God Help Us – Masculinity & Belonging


masculinity & Belonging

I wanted to figure out if the ways I had been taught to believe and practice Christianity had been wrong.

In this episode of God Help Us, Annie talks with Myles Markham about defining masculinity and finding belonging. 

Myles is a community organizer, theology nerd, and is working on his MA in practical theology at Columbia Theological Seminary. He identifies as a trans-masculine mixed-race Asian American and Pacific Islander who is passionate about racial justice, LGBTQ inclusion, and building cross-identity coalitions that lead all of creation to experience health and wholeness.

Listen in as Myles shares his story and how he found inspiration and formation in reading women from around the world who write from and contribute to a postcolonial worldview. 

In this episode, Annie references this New York Times article and Nolan Cabrera’s book, White Guys on Campus.

Myles recommends reading Kwok Pui Lan, Mayra Rivera, and Musa Dube. You can find Myles on Instagram and Facebook @mylesmarkham and on his website, mylesmarkham.com. Email him at myleskalei@gmail.com.

Announcement! Annie is partnering with Coastland Commons this coming Monday for dinner and conversation at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Seattle at 6pm on October 21 for a discussion on embracing and tending to our own stories. RSVP here.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

 

Advertisements

Bonus Episode – We Haven’t Given Up


Carissa Banner

There are religions that make you question, am I worthy of God’s love and approval? Am I worthy of the church’s love and approval? And contrary to that I think, um, is religion worthy of my love and approval?

Out today on the God Help Us feed is a preview of a very special bonus episode marking one year of the podcast! Annie connects with Carissa Leone, her original guest from episode 0 to talk about what Annie’s learned from her conversations on the podcast and to discuss what to do with our rage. 

Carissa Leone is a writer, comedian, feminist, life-long agnostic, and liberal Democrat. Find more content from her at carissaleone.com. In this episode, she recommends Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker and Annie recommends Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik.

To listen to full 70 minutes, visit patreon.com/anniemesaros and become a contributor at any level from $2 to $50 per month. You’ll get access to this bonus episode, as well as content from the past six months and new bonus content every month moving forward.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Alan Scales on Unsplash.

 

God Help Us – Anti-Judaism


anti-judaism

It’s easier to demonize the other than to take time to learn what the other is thinking, let alone to become friends with somebody who’s not you.

In this episode, Annie is joined by Amy-Jill Levine, a Jewish New Testament scholar. In addition to her role as a professor of Jewish Studies and New Testament studies at Vanderbilt, she’s an author who has been hugely influential to Annie, who asked AJ to talk about where she sees anti-Judaism showing up in Christian teachings. 

Their discussion then leads to other binaries and us-versus-them mentalities in public life. Instead of demonizing those who are different from us, AJ says we need to be in conversation and embrace genuine curiosity about their side of the story. We don’t have to believe the same thing in order to agree that loving your neighbor is important.

AJ recommends the following books that she has contributed to along with many of her colleagues: The Jewish Annotated New Testament; her commentary on The Gospel of Luke co-authored with Ben Witherington, III; her series of Bible studies published by Abingdon Press; and her children’s books co-authored with Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. 

And an announcement: you’re invited to join Annie in-person for dinner and discussion put on by Coastland Commons on Monday, October 21 in Seattle. Get the details and RSVP at coastlandcommons.org. We’ll be talking about reclaiming stories from our past and present and learning to trust our own instincts despite the voices that have tried to convince us that our instincts are untrustworthy and our feelings unreliable. See you there!

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash.

 

God Help Us – The Old Testament


The Old Testament (1)

Very few people change their mind about the Bible because of logic or study. Until you address the emotional commitment, you won’t see real change.

In this episode, the Rev. Dr. J. P. Kang joins Annie to discuss the Old Testament. J. P. has been an Associate Pastor at Japanese Presbyterian Church of Seattle since 2009 and an Affiliate member of the Theology Faculty at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology since 2014 where he teaches biblical languages and literature. 

The son of Presbyterian missionaries, he grew up in Africa and Asia before returning to the U.S. for higher education, which was when he began to discern a call to ministry.

J. P. is here to help Annie unpack both what the Old Testament is and isn’t – and then to discuss some of how the Old Testament is used culturally and politically today in the US. 

In this episode, J. P. recommends Aviya Kushner’s The Grammar of God; Robert Alter’s The Hebrew Bible; David Carr’s Holy Resilience; Mark Smith’s The Genesis of Good and Evil; Emily M. D. Scott’s article “The Bible’s #MeToo Problem”; Jacqueline Vayntrub’s “Sexy Sunday School: Naughty Bible Translation”; and Bruce Metzger’s New York Times obituary.

Find more content from J. P. on his church’s website, jpresby.org.

Finally, a special announcement! Annie is collaborating with Coastland Commons, a New Worshipping Community of the Presbyterian Church (USA), that gathers every month for dinner, conversation, and to engage in spiritual practices. Annie will be partnering with them for their October event and would love to see you there! It’s Monday, October 21, 6-8pm at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Ballard. Keep an eye on our social media for more details in the coming weeks!

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash.

God Help Us – Crisis in the Catholic Church


w_ Rick Gaillardetz (1)

I have an obligation to hear the stories of pain and marginalization as best as I can, and then to look at my tradition and say, ‘is it worth fighting for?’

In this episode, Dr. Richard Gaillardetz joins Annie to discuss crises in the Catholic church. Rick is a Catholic lay theologian and a professor at Boston College who studies and teaches on the Catholic church. A husband and father of four, Rick has his PhD in theology and is a prolific author.

Treating the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests as a symptom of more fundamental issues in the church, Rick identifies three deeper crises: clerical culture, authority, and gender and sexuality. He advocates for reforms that address the root issues to prevent more violent and tragic symptoms from continuing to emerge. We also discuss the politics of demonization and the importance of disagreeing well.

For further exploration, Rick recommends reading Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church by Marie Keenan, Clericalism: the Death of Priesthood by George Wilson, and a paper produced by the Boston College Priesthood Seminar entitled “To Serve the People of God.”

Find Rick’s publications and speaking schedule at gaillardetz.com

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Jenny Marvin on Unsplash

God Help Us Replay – Women with Authority


Women w Authority

The assumptions that we bring to scripture influence our interpretation and even our translation – and not always for the best.

Throughout the history of Christianity, people have used the Bible to try to ban women from leading. In this episode of God Help Us, I talk with Pastor Kari Olson about what the Bible says about women having authority in the church and over men and what those implications might be for our social and political lives as well, in a country steeped in Christian heritage.

Originally from Seattle, Kari has her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, is the pastor of East Falls Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA, and serves on the board of Young Clergy Women International. In this episode, she mentions the books Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans and Junia: First Woman Apostle by Eldon Jay Epp. For further reading, she recommends Young Clergy Women International’s online magazine and the Women’s Bible Commentary.

You can find more content from Kari and reach out to her via fallspres.org and by following East Falls Presbyterian Church on Facebook.

Two sites I mention in this episode are The Junia Project, a progressive site about egalitarian leadership – and Desiring God, a site by John Piper that promotes hierarchical gender roles.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

God Help Us Replay – Complicating the Narrative


Complicating Banner

Who’s story’s getting left out? What story’s getting trampled on? How can I be part of lifting those voices to the surface?

In this episode of God Help Us, Kelsey Wallace, a PhD student in the Bible and Cultures program at Drew Theological School, joins Annie to discuss the biblical story of Jephthah’s daughter as told in Judges 11:29-40.

One of the many nameless women in the Bible who suffers terrible and senseless violence, Jephthah’s daughter has been largely forgotten by many of us. We offer a feminist reading of the story and relate it to the #MeToo movement and family separation at the US/Mexico border and even slip in an anecdote from Lindy West’s book, Shrill.

For further study on our topic, Kelsey recommends the Women’s Bible Commentary, a series of biblical commentaries by Bloomsbury Publishing called “The Feminist Companion To…”, and publications by the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. For more from Kelsey, visit kelseyerinwallace.com and follow her on Twitter @kwall03.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Alex Ronsdorf on Unsplash

God Help Us Replay – Empire


Empire Banner

Christianity becomes a power complex and so it’s no longer used as a tool for love, but for domination.

One of the best teachers I’ve ever had is Dr. Angela Parker, a brilliant womanist new testament scholar who challenges me to interrogate my reading of the biblical text and to question where I place myself in the narratives I find there. In this episode of God Help Us, she and I sit down to talk about the Bible’s relevance to our 2018 world – both as a tool of empire used to colonize bodies (thank you, Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore) and as a collection of stories of ancient people connecting with each other and the Divine.

Angela is an assistant professor of biblical studies at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Angela has a PhD in Bible, Culture, and Hermeneutics with an emphasis on the New Testament. In this episode, she recommends a number of resources for further exploration – Racializing Jesus, by Shawn Kelley; Postcolonial Feminist Interpretations of the Bible, by Musa Dube; podcasts she has recorded with Dan Allender such as this one on power and hierarchy in biblical Corinth; and “Can’t Stop the Feelings: Anger and Identity in Mark 6:17-29,” an article she published in The Other Journal.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

God Help Us Replay – Church


Church Replay Banner

How do we move into a place of wholeness and then desire? And then what I love about the church is the collective power it has for good.

Jen is a great person to talk to about church: the good, the bad, the unexpected. She has no illusions about the institution and yet she loves the body of Christ and leading within it. I always learn something new when I talk with Jen, so here’s her episode once again on church: what it is and what it could be. Enjoy!

For more from Jen, check out her sermons at Left Hand Church, particularly their series called “We are Family.” You can also follow Left Hand on Facebook and find Jen’s blog at jenniferjepsen.org. Great resources for finding affirming, egalitarian churches in your area are The W/ Collective and Church Clarity.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by Rishav Banerji on Unsplash.

 

God Help Us – Church Clarity


Clarity Banner

Non-affirming policies are, I think, harmful. But there’s an extra level of harm when those policies are covered over and revealed only after a significant level of investment.

Can women and queer people be church leaders? Christian congregations hold a wide variety of beliefs on both counts – but all too often, people experience a bait-and-switch, attending a church for months or even years before being denied a leadership role due to their gender and/or sexuality.

Church Clarity is a crowd-sourced database that scores congregations based on their level of transparency. My guest, Sarah Ngu, is a co-founder of the site, and for her, clarity is a political act of redistributing power and holding industry leaders accountable.

In addition to her work with Church Clarity, Sarah is a writer, speaker, ministry leader, and host of the Religious Socialism podcast. Resources she recommends are: churchclarity.org’s FAQ page and resource page as well as this specific blog post on North Point Ministries. Find more content from Sarah at religioussocialism.org, at sarahngu.com, and by following her on Twitter @sarahngu.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Support God Help Us with a financial contribution at patreon.com/anniemesaros and get monthly bonus content!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

Photo by John Cafazza on Unsplash

%d bloggers like this: