#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.

 

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

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