God Help Us – Healing Centered Politics


healing centered politics

Listen to black women –
we’ve never steered you wrong.

In this episode, Annie talks with Pastor Lyvonne Proverbs, a body- and sex-positive writer, preacher, poet, pastor, transformational speaker, seminar leader, consultant, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of beautiful scars and the @WereSurthrivors campaign, a digital platform for black Christian women who are also survivors of childhood sexual abuse. 

In this conversation we get into how trauma crops up and impacts our everyday lives and relationships and how that plays into politics, specifically public response to candidates. 

Lyvonne is a black woman who is dedicated to tending to the mental, physical, sexual, and spiritual health of black women, for their own sake, and as an act of community justice in the US and in the world and invites white listeners to examine their own role in white supremecist, misogynistic power structures. 

Lyvonne references Kimberle Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality as summarized in this TED Talk, Jackson Katz’s TED Talk on male sexual violence, Shawn Ginwright’s work on healing-centered engagement, and Alice Walker’s definition of “womanist.”

Additionally, Lyvonne recommends the book Sexuality and the Black Church: a Womanist Perspective, by Kelly Brown Douglas and recommends following hip hop womanist scholar Ebony Janice Moore @ebonyjanice

Find more from Lyvonne at lyvonnep.com, on Instagram and Twitter @lyvonnep, and join her learning community at patreon.com/lyvonnep.

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Hian Oliveira on Unsplash

God Help Us – Spiritual Abuse


Spiritual abuse

Abuse of all kinds will continue until we begin to fully recognize the image of God in each individual.

In this episode, Annie talks with the Reverend Ashley Easter about spiritual and sexual abuse. Ashley is a Christian feminist, writer, speaker, television producer, news pundit, ordained reverend, and abuse-victim advocate who educates churches and secular communities on abuse. She is the founder of The Courage Conference for survivors of abuse and those who love them.

In her work as an advocate, Ashley teaches a theology of safety – that by understanding that we’re all made in the image of God, we understand we are all each other’s keepers. Abusing another person or mistreating survivors after the fact is just not an option when we take seriously the image of God in all people, particularly the most vulnerable. 

And this can and should be applied outside of faith communities as well. Choosing to hold leaders accountable in every realm of society is essential for the safety of our communities.

In this episode, Ashley recommends watching the movie Spotlight, following the work of Pastor Lyvonne Proverbs, and learning about the nonprofit GRACE: Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

To attend the Courage conference or find more content from Ashley, visit ashleyeaster.com or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @ashleyeaster. To sign up for the Emerge Retreat in Monterey California February 21-23, 2020, visit theemergeretreat.com.

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

 

God Help Us – LGBTQ+Christian


LGBTQ+ Christian

We want to change this narrative that queer youth are somehow not a part of the body of Christ

In this episode, Annie talks with Dr. Jun Young, a communications expert, speaker, teacher, consultant, and founder of ZUM Communications. He is also the founder and director of a new ministry called Beloved Arise that supports LGTBQ+ youth of faith and this is the impetus for their conversation today.

Jun shares his story of coming out as an adult, he and Annie unpack some of the harmful ways the Bible is used against queer people, and Jun introduces Beloved Arise, a new online platform that encourages LGBTQ+ youth in their faith – particularly important because so many churches still do not embrace fully inclusive theologies  and biblical teachings.

As a reference, there are six places in the bible where same-sex activity is mentioned: Genesis 19:5, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, I Cor 6:9, and I Timothy 1:10.

In this episode, Jun and Annie recommend and mention a number of resources, articles, and organizations such as a video of Matthew Vines’s case for biblical inclusion, this Seattle Times article featuring Jun’s story with Crista Ministries, Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality by Jack Rogers, The Reformation Project, and Church Clarity

Find resources for LGBTQ+ Christian youth at belovedarise.org and by following Beloved Arise on Facebook and Instagram

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

God Help Us – Rewilding Our Politics


Rewilding our politics

We suffer under this fundamental idea of separation – that we can do harm to land, that we can do harm to others, and that it somehow isn’t going to affect us.

In anticipation of the upcoming winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, Annie is here with ecotheologian and spiritual guide Mary DeJong. Mary is the founder of Waymarkers, which offers guidance and support for those who are ready to respond to the call to wander into the sacred wild, seeking wisdom from our interrelated web of life through retreats, pilgrimages, one-on-one and group rewilding guidance, writing, and speaking.

Mary has a master’s in theology and culture from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology as well as post-graduate certificates in Religion and Ecology, EcoPsychology, and applied mythology. She and her family live in Seattle’s Rainier Valley in Columbia City.

Articles and books mentioned in this episode are: An article by Mary on practicing biomimicry, the Hostile Waters series by The Seattle Times, and Praying with the Earth by John Philip Newell.

Connect with Mary and her offerings at waymarkers.net or on Facebook and Instagram

An announcement: starting this month, God Help Us is moving to a once-a-month schedule. Look out for new episodes the second Thursday of every month for the next few months. Annie will keep you posted on future updates as she transitions into a new season of life and work. Thanks for being along for the ride!

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash

God Help Us – Origin Stories


Origin Stories

If Thanksgiving is anything, it’s a recognition of our dependence and the ways our lives are bound up in the lives of other people.

For this very special Thanksgiving episode, Annie is joined by Dr. Brian Bantum, Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago (though he lives in Seattle with his wife Gail Song, a Korean-American pastor, and their three sons.) Brian has his PhD from Duke University and considers how Christians encounter and speak about God as they make sense of their world.

Brian is here to help identify and unpack origin stories – from Adam and Eve to Thanksgiving, these are the narratives we all construct to help us understand the world around us as we experience it. 

In this episode, Brian recommends reading Keri Day, Wil Gafney, Angela Parker, and Anne Joh. Locally in Seattle, he also recommends learning more about Seattle Peoples Party and Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery

Brian’s books are Redeeming Mulatto and The Death of Race. Follow him on Instagram @profbkb.

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Annie Spratt on Unsplash

#ThankYouPatrons Day


#Thankyoupatrons

In the spirit of making all of November an extension of Thanksgiving – from gratitude to regular doses of comfort food – today is #ThankYouPatrons day on Patreon. Thank you to those of you who are financial supporters of God Help Us. It wouldn’t be possible without you! 
Thank you for your support and have a very merry Thanksgiving month!
Learn more about contributing to God Help Us at patreon.com/anniemesaros.

God Help Us – You Know You


you know you

If you’re afraid to ask the question, that’s probably the question you should be asking.

In the first part of this very special episode, I join Coastland Commons for their monthly gathering to talk about the significance of personal story and the importance of trusting our instincts. In the first segment, Dani Forbess and I present in front of a live audience. In part two, I have a follow-up conversation with Dani as well as Zac Calvo and Kyle Turver.

We recommend engaging in shared meals as a spiritual practice, the book The Half Has Never Been Told, and the 1619 podcast

We also hope you’ll use this recording as a jumping off point to reflect on your own story and to find a safe group of folks with whom to discuss, share, and care for one another’s stories. Suggested discussion questions are: 1) who is your favorite literary character and what do you admire about them? 2) Did anything in this podcast episode resonate with you? 3) Do you have a story that you can safely share with the group? 4) After hearing from someone, spend a moment in silence and then offer a word of gratitude or blessing to the person who shared.

Find more from Coastland Commons on Facebook and at coastlandcommons.org.

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Juno Jo on Unsplash

God Help Us – Good* White Christian


Good_ White Christian

White pseudo-supremacy is that systemic, it’s that invisible – it’s something that we can’t all see, but it’s happening nonetheless.

In this episode, Annie talks with Kerry Connelly, a writer, Certified Life Coach, author of the blog Jerseygirl, JESUS, and host of the podcast White on White, which reimagines white identity apart from pseudo-supremacy. Kerry is currently pursuing an MDiv at Christian Theological Seminary. She lives in New Jersey with her family. 

In this episode, Kerry and Annie talk about the pervasive lie of white supremacy – or what Kerry more accurately refers to as pseudo-supremacy – how our whiteness shows up in our daily interactions and just a couple of the many ways that Christianity has perpetuated racist hierarchies, both historically and presently.

Kerry’s book, Good* White Racist will be out on March 17, 2020, and is currently available for pre-sale on Amazon. Kerry recommends following the work of Rachel Cargle, Layla Saad, and Austin Channing Brown, author of I’m Still Here. As a homework assignment, Kerry encourages white folks to ask ourselves, “how has my whiteness been invisible to me until now?”

Find Kerry’s work and links to her social media at kerryconnelly.com.

In this episode, Annie mentions So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and The Death of Race by Brian Bantum.

Enjoying the show? Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts.

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 Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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.

 

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.

 

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