National Council of Churches Podcast

National Council of Churches Podcast

This is the weekly podcast of the National Council of Churches. Enjoy the best features and interviews from insightful guests from across the ecumenical and interfaith movement.... Show More

Episodes

April 24, 2020 28 min

On Wednesday we celebrated Earth Day, a day that has been celebrated every year since 1970 on April 22nd.  It’s a day for raising awareness of human activity’s negative impact upon the earth and is a day for political action and civic participation as well.  It’s the culmination of an entire month of focus on the environment, and for people of faith, it has a special significance as a day of reverence for God’s creating and sustain...

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April 10, 2020 33 min

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered nearly every aspect of life in the US and around the world.  Every institution is affected, and the church is no exception. Colleges have sent students home, cleared out the classrooms, and are adapting to an online-only world.  Churches have, for the most part, closed their doors on Sunday mornings and are struggling with how to maintain the kind of community life that congregants depend on. We ar...

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April 2, 2020 31 min

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered nearly every aspect of life in the US and around the world.  Every institution is affected, and the church is no exception. Colleges have sent students home, cleared out the classrooms, and are adapting to an online-only world.  Churches have, for the most part, closed their doors on Sunday mornings and are struggling with how to maintain the kind of community life that congregants depend on.

As we...

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March 22, 2019 34 min

As we ponder the horrors of the massacre of 49 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, we have to reckon with the fact that home-grown hatred and extremism has gone global.  One of the great things about working with other faith groups is that we get to see how others view their mandate to fight hatred and extremism through the lens of their faith.

Simran Jeet Singh is one of today’s most influential Sikh thinkers.  Simran holds grad...

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February 22, 2019 33 min

Stop and think about it for a second: if you were to encourage churches to work together, wouldn’t it make sense to be reading the same translation of the Bible together?  This has been one of the hallmarks of the ecumenical movement for decades, and this is receiving a special amount of attention. For the first time in 30 years, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is getting an update.

My guest today is Roy Medley, forme...

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February 19, 2019 42 min

This week’s podcast is an encore presentation of my interview with Dru Johnson, author of “Human Rites: the Power of Rituals, Habits, and Sacraments,” which is to be released on Thursday, February 21.

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February 8, 2019 30 min

The quote goes like this: “The Death of Christianity within the United States has been a slow process, and it may very well be in its final throes.  So I say, let the dead bury their dead.” Professor and speaker Miguel De La Torre has a new book out, and this always-challenging author is critiquing a Christianity that he says has sold its soul to white nationalism.

His book is called, “Burying White Privilege,” and it’s as much as ...

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February 1, 2019 37 min

How has your life been most changed, and where has God been most visible to you in that change?  Social science suggests that relationships are the most likely to change our point of view, and if we are limited in the kinds of people we are in a relationship with, we’re more likely to see things as we always have.

My guest today is Max Finberg.  Max is here to tell us how his life and perspective has been changed through relationsh...

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January 17, 2019 42 min

Greetings from the 2019 government shutdown!  As I record this podcast, we’re in the middle of the longest government shutdown in history.  The central issue of the shutdown is immigration, and the central object is a wall.

My guest today is Noel Anderson, Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants’ Rights for the United Church of Christ and Church World Service.  I’ve got big questions about this shutdown, and Noel is the person I go t...

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November 30, 2018 42 min

Aside from going to church every Sunday, which I’m sure you do, and eagerly participating in the liturgy and ceremonies of worship, what are some other rituals you participate in on a regular basis?  The author of “Human Rites,” spelled R-I-T-E-S, would like you to think about the rituals we live by, what they mean, and how they function in all aspects of life.

My guest today is Dru Johnson, a professor and author with a fascinatin...

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Tomorrow is election day!  And many are saying that this is the most consequential election in modern history.

Today we’re once again hearing from our guest host, LaKesha Womack, as she interviews Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, Founder of Grace and Race Ministries, and a former head of the Washington office for the National Council of Churches.  Brenda has devoted her life to the work of racial understanding, healing and reconciliati...

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Over the past few weeks we have been holding webinars, with mixed success, designed to help us learn better ways of getting out the vote.  Our host for these webinars, LaKesha Womack, has interviewed experts on state and local elections, the importance of the Supreme Court, and has hosted a town hall at our Christian Unity Gathering.  Due to some technical problems encountered along the way, we’ve shifted gears and are having the l...

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Awaken, confront, transform: that’s what we’re talking about when we say “ACT to End Racism.”  Awakening to racism means listening to the difficult truths and confronting the racism in ourselves and our institutions.

My guest this week is Rev. Dr. David Anderson Hooker.  David has spent most of his career transforming conflicts in some of the most difficult spaces on the planet.  He’s not only the guest of this podcast, he’s also o...

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September 6, 2018 43 min

What’s the most important thing you can do between now and November 6th?

My guest today is LaKesha Womack, founder of the Womack Consulting Group, and leader of a series of webinars hosted by the National Council of Churches this fall.  What’s the most important thing you can do between now and November 6th? You can make sure you’re registered to vote, get educated, join with others to make sure your congregation is educated, and m...

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August 17, 2018 30 min

Last weekend marked the first anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that took the life of Heather Heyer along with two police officers as well.  In Washington, DC, where a rally was being planned by those who carried out the “Unite the Right” rally last year, tensions were high. But Charlottesville was prepared for the worst.

This week we will debrief with Rev. Phil Woodson, a United Methodist pastor in Charlott...

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June 22, 2018 35 min

When it became clear that the families crossing into the United States from Mexico were being separated as part of a “zero-tolerance” policy, an outcry ensued that forced President Trump to backtrack.  Did he really shut down this inhuman policy, or did it just get worse?

Today we will hear from Rev. Aundreia Alexander about her trip to McAllen, Texas, to see for herself what is going on there, and to offer a prophetic witness with...

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June 15, 2018 22 min

It’s going to be a long time before we stop talking about the ACT to End Racism rally that took place in April, the launch of a multi-year initiative to end racism in our selves, our churches, and our institutions.  

On today’s podcast we begin sharing some of the powerful speeches that made up the program on April 4th.  If you were there, you’ll remember the amazing spirit that overwhelmed us all. If you weren’t able to be there, ...

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June 8, 2018 37 min

Quick: when you are out in the city or on an airplane and notice someone wearing a turban and a beard, what is your first thought?  How much do you know about the fifth largest monotheistic religion?

My guest today is Gurwin Ahuja, founder of the “We Are Sikhs” campaign, a national campaign to help build awareness around a faith community most of us don’t know much about.  Gurwin has been a guest on this podcast before, and he’s on...

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May 24, 2018 31 min

When justice-seeking is at the center of one’s spirituality, community can sometimes be hard to find.  That’s why a group of people set out to build that community, or at least give it a good, encouraging boost, by holding a festival in the mountains of North Carolina called “Wild Goose.”

In today’s podcast, I speak with Brian McLaren, speaker and author of several books.  Brian is also one of the founders of the Wild Goose Festiva...

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December 15, 2017 33 min

In today’s deeply divided society, it seems the church is not immune.  Even as we in the National Council of Churches seek to find common ground among our 38 member communions, we are aware that churches within our fellowship are dealing with deep divisions of their own.  Is there an ethic or set of practices that might be helpful in times like these?

My guest today, Dr. James Davis of Middlebury College, comes to speak with us tod...

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