Two young pastors in small town ministry sit down each week to talk about the ups and downs of their jobs as they try to figure out what the hell it is they're supposed to be doing. Come for the behind-the-scenes look at ministry, stay for the theological asides.
'Tis the season of Saint Valentine, listeners, which means an episode about purity culture!
Content warning: we do talk about sex. And make sex jokes. Because in the face of an oppressive paradigm, you gotta laugh a little.
You can find The Liturgists' episode about purity culture here: https://theliturgists.com/podcast/2020/1/23/am-i-impure
You can find You are Your Own by Jamie Lee Finch here: https://jamieleefinch.com/you-are-your-own
You can read more about Shameless here: https://www.npr.org/2019/01/13/684505811/pastor-nadia-bolz-weber-gets-shameless-about-sex
In which Ethan and Jo discuss what it means to call someone evil and how complicated the idea can be. A warning for our listeners who might not need to hear about suicide or homophobia right now, this episode gets into those topics. Feel free to come back when you're ready (or just listen to the first 15 minutes and then peace out).
Editor's note: M Barclay's prounouns are they/them and we apologize for using incorrect pronouns for them.
In which Ethan and Jo discuss their weeks, which both involved administrative council meetings and other interactions with congregants.
Correction corner: The Bonhoeffer essay that Ethan references towards the end of the podcast is The Church and the Jewish Question, not The Church and the Jewish Problem as Jo guessed. PDFs are out there for those who don't want to buy a collection of Bonhoeffer's works.
In which Ethan and Jo start by talking about their weeks, but are quickly taken in by a discussion about the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation (you can see a quick and dirty infographic about it that Jo helped create here). Things get heated and we earn our E for Explicit rating.
In which Ethan and Jo discuss yearly Christmas pageants and how to decide whether a ministry is vital or not.
In this week after yet another anti-Semitic attack has ravaged our Jewish siblings, we'd like to supplement our Anti-Semitism Warning with a twitter thread by the Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg: https://twitter.com/TheRaDR/status/1211624621591666689?s=20. Give her a follow on the social media platform of your choice to learn and grow and join us in the on-going fight against prejudice against Jewish people in our current political climate.
Come for the Guy Fieri story, stay for the twitter recs.
Jo is @aj_schwlf, Ethan is @PastorEShearer, and the podcast is @wthisapastor. Check out who we're following for our recommendations.
Here's the article that Ethan is referencing at the beginning. It's worth the read.
Settle in, friends. In this episode, Ethan and Jo talk about their weeks (weddings galore!) and then get into it, taking some theological side roads in order to land on the minefield that is a pastor's mental health. Listen, if it wasn't important, we wouldn't give our time and attention to it. As you listen to this, again, longer-than-usual episode, see if you can find the one grammatical mistake that was so glaring, Jo almost corrected it with a voiceover.
In which Ethan and Jo have a longer-than-usual conversation from the long-distant days of November about why Ethan thinks being a pastor is first and foremost a job and what it means to worship and tend to our spiritual selves.
In which Ethan and Jo talk about running for office, what they would change about their churches (which they love!) if they could, and what keeps them hopeful in this season of doubt and distress in the United Methodist Church.
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to grab a drink with our hosts, this conversation is almost nearly it. Ethan and Jo get a running start by talking about how we interact with our siblings in Christ in different international contexts, which somehow morphs into a discussion about movies and postmodernism, and we promise, we cut out a solid 30 minutes of pastoral phone calls and surprise visits and theological asides to meet the time limit.
After an extended season of dealing with conflict in their individual churches, Jo and Ethan get together to talk about the types of conflict they struggle with, their experience as younger people dealing with older churches in conflict, how they manage conflict, and what keeps them in the faith with all these frustrations swirling around them.
In which Ethan and Jo talk about paid time off, taking care of ourselves while dealing with heavy emotions, why theology matters, and why if you're an older Methodist, you're probably a Boston Personalist without evening knowing it.
In which Ethan and Jo have a long wide-ranging conversation that covers pastoral health, district gatherings and paperwork, hospital visits, google maps, library cards, trinitarian ontology, and many hypotheses about why we struggle so hard with evangelicalism, among other things. There are jokes in it too, we promise.
After an extended introduction about what a day Ethan has had, Ethan and Jo talk about the pastor as caretaker while also discussing the challenges of maintaining some semblance of mental health while wrestling with the ordination process in a denomination that's struggling to understand itself. No bats were harmed in the recording of this episode.
This week, Jo and Ethan talk about the challenges of congregational ministry when it appears to conflict with important relationships in their lives. Don't worry, boundaries are discussed.
Ethan name-drops God, Sexuality, and the Self by Sarah Coakley. Check it out for a theological exploration of how our sexual relationships can inform our understanding of and interaction with God.
In this inaugural episode, Jo and Ethan talk about their weeks, about their typical and not-so-typical duties as pastors, and dig into the pastors they've had and how pastoral interactions in the past shaped their ministry today.