Easter Sunday marked the end of the season of Lent. Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve been busy preparing for our next set of episodes and refocusing the weekly show, our website and planning for future growth. It’s an exciting time.
Brand new episodes will be available starting next weekend (April 8), distributed Friday mornings via iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
In addition to interviews with authors and leaders, we’ll be adding several new segments to the show. Here’s a preview of two such segments.
Storytelling and personal narrative have always been an important element of each of the world’s faith traditions. Sacred texts tell the story, not only of a group of a people, but of the experiences of individuals relating to each other in the midst of community and how those individuals and communities interact with God.
Podcasting and other digital platforms have raised the voices of diverse individuals with varying life experiences. These initiatives have engaged audiences in new ways and have encouraged an intentional practice of storytelling.
The First Person project is designed to tap into this energy and work while intentionally connecting first person narratives with sacred texts and spiritual themes. Those themes include generosity, love, forgiveness, sense of vocation/call, community, discipleship, conversion, and authenticity, among others.
Preaching in the context of a congregation is an important element of the practice of faith. However, often congregational preaching by design limits a diversity of perspectives. The First Person project focuses on raising voices and perspectives that aren’t often heard, particularly personal narratives from women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals and young adults.
The call to offer prophetic witness is not limited to ordained preachers and many pulpits do not welcome preaching that focuses on social justice themes or narratives that are shaped by authentic personal experience. Through the project, we hope to offer a place where such narratives can be raised, and where a wide-array of compelling voices can be heard.
Each day, people of all faiths (and no faith at all) are engaging with each other on the ground, creating community and working for real change. The Field Report segment is designed as a news package focused on covering those projects and initiatives, highlighting the people and organizations making it happen and engaging in the work. A specific focus of this Field Report segment is to tell the story of movements that create community and change, especially those engaging Millennials, people of color and LGBTQ individuals.
Expanded Website Featuring News, Reviews and Commentary
We’ve also been working to expand our website, inthesquare.org, building a portal for news, book and film reviews and commentary.
To that end, we’ve partnered with Religion News Service, and its team throughout the world, to provide coverage of faith, culture and public life.
Here’s a few of the stories we covered this week:
- Obama at Last Prayer Breakfast: ‘We Heal Hatred With Love’
- ‘The Story of God’ Shares Morgan Freeman’s Questions of Faith
- Job Opening: High Priests Needed for Ancient Temple Ritual
- Americans See Religious Liberty Sliding While Intolerance (and Whining) Rise
- Eviction Comes to Church of John Coltrane, Home of Sacred Jazz
- Commentary: Why I Despair Over Pakistan’s Intractable Blasphemy Laws