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The Living Church Podcast

The Living Church Podcast

By The Living Church
The Living Church Podcast explores ecumenical topics in theology, the arts, ethics, pastoral care, and spiritual growth — all to equip and encourage leaders in the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, and beyond. A ministry of the Living Church Institute
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Living in Love and Faith, Unpacked
If you're an Episcopalian or Anglican, chances are you've probably heard by now of the release of the landmark project on human sexuality and marriage, Living in Love and Faith. Today, we're going to dive into this project with one of its architects. LLF is a suite of resources just put out by the Church of England — it includes videos, a book, study and teaching materials — and what does it do? It does a lot. It shares the massive results of research, history, storytelling — theological, anecdotal, traditional, scientific, sociological — and it begins to really closely analyze the sources of convergence and divergence between people who have differently formed consciences and viewpoints on marriage and sexuality to try to come to a truly new place of communal discernment. LLF is not a project intended to give answers. And that may be frustrating to some folks. So what is the goal of the project? And what's the end game? How do the people who directed the project hope it will serve the Church? How might it likely relate to Lambeth 2022? Is it really new, or is it just a bunch of old news packaged in a new way? What has it uncovered exactly? And how can people, from dioceses to local congregations, use it? Today we get to hear from the Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew Goddard, who was part of the team who built LLF, interviewed by the Rev. Canon Dr. Jordan Hylden.
February 25, 2021
Tish Harrison Warren on Prayer in the Night
"There are no five easy steps to trusting God in darkness." Let's go back in time a little. Let's not talk about 2020 for a second. Let's talk about 2017. I don't know how things were for you in 2017, but in 2017, the Rev. Tish Harrison Warren had a terrible year. And it inspired a beautiful book. The book is called Prayer in the Night: for Those Who Work or Watch or Weep; and it takes up the subjects of pain and grief, in all their opaqueness, in all their dailyness, and our vulnerability in the face of them. It also takes up the way pain can shut down the very things we need most when pain comes: prayer, and a sense of God's presence. And yet, it's also a book about "average suffering" and "common heartache" -- it's not about a pandemic; and it's not a memoir. It's about the things most if not all of us will go through in our lifetimes, whatever the state of the world around us: the loss of people we love, loneliness, tragedies that don't space themselves out politely but come in a quick succession. And it's a book shaped around the practice of Compline. How do the prayers of Compline face and pray through the darkness and dangers of the night? Tish joins us today to talk about her book, and about her story. She is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. Along with Prayer in the Night, she is the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, which was Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year. She has worked in a variety of ministries: as a campus minister, an associate rector, in ministries to those in addiction and poverty, and has most recently served as writer-in-residence at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a monthly columnist with Christianity Today, and her articles and essays have appeared in many places including the New York Times. She interviewed here by the Rev. Dr. Wesley Hill, Associate professor of New Testament at Trinity School for Ministry. Purchase Tish Harrison Warren's new book, Prayer in the Night. Register for the free Lenten course, Grace in the Wilderness.
February 11, 2021
Creative Politics: Democracy, Socialism, and Christianity
There are basically four options. When you meet someone you disagree with, you can either kill them, create a system to coerce them, run away, or do politics." That is one of several quotable quotes in our conversation today on democracy, socialism, and Christianity. Even if you're not Political with a big P, meaning maybe you simply don't want to get into it with Uncle Terry on Facebook, both our guests today would probably venture to say it's not easy to avoid being political with a little p. That is, if being political just means finding ways to negotiate our common life together. Historically speaking, Christianity is in the very root systems of democracy and socialism. What philosophies, and what Christian ideals, are at the heart of both of these systems of organizing common civic life? How have they actually played out? Our guests today approach democracy and socialism, not as buzz words, but as ways of enhancing and guiding how we think of each other and how we approach citizenship in the communities and countries in which we find ourselves. And they uncover some fascinating history, like: Why and when did established churches make the turn toward supporting democracy, a system that sought to de-establish them as nationally governing bodies? Why were some of the great socialist figures in earlier generations also Anglicans? What does this mean as we make decisions for how to live in our times? Listen and find out. Our guests today include: Dr. Luke Bretherton, Robert E. Cushman Professor of Moral and Political Theology and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke Divinity School, and the author of Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy. Dr. John Orens, who is the Professor of European History at George Mason University and author of Stewart Headlam’s Radical Anglicanism: The Mass, the Masses, and the Music Hall. (Gotta love that title.) Our conversation is moderated today by Covenant blog author Dr. Stewart Clem, assistant professor of moral theology and director of the Ashley-O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership at Aquinas Institute of Theology.
January 28, 2021
Is Football a Sin? with PB Michael Curry and Stanley Hauerwas
In time for Superbowl season, the presiding bishop and two Texans talk about the enjoyment and ethics of American football.
January 14, 2021
Books and Boarding Schools: A Christmas Chat with H.S. Cross
Books, coziness, and Anglophilia: what die-hard Anglicans love about Christmas can also teach us about Advent. We talk with novelist H.S. Cross about her books, English boarding schools, suffering, and nostalgia as "edenic longing." Explore titles by H.S. Cross. To sponsor this podcast, visit here and click "Support."
December 17, 2020
Policing in America Today
The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart and the Rt. Rev. José McLoughlin are seasoned law enforcement officers. Now, as Episcopal clergy, they share their uniquely insightful perspectives on current policing practices as well as hope for change. Learn more about The Living Word Plus. Learn more about the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice.
December 3, 2020
Mental Health and Christian Hope
In a time of fear and pandemic, how do we face the reality of our own mental health and others' while continuing to share the hope of Jesus? Join us in this honest and powerful conversation with the Rev. Rob Merchant. Donate to the Living Church.
November 19, 2020
Classic Texts: Teresa of Ávila and the Soul's Bridegroom
What does it look like to approach spiritual perfection? Writer and laywoman Sarah Cornwell reads excerpts from the "Seventh Mansion" of St. Teresa of Ávila's classic, The Interior Castle. Click here to subscribe to Daily Devotionals. Register for Reading Augustine in a Time of   Crisis with James K.A. Smith.
November 5, 2020
“We Bring Fiesta”: Being Latino and Anglican
In part 3 of our “Multicultural Anglicanism” series, we talk to the Rev. Canon Anthony Guillén about being Latino and Episcopalian, shared leadership, and the joys and gifts that often go unseen.
October 22, 2020
Marilynne Robinson and Rowan Williams on Jack - Part 2
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, interviews author Marilynne Robinson about her newest novel in the Gilead series. Download a free group study guide & book review.
October 8, 2020
Marilynne Robinson and Rowan Williams on Jack - Part 1
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, interviews author Marilynne Robinson about her newest novel in the Gilead series. Read the transcript. Download a free group study guide & book review.
October 1, 2020
Wes Hill on the Lord's Prayer and the Life of God
Amber Noel interviews Wesley Hill about his current projects and why he's been so captivated by the Lord's Prayer lately — especially by the words, "Our Father." Click here for information on Hill's book, The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father.
September 24, 2020
Classic Texts: Music as Prayer with Ephraim Radner
Enjoy these classic musical texts introduced and played by theologian Ephraim Radner. Violin "readings" from his home are interspersed with reflections on discipleship and prayer. Songs played in this episode: "Brother James' Air," "Praise to the Lord," "O Food to Pilgrims Given," "Modeh Ani," "Is There Anybody Here," Telemann's "Fantasia," Biber's "Passacaglia," "Come Down O Love Divine."
September 17, 2020
The Daily Office 101
Why and how do we pray every day? Bp. John Bauerschmidt of the Diocese of Tennessee offers both a history and a "how-to" of the Daily Office.
September 10, 2020
Church Music and the COVID-19 Conundrum
Music opens us to God. But what can we do if it's dangerous to sing or play? Dr. Marty Wheeler Burnett, president of the Association of Anglican Musicians, joins us to talk about current best practices and new normals. More research can be found at Click here to renew or subscribe to the Episcopal Musician's Handbook.
September 3, 2020
Native American and Anglican
Bishops Carol Gallagher (Cherokee Nation) and Michael Smith (Potawatomi Nation) join us to talk about what it means to be Native American and Anglican, with its insights, tensions, and joys. This continues our series on Multicultural Anglicanism. For more resources, see Bishop Gallagher's books, Coming Full Circle: Constructing Native Christian Theology and Reweaving the Sacred.
August 27, 2020
Fight the Noonday Demon: St. Evagrius and Working from Home
Acedia ("sloth") is a tricky vice. Most of us face it daily. Does it really mean "laziness"? Dr. Stefana Dan Laing invites us to stay spiritually alert (and stay still) with the help of St. Evagrius. Click here for more resources on acedia.
August 20, 2020
Worshiping with Children
How are we caring right now for our youngest siblings in Christ? Dr. Robin Floch Turner joins us to talk about loving children well and adapting children's ministry to current challenging contexts. Click here to find further children's ministry resources for both parents and pastors.
August 13, 2020
Healing, Miracles, and Pandemic
Healing can be a tricky topic to navigate — especially in times of great suffering. Fr. Sean Charles Martin of the Aquinas Institute joins us to talk about research around healing in the Old and New Testaments and how it relates to our current situation.
August 6, 2020
"Movies Are Prayers": Interview with Film Critic Josh Larsen
Josh Larsen, co-host of the Filmspotting podcast, joins us to talk about how to be a better movie-watcher, the vocation of a film critic, and a "Top 4" list of films to engage the spiritual life. We encourage you to check out his new book, Movies Are Prayers (Intervarsity Press). SPOILER ALERT: for those who listen on the go, here's that the "Top 4" list: 12 Years a Slave (2013, Steve McQueen), Tree of Life (2011, Terrence Malick), Star Wars: A New Hope (1977, George Lucas), and My Neighbor, Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki).
July 30, 2020
Classic Texts in Times of Crisis: The Craft of Suffering
How do we learn to suffer? How is God with a world that suffers? How do the sufferings of Jesus redeem us? A gentle yet bracing word of comfort and hope from Fr. Vincent McNabb, O.P.
July 23, 2020
The Money Question
Today we address some of the most pressing financial questions for churches, getting into the nitty-gritty of planning, budgets, PPP, and more with Bill Campbell of the ECF and business analyst/church treasurer Seth Cutter. Click here to view a sample cash forecast document prepared by Seth Cutter. Other resources mentioned can be found at and
July 16, 2020
Land, Crisis, and Christian Hope with Dr. Ellen Davis
From wilderness to farms, cities, and households, Scripture has a powerful word to speak to our current ecological crisis. Fr. Will Brown interviews Dr. Ellen Davis on land, climate change, biblical wisdom, and hope.
July 9, 2020
Paul Zahl on Hope and Life as a Boomer
How do you keep your Christian life from getting “stuck”? Mockingbird Ministries founder Paul Zahl has written a new book for Boomers, but his surprising and inspiring stories and insights apply to any stage of life.
July 2, 2020
Multicultural Anglicanism: Esau McCaulley and Mark Clavier
What happens when your cultural or racial identity feels at odds with your religious identity? Is Anglicanism truly "multicultural" because it's global? Esau McCaulley, Mark Clavier, and Christopher Wells discuss the future possibilities of multicultural Anglicanism.
June 25, 2020
Animals and the Gospel: Interview with David Clough
What does the gospel have to do with animals? Prof. David Clough, author of the systematic theology, On Animals, calls for more Christian reflection — especially in our time — on the way humans use, eat, raise, and relate to non-human neighbors.
June 18, 2020
Classic Texts in Times of Crisis: Julian of Norwich
In 1373, a little book was written which would deeply impact 20th- and 21st-century Christian spiritual literature and devotion. An anonymous reader gives a beautiful rendition of excerpts from St. Julian's "homely" visions.
June 11, 2020
"Part-Time Is Plenty": Healthy Churches and Part-Time Clergy
The Rev. Jeff MacDonald, journalist and UCC pastor, shares what he's learned in his in-depth research of mainline parishes with part-time clergy and shares why vitality doesn't depend on a full-time payroll.
June 4, 2020
Prison Ministry and COVID-19
Prison chaplain Hannah Bowman shares about her work, digs into theological and practical frameworks behind prison conditions in the U.S., and presents Christian presence in prisons as a way to meet Jesus.
May 28, 2020
"Noli Me Tangere": A Reflection on Touch and a Time of Crisis
Pamela Lewis, an Episcopal lay leader in NYC, reflects on the new poignancy of Jesus' words in the garden in light of social distancing, and then on her own experience of the pandemic and what finding a "new normal" might mean.
May 21, 2020
Rowan Williams on St. Benedict's Rule
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams joins us to talk about his new book, The Way of St. Benedict, and what the implications of the saint's Rule might be for our current questions and crises.
May 14, 2020
Classic Texts in Times of Crisis: Robert Capon
How does a priest slice an onion? No, it’s not the start of a joke. It's the beginning of a surprising contemplation. Fr. Zac Koons gives a superb and leisurely reading from Robert Farrar Capon’s Supper of the Lamb.
May 11, 2020
When to Re-Open for Business?: Ethics and Economy
Dr. Elisabeth Kincaid and Fr. Stewart Clem discuss the moral questions that have been brought into sharp focus by the COVID-19 crisis — including the hidden ethical groundwork guiding current debates and decisions.
May 7, 2020
Faith, Hope, and Charity in the 'Burbs
How have Christians conducted themselves in times of crisis? How does that work today in a parish context? Fr. Jonathan Bailes talks history and discipleship with TLC.
May 4, 2020
Son of David, Have Mercy on Us
"Son of David" — those needing desperate help in the gospels tend to give this name to Jesus. Fr. Mark Michael reflects on a timely prayer in the BCP   that uses this name in a cry for mercy that can often lead to a revival of faith.
April 30, 2020
Discussion With a Bishop: When to Re-Open for Business?
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde joins us to discuss how she's looking toward a post-COVID future. We talk about how she's negotiating the safety of all in her diocese in conversation with health experts and local officials.
April 27, 2020
Spiritual Health in Loneliness
"You can't always get what you want. But sometimes…" Fr. Ron Rolheiser (author of The Loneliness Factor, among many others) knows about digging deep when you can't change your circumstances. He talks with Abigail Woolley Cutter about maintaining and growing in spiritual health in the middle of loneliness.
April 23, 2020
Artists, COVID, and the Church
Chris Domig, founder and director of Sea Dog Theater in New York City, talks about the state of the arts in the time of COVID-19 — specifically, how theatre folks are suffering, coping, and finding their way — and how the Church can be supporting the arts and artists right now.
April 20, 2020
Caring for Marriage in a Pressure Cooker
Only recently in human history have we expected so much from marriage. The pressure (or temptation?) to rely totally on one's spouse for companionship, emotional support, etc., etc. is not so easily resisted when you're at home 24/7. Dr. Gordon Bals shares practical words of wisdom.
April 16, 2020
Morning Prayer with Liturgical Folk
Think the von Trapps meet 21st century Anglicanism. This is how one family (the Flanigans) pray Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer (1979). This prayer guide/mini-concert features songs from their music project Liturgical Folk, including Psalm 100, Song of the Three Young Men (Canticle 13), the Apostles' Creed, and The Lord's Prayer.
April 13, 2020
Anxiety: A Practical Playbook
These are anxious times. Dr. Monique Reynolds breaks down for us the phenomenon of anxiety — how it feels, what causes it — and practical approaches to dealing with it while continuing to care well for others and yourself.
April 9, 2020
Classic Texts in Times of Crisis: Thomas Merton
What are some of the benefits and dangers of being alone? How can solitude build up love? Fr. Mac Stewart presents and reflects on an excerpt from a chapter in Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation: “Solitude Is Not Separation."
April 6, 2020
In Retrospect, Will We Have Been Wise?
Screens, emergency solutions, and stillness. Fr. Jeff Hansen and Neil Dhingra talk with Ephraim Radner and Bishop Daniel Martins about theological and pastoral responses to the pandemic while posing some challenging questions.
April 2, 2020
Working from Home: A Rule of Life
Abigail Wolley Cutter interviews podcast host and TLC writer Amber Noel about some nitty-gritty "rules of life" she's developed for working from home. Much of it is about attitude: embracing the opportunities of the cloister.
March 31, 2020
Just Add Quarantine: Help for Instant Homeschoolers
Only a few days ago, working parents became instant homeschool teachers. Um — help!? Abigail Woolley Cutter interviews Susan Wise Bauer, educator and historian, on how caretakers can pull together methods for keeping their kids' education on track.
March 26, 2020
Worship and the Eucharist: Not the Same Thing
In this flagship episode of the Living Church podcast, we hear a dispatch from the Rt. Rev. Dan Martins, Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, about worship and the Eucharist. What do we miss when we can't gather for Communion? Bp. Dan breaks it down.
March 23, 2020