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The Open Pew

The Open Pew

By Rev Corey Simon
Theology from the ground up. Interviews with practical theologians and voices from those who minsiter among the people.
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Quarantine Self Care with Tony Caldwell

The Open Pew

Quarantine Self Care with Tony Caldwell
Corey recently sat down today with Tony Caldwell, a psychotherapist, and public theologian living and working in Nashville, to talk about how we can best care for ourselves in this time of corona and quarantine. The conversation deals with some best practices, some hopes, and a few recommendations for what to be aware of in how you care for yourself in this time. You can find out more about Tony at Red Letter Christianity or on his personal webpage. 
March 24, 2020
Welcoming the Stranger with Jenny Yang
In this episode, Corey sat down with Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief for a conversation on education and welcome towards immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.  Jenny Yang provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. She has worked in the Resettlement section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer, where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, serves as Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.
January 28, 2020
Witnessing Whiteness with Dr Kris Norris
This week Corey sits down with Dr Kris Norris, visiting professor of public theology at Wesley Theological Seminary to discuss his upcoming book, Witnessing Whiteness: Confronting White Supremacy in the American Church.  Dr. Kristopher Norris is Visiting Distinguished Professor of Public Theology and the Program Consultant for the Center for Public Theology. Norris teaches classes in the areas of Christian Ethics and Public Theology and co-directs the National Capital Semester for Seminarians with Prof. Mike McCurry. He is currently helping develop Wesley’s new Faith & Public Life Immersion experience through the Center for Public Theology. He has published two books and several journal articles on church practices, faith and politics, and just war theory, as well as the ethics of Bonhoeffer and Barth, and his current research is at the intersection of church, race, and politics. He is an ordained Baptist minister from North Carolina.
January 21, 2020
Exactly As You Are with Shae Tuttle
Kicking off the return of The Open Pew, Corey and Ethan sit down with Shae Tuttle, author of the new book, Exactly As You Are: The Faith and Life of Mister Rogers and editor of Can I Get A Witness?: Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Peace and Justice. Together we talk about peacemaking, justice work, the witness of Fred Rogers and spend a few minutes speculating on the upcoming film. 
November 20, 2019
Knowing the Child with Rev Dr Alexia Salvatierra
In this episode Corey is joined by Wesley alum and fellow pastor Nick McMichael of Falls Church UMC in Pennsylvania and the Rev Dr Alexia Salvatierra, a Lutheran pastor, professor at Fuller, and a community organizer on both the local and international level. With a focus on the immigration crisis, Dr Salvatierra offers up a brief history lesson in the Central and South American refugee crisis and goes on to talk about how the church is uniquely gifted for engaging those displaced by state and non-state violence and how perhaps the biggest goal we can hope for in this present moment is resisting the current administration.  Dr Salvatierra is the co-author of Faith-Rooted Organizing, a primer on preparing churches and communities for organizing and advocacy.
August 26, 2019
Swords into Plows with Shane Claiborne
In this episode Corey, AhnnaLise, and Elizabeth Hurd of Caledonia UMC sat down with Shane Claiborne, activist, speaker, public theologian, and leader of the Simple Way Christian Community in Philadelphia, to discuss Christian nonviolence, the idolatry of guns, and what it means to be pro-life from the womb to the tomb. 
August 12, 2019
Guns to Garden Tools with Mike Martin
This episode finds Corey and AhnnaLise Stevens-Jennings sitting down with  Mike Martin, executive director of RAW Tools and coauthor of Beating Guns: Hope for People Who are Weary of Violence. In it they talk about the ministry of reforming guns into garden tools and all the other work his organization does in regards to advocacy, restorative justice, and working towards challenging the idolatry of guns in this country. 
August 05, 2019
Fred Rogers, Nonviolence, and Peacemaking with Dr Mike Long
In this episode Corey is joined by Ethan Shearer as they spend some time sitting down with Dr Mike Long, professor at Elizabethtown College and author of over 20 books including Peaceful Neighbor:  Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers. Together they discuss the life and legacy of Mr Fred Rogers including his nonviolent, antiwar views, his peacemaking and we wonder at how we might apply his way of life to our own.  
July 29, 2019
Grace Grace and More Grace with Bishop Karen Oliveto
In this inaugural episode of The Open Pew, Corey is joined by co-host Kai Carico, director of student ministries at First UMC of Oak Ridge, TN,  and Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Conference.  In this episode we talk about the next steps and follow-up to the specially called General Conference 2019 as well as the Annual Conference responses which have revealed a large amount of resistance.  We talk about grace and ministry and loving our churches both large and small.  If you'd like more info on the documentary, "Renewal or Ruin" you can find it over on Vimeo.
July 25, 2019
Room For Grace with Bishop David Bard
In this episode Corey had the chance to sit down with Bishop David Bard of the Michigan Conference of the UMC to discuss the bishop's recent plan for maintaining unity within the denomination. The Bard-Jones Plan, as it is known at this point, is an attempt to maintain unity amidst the deep divides the United Methodist Church faces and an attempt to maintain the "wide umbrella" Methodism is most known for.  Along with discussing logistics, they spend some time talking about developing the ability to disagree in love and what that might look like in the future of Christianity. 
July 24, 2019