UCC's 'Podcast for a Just World' connects faith, justice and community building

UCC's 'Podcast for a Just World' connects faith, justice and community building

JustWorldPodcast.jpgAnother tool for UCC clergy, community activists, and people who want to find a way to promote justice and deepen their faith debuts this week, in the form of a new podcast from the Congregational and Community Engagement ministry.

'Podcast for a Just World', a weekly 20 to 30 minute podcast with a Tuesday release date, will be bringing the weekly lectionary into a conversation about issues in the world today. The Nov. 28 launch date coincides with the new liturgical year and pastors writing sermons will now be able to listen in to an enlightening discussion with a UCC connected artist, activist, minister and/or faith leader, tied to the church calendar or events happening in the world.

The goal of the podcast – to equip clergy and people of faith to read the story of God in the streets of where we live in the world today, to make deep connections between faith, justice and  community building.

"We hope the podcast helps people engage in the complex realities of the world grounded in beauty, community and the faith commitments of our tradition, to help them grow, awaken and be a part of creating a just world for all," said the Rev. Tracy Howe Wispelway, UCC Minister for Congregational and Community Engagement (MCCE), and the podcast's host. "It should also help people recognize interlocking injustice and critique the false spiritualties of our 21st century globalized world."

"A Podcast for a Just World is a timely resource that will engage members of the denomination across the country," said the Rev. Velda Love, UCC Minister for Racial Justice. "It is a relevant and timely way to access information given the face-paced work of justice in order to meet the daily demands of ongoing injustices in our society. It's also one resource among many that will enhance the United Church of Christ."

Each weekly episode will feature a guest minister, artist or activists and be broken in two segments. The first segment is a focused reflection on the story of God in our streets; how are current events, local and global echoing the weekly lectionary and the liturgical season? What does justice require in light of the scripture and current events and what is the church working on? The second segment focuses on the guest and their journey working for a just world. It wraps up with a weekly encouragement and a challenge to local communities of faith.

The inaugural four week series, running the month of Advent, takes listeners to the U.S.-Mexico Border for conversations with ministers, artists and activists working on just borders and policies effecting migrants and refugees. Guests include the Rev. Deborah Lee, UCC minister and senior program director of immigration with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, which believes that every person is sacred across all borders; Gabriela B., a border activist and DACA recipient working with the Arizona-based organization, Mariposa Sin Fronteras, which supports LGBTQ people in immigration detention; and the Rev. Randy Mayer, pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, Sahuarita, Ariz., 35 miles from the border with Mexico.

"I am eager to share the Podcast for a Just World with my networks! It's timely, creative, and attentive to the issues that define us as followers of Christ in this day," said the Rev. Chris Davies, Coordinator for the UCC Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement (CASA). "It can be a platform for the stories of our denomination and beyond to inspire and teach those listening."

'Podcast for a Just World' can be found on soundcloud, and on iTunes.

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