you talk a little bit about what brought you to Peace Church? Kathy>> Yep, it was a job. It was the best ‘cause I remember I had been an associate pastor for six years at that point and was having a little bit of a rough go of it and a conference minister said to me, “It’s time. If you don’t want to be an associate pastor for the rest of your life you need to get a solo position.” And so I talked it over with my husband at the time, was Tim – he’s still my husband but at the time, was a police officer and we looked at places that were open and he said he could see himself living in Duluth. So when I had applied for this position, not really thinking it would be a possibility but it turned out the search committee had — of nine [members], seven had kids who were about to enter confirmation. I love kids so I think that really helped me get the job because I was pretty young at the time. This was in my early thirties – 31 or 32 – so it was just a great opportunity to come and serve this congregation and Tim then came he worked briefly for the Superior Police Department and then went on and got his master’s in Social Work at UMD and it’s been a great transition for both of us. Not without little bumps but really good. Doug>> That’s great. Well, one of the parts of our mission at Peace Church is living the way of Jesus. So one of the questions we’re thinking about is what what are some of them – what’s one way that you’re kind of trying to live that out and living the way of Jesus? Kathy>> I just think of his outreach and inclusivity. And I love this job in part because you never know who’s gonna walk in the door today. And it often it’s people who have been marginalized in some ways and have needs just need to talk, need to grab a cup of coffee, and we have gas vouchers. So it could help with some gas…. I think the openness to this congregation to all kinds of people. I love my work at the county jail with the women there. I’ve been doing that for twenty-five years leading Bible study, but really we just talk about the scriptures that I have to preach on in the coming week and get their insights. And I learn as much from them as they do from me. But I love the commitment of this place to social justice and everything that so many people are doing, I’m just so inspired. As I like to say, “There go my people. I’m trying to keep up.” And I really mean that. It’s amazing to me the way people are walking the faith and live in the way of Jesus together. Doug>> Yeah, I know that I personally really appreciate the connection you have at the jail and the way that you bring that to the community. So I’m wondering – you know kind of part of that helps me feel connected. So I’m wondering what are the ways that you feel part, you personally feel part of a connected spiritual community? Kathy>> I think in worship here for me. It’s both individual and the corporate. I need corporate worship. I need to be in worship with other people and I think being in worship here and just being able to sing with other people is so important. Sharing leadership with Jim [Pospisil] and Nathan [Holst] and others is such a blessing because it’s really a creative act that we do together and with the people of God. Because you never know what’s gonna happen on Sunday morning. I love all the kids in worship. I love that being connected to a big community of people that are trying to follow in this way of Jesus. Personal prayer, though, is also important. I’m so grateful for the centering prayer group that meets at church. But I don’t get there, but I try to make centering prayer part of my daily practice. The Stillspeaking daily devotional, I start every day with that and I really – If people haven’t had a chance to go and get the Stillspeaking daily devotional, it is a great way to start your day. Just a scripture, a story and then a prayer, every day in your inbox, in your email, it’s great. Doug>> Yeah, we can include a link to that in the in the podcast too. So thinking about that, I read those as well, and they’re sometimes you know, really focused things and they’re sometimes kind of wrestling with big questions. So wondering what what are the big questions that you’re thinking about these days? Kathy>> I think climate change, for all of us, has been – how – what do we do. And I have been so inspired by our climate justice team, used to be the FEET team and their activity. Watching Lisa Fitzpatrick organize for the city to declare a climate emergency has been inspiring, but still feeling like, Oh my God, is it too late? I think our adult form speakers this fall have been amazing, again around climate justice, but listening to them really say we have very little time. What are we gonna do? And one of them speaking about the need to really consider nuclear and it was like, “Wow.” So saying, “Okay, that might have to be an option for us.” So I think climate justice is one of the big questions right now. I think racial inequality and the dismantling – the work of the dismantling racism team is huge as we continue to look. It doesn’t seem like we’re making a lot of progress. So how do we keep working on that issue with people of color and letting them lead but following in real meaningful ways. So and I think we have an opportunity with the hundredth anniversary of the lynching coming up and working with Clayton, Jackson, McGhie. I’m saddened lately I know I just found out Tracie Gibson, the pastor at St. Mark’s AME has been reassigned. She has been fabulous to work with so now whoever comes next, we will forge a new relationship, and grieving that she’s no longer part of that congregation. Whoever comes will be good too, but I really liked working with her. Doug>> Yeah, well, that kind of brings up another question I’ve been thinking about is that, you know, you are obviously the pastor for Peace Church but you’re also out in the community and so you are an important person, not just for Peace Church, but for the community as a whole. So c
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