Failing Boldly
Conversation with Reggie Williams

Conversation with Reggie Williams

April 30, 2019

My guest this week is Dr. Reggie Williams, associate professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary.

I recently read Dr. Williams’ book "Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance" and was moved by its look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his time in the United States in 1930, specifically his time in Harlem at Abyssinian Baptist Church. April 9, 1945, was the date that Bonhoeffer was killed in a German concentration camp and so I thought it was a good time to speak to Dr. Williams about one of the 20th century’s most famous theologians and dissidents. You can find Dr. Williams on Twitter @reglwill.

Conversation with Jeremy Smith

Conversation with Jeremy Smith

April 15, 2019

My guest this week is Jeremy Smith, United Methodist pastor and creator of the blog, Hacking Christianity.

Jeremy is the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Seattle but his wider audience knows him as the prolific writer of blog posts on Hacking Christianity, a site where Jeremy engages others in conversations about faith using the lenses of progressive theology, technology, and geek culture. He’s also one of the top go-to sites when folks want to read thought-provoking reflections on the state of The United Methodist Church.

In addition to talking about how geek culture and Christianity come together, we also talk about the recent General Conference in the UMC and whether there’s hope for the UMC’s future.

You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @umjeremy.

Conversation with Steve Baskerville

Conversation with Steve Baskerville

March 2, 2019

My guest this week is a Chicago TV icon, Steve Baskerville.

For nearly 30 years, Steve was the WBBM’s primary weathercaster until his retirement at the end of 2017. During his career, he won 11 regional Emmys in addition to several other awards. Before coming to Chicago, he was the weather anchor with CBS Morning News, where he was first African-American weather anchor on a network newscast

 What happens when a weather anchor’s forecast goes wrong? Steve shares lots of great stories from his years in broadcasting in this wonderfully engaging conversation.

Conversation with Lori Lightfoot

Conversation with Lori Lightfoot

January 24, 2019

My guest this week is Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot.

Lori has an extensive background in the law, including as a former assistant U.S. attorney,  Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force created by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and President of the Chicago Police Board. If elected, she would be the Chicago’s first black woman and first openly gay mayor. We talked about the challenges facing Chicago and what it takes to run for political office.

You can find out more about her at her website.

Conversation with Elaine Heath

Conversation with Elaine Heath

January 7, 2019

My guest this week is theological scholar and author Elaine Heath.

Dr. Heath's research interests focus on community as a means of healing trauma, emergent forms of Christianity, and alternative forms of theological education. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Mystic Way of Evangelism and the most recent of which is Healing the Wounds of Sexual Abuse: Reading the Bible with Survivors. Heath’s vocational journey includes having served as Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University, and the McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. We talked about a wide array of topics including the state of the church, mysticism and evangelism and, of course, how what spiritual practices can help us persevere in the midst of failure.

Conversation with Bishop Karen Oliveto

Conversation with Bishop Karen Oliveto

October 18, 2018

My guest this week is Bishop Karen Oliveto, bishop of the Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church.
 
Bishop Oliveto made news in 2016 by becoming the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected bishop in the UMC. She has two books that have come out in 2018 that explore the call for spiritual renewal in the church and her own spiritual and vocational journey.

One can't help but be hopeful about the future of the church when experiencing the bishop's enthusiasm and joy for living out her faith journey.

Conversation with Heidi Stevens

Conversation with Heidi Stevens

September 18, 2018

My guest this week is Heidi Stevens, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune.

Heidi is the author of “Balancing Act,” a column that comes out five times a week and explores a wide variety of issues with a focus on how we can balance all the things that make us who we are. She wrote a column a few weeks ago that caught my eye. The headline was: Are we setting our kids up to do the one thing we haven't taught them to do well: Fail?

She is a parent of three herself and we had a great conversation about what kids face these days how we as parents protect them and yet allow them to experience setbacks.

 

Conversation with Freedom Singer Rutha Mae Harris

Conversation with Freedom Singer Rutha Mae Harris

August 28, 2018

I’m honored to have Rutha Mae Harris as my guest for this week’s podcast.

Ms. Harris is a retired teacher who lives in Albany, Georgia, but she’s perhaps more widely known as one of the original Freedom Singers, a group of activitists and musicians who worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s. The group traveled across the country raising money and awareness for SNCC and their work during the Civil Rights Movement and also providing inspiration for all who would listen. The pinnacle of her work with the Freedom Singers was to sing at the March on Washington, which happened 55 years ago today.

Ms. Harris shared many inspirational stories of her work with SNCC and her memories of that day in this conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Conversation with Rev. Broderick Greer

Conversation with Rev. Broderick Greer

August 14, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Reverend Broderick Greer.

Rev. Greer is Canon Precentor at Saint John's Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. At Saint John's, Broderick coordinates ministry to people in their 20s and 30s, oversees the Cathedral's daily and weekly liturgies, and assists the Dean with stewardship and development. Also has a strong national presence where he has spoken on matters related to history, black and queer theology, and racial justice. His work has appeared in The GuardianTeen Vogue, On Being, and The Washington Post.

In our conversation we discussed a wide range of topics including what it means to have an incarnational faith and the difference between welcoming and inclusive.

Conversation with Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren

Conversation with Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren

July 30, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren.

Judge Lerner-Wren pioneered the first therapeutic mental health court in the United States, dedicated to the safe decriminalization of people with mental illness and neurological disorders. She recently wrote a book entitled A Court of Refuge: Stories from the Bench of America's First Mental Health Court.

In our conversation, Judge Lerner-Wren discusses her own story of becoming a judge and mental health advocate and her passion for social justice, particularly on behalf of those who live with mental illness.