107 episodes

Explore the beauty, spirituality, and meaning of silence with hosts Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson, and Carl McColman. Silence is a topic most of us think little about — yet it is vitally important to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We examine silence from spiritual, religious, psychological, philosophical, and other perspectives, celebrating how important silence is for our individual and shared lives.

Encountering Silence Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman

    • Spirituality
    • 4.9, 15 Ratings

Explore the beauty, spirituality, and meaning of silence with hosts Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson, and Carl McColman. Silence is a topic most of us think little about — yet it is vitally important to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We examine silence from spiritual, religious, psychological, philosophical, and other perspectives, celebrating how important silence is for our individual and shared lives.

    Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part Two)

    Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part Two)

    Kaitlin B. Curtice is a member of the Potawatomi Nation, as well as a Christian, public speaker, and poet. She is the author of Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, which has been highly praised by Barbara Brown Taylor ("Kaitlin Curtice is one of the braver writers I know. She won't smooth any edges for you, and she won't let you change the subject, but she'll support you digging as deeply for your roots as she has for hers.") and Richard Rohr ("Curtice is a brave truth-teller and a prophetic voice we need to be listening to, and Native is a book that will guide us toward a better future"). Kaitlin is also the author of Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.



    This is part two of a two part episode. To listen to part one, click here.







    She travels widely, speaking on matters of faith and justice within the church as it relates to indigenous peoples, and has been a featured speaker at conferences such as Why Christian, Evolving Faith, the Wild Goose, and the Festival of Faith and Writing. Kaitlin B. Curtice is a monthly columnist for Sojourners, has contributed to On Being and Religious News Service, and has been featured on CBS and in USA Today and the New Yorker for her work on having difficult conversations within the church about colonization. You can learn more about her and explore her blog at www.kaitlincurtice.com.

    You don't have to have children to believe in the next generation. We all should be caretakers of each other's children, no matter who we are. — Kaitlin B. Curtice



    Universally, as humans, we belong to the earth... as children, we are born with this longing to connect to the earth... we have to take ourselves  — Kaitlin B. Curtice

    Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:



    Kaitlin B. Curtice, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God

    Kaitlin B. Curtice, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places

    Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

    Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You

    Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God

    Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy

    Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

    Richard Wagamese, One Story, One Song

    Dara Molloy, The Globalization of God: Celtic Christianity's Nemesis

    Richard Rohr, What Do We Do With the Bible?

    St. Francis of Assisi, The Complete Francis of Assisi

    Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics











    Episode 105: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture: A Conversation with Kaitlin B. Curtice (Part Two)

    Hosted by: Carl McColman

    With: Cassidy Hall and Kevin Johnson

    Guest: Kaitlin B. Curtice

    Date Recorded: April 20, 2020





    Featured photo by Srikanth Peetha on Unsplash.

    • 31 min
    Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part One)

    Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part One)

    Kaitlin B. Curtice is a member of the Potawatomi Nation, as well as a Christian, public speaker, and poet. She is the author of Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, which has been highly praised by Barbara Brown Taylor ("Kaitlin Curtice is one of the braver writers I know. She won't smooth any edges for you, and she won't let you change the subject, but she'll support you digging as deeply for your roots as she has for hers.") and Richard Rohr ("Curtice is a brave truth-teller and a prophetic voice we need to be listening to, and Native is a book that will guide us toward a better future"). Kaitlin is also the author of Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.



    This is part one of a two part episode. Part Two will be released on June 22, 2020.







    She travels widely, speaking on matters of faith and justice within the church as it relates to indigenous peoples, and has been a featured speaker at conferences such as Why Christian, Evolving Faith, the Wild Goose, and the Festival of Faith and Writing. Kaitlin B. Curtice is a monthly columnist for Sojourners, has contributed to On Being and Religious News Service, and has been featured on CBS and in USA Today and the New Yorker for her work on having difficult conversations within the church about colonization. You can learn more about her and explore her blog at www.kaitlincurtice.com.

    If my identity as an indigenous person matters, whatever my spirituality is... it has to be tied to breaking apart systems of colonization if I'm going to be a person that is made to love others. — Kaitlin B. Curtice



    Being outside... isn't perfect silence, but it's silence with the sounds of what nature offers us, and I think that is a kind of silence, because it quiets us, and it allows us to hear something other than ourselves... that's the deep well that I draw from. — Kaitlin B. Curtice

    Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:



    Kaitlin B. Curtice, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God

    Kaitlin B. Curtice, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.

    Richard Rohr, What Do We Do With the Bible?

    Gregory Alan Isakov, This Empty Northern Hemisphere

    Kerry Connelly, Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice











    Episode 104: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture: A Conversation with Kaitlin B. Curtice (Part One)

    Hosted by: Carl McColman

    With: Cassidy Hall and Kevin Johnson

    Guest: Kaitlin B. Curtice

    Date Recorded: April 20, 2020





    Featured photo by Karim Sakhibgareev on Unsplash.

    • 29 min
    Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD: Silence, the Disinherited, and the Wisdom of Howard Thurman for Our Time

    Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD: Silence, the Disinherited, and the Wisdom of Howard Thurman for Our Time

    One of the first guests on this podcast was Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown, who joined us on our episode #9 in 2018. Today we are delighted to welcome her back to the podcast. You can hear Professor Brown's previous conversation with us here.



    Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD is the author of When the Heart Speaks, Listen: Discovering Inner Wisdom, detailing her remarkable spiritual journey as a heart transplant recipient. She has also contributed essays to books including Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice.



    Professor Brown is the Ayse I. Carden Distinguished Professor Emerita of Psychology at Agnes Scott College. She has survived over 25 years with her transplanted heart, and 14 years with a transplanted kidney as well. She has also endured a heart valve replacement and a pacemaker implant. In addition to her work as a psychologist and educator, she is a spiritual director and retreat leader who often shares her love for the contemplative wisdom of the renowned African-American mystic, Howard Thurman. You can learn more about her online at www.peaceforhearts.com.

    Our answers are in the silence. — Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD





    Given the extraordinary moment that we find ourselves in, and especially our commitment here at the podcast not only to celebrate the gift of silence (and to dismantle all forms of toxic silence, including racism), it seemed natural to invite Lerita back — not only for her insight into the towering contemplative genius of Thurman, but also for her own perceptive words of wisdom about how we can spiritually navigate the urgency for fighting racism and other forms of injustice in our time.





    One of the problems with white and black is that they're totally constructed sociopolitical identities... disinherited people have no protection from the state. — Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD

    Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown with 2/3 of Encountering Silence. Left: with Cassidy at the Wild Goose Festival, 2019. Right: with Carl, 2018. (photos by Cassidy Hall and Fran McColman)

    You've got to be able to center down and feel that sense of renewal from the Spirit, and I think it's really important to learn to listen... We're all called to do something to help restore God's beloved creation... Every single person has a role to play. What is your role in this? — Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD







    Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:



    Lerita Coleman Brown, When the Heart Speaks, Listen: Discovering Inner Wisdom

    Sherry Bryant-Johnson (ed.), Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color

    Cathering Meeks (ed.), Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America

    Therese Taylor-Stinson (ed.), Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice

    Howard Thurman, Essential Writings

    Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited

    Howard Thurman, The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time (audio recordings of sermons on a 6-CD set)

    Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

    Howard Thurman, The Centering Moment

    Howard Thurman, Disciplines of the Spirit

    Howard Thurman, Footprints of a Dream

    Howard Thurman, The Luminous Darkness

    Howard Thurman, The Creative Encounter

    Howard Thurman, Deep is the Hunger

    Howard Thurman, The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman



    Volume One

    Volume Two

    Volume Three

    Volume Four

    Volume Five





    Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey

    Howard Thurman, A Strange Freedom

    Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part Two)

    Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part Two)

    This episode continues our conversation with blogger/activist Kerry Connelly. As in part one of this interview, we explore one of the most pervasive forms of toxic silence in our culture: the silence embedded in white privilege and systemic racism.



    Kerry Connelly is a writer, certified life coach, creator of the no-nonsense blog Jerseygirl, JESUS, and host of the "White on White" podcast, which reimagines white identity apart from the dead end of pseudo-supremacy.



    This is part two of a two-part episode. To listen to part one, click here.







    Her latest book is Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. Kerry Connelly is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary (where she first met Cassidy Hall). She lives in New Jersey with her family.

    I have to always be aware, practice awareness of who's in the room, what's happening, and what might be my call as a white anti-racist in that particular context, and it's not always going to be the same, there's not one answer. — Kerry Connelly

    Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (who has also been a guest on this podcast) praised Good White Racist? by saying, “The work that needs to be done is white-on-white race talk. By that I mean, white folks talking to white folks about the ways white supremacy is internalized and therefore shows up in their social practice. Kerry endeavors to do just this, and I think we all should invest our time in this book!”





    I don't recommend getting involved with Jesus if you don't want to be radically challenged... I can't be in relationship with Jesus and then be permitted to go about propping up the status quo. — Kerry Connelly





    Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:



    Kerry Connelly, Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice

    Therese Taylor-Stinson (ed.), Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice

    The Buddha, Teachings of the Buddha edited by Jack Kornfield

    The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings

    Ruby Sales, The Inner Life of Social Change

    Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

    George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education

    The Matrix

    Kenneth Leech, Soul Friend: Spiritual Direction in the Modern World

    Kenneth Leech, True Prayer: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality

    Kenneth Leech, Experiencing God: Theology as Spirituality

    Jennifer Worth, The Complete Call the Midwife Stories



    Find Kerry Connelly at www.kerryconnelly.com.

    I wonder what it must have been like, to have been Jesus, and be embodied in the way Jesus was embodied, and then experience that kind of silence in the desert... to be in that place, and to think about silence in that context, is a little mind-blowing. — Kerry Connelly

    Episode 102: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism: A Conversation with Kerry Connelly (Part Two)

    Hosted by: Cassidy Hall

    With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman

    Guest: Kerry Connelly

    Date Recorded: April 13, 2020



    Featured image photo by Cassidy Hall.

    • 29 min
    Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One)

    Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One)

    On this podcast we often explore the toxic side of silence. In this episode we explore one of the most pervasive forms of toxic silence in our culture: the silence embedded in white privilege and systemic racism. Guiding us in this exploration is author Kerry Connelly.



    Kerry Connelly is a writer, certified life coach, creator of the no-nonsense blog Jerseygirl, JESUS, and host of the "White on White" podcast, which reimagines white identity apart from the dead end of pseudo-supremacy.







    Her latest book is Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. Kerry Connelly is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary (where she first met Cassidy Hall). She lives in New Jersey with her family.

    I am much more of an actor, a doer, a go out and push — and that's something that I have to work to heal a little bit in myself, through silence. — Kerry Connelly

    Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (who has also been a guest on this podcast) praised Good White Racist? by saying, “The work that needs to be done is white-on-white race talk. By that I mean, white folks talking to white folks about the ways white supremacy is internalized and therefore shows up in their social practice. Kerry endeavors to do just this, and I think we all should invest our time in this book!”







    This is part one of a two-part episode. Click here to listen to part two.

    A systemic example of white silence is, for example, the way that we as a society will gaslight people of color who are trying to call out racism, and the Take a Knee movement is a great example of that. The Take a Knee movement is a perfect example of people of color attempting to peacefully bring attention to a very specific result of systemic racism in our country, which is police brutality, and white people will talk about everything but the issue at hand — we will talk about the flag, we will talk about our soldiers, we will talk about national pride, we will talk about patriotism... but we refuse, we insist upon remaining silent about discussing the actual problem. — Kerry Connelly





    Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:



    Kerry Connelly, Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice

    Therese Taylor-Stinson (ed.), Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice

    The Buddha, Teachings of the Buddha edited by Jack Kornfield

    The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings

    Ruby Sales, The Inner Life of Social Change

    Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace



    For white people to find our meaning, and to find our essence of being apart from this construct of pseudo-supremacy, that's the real work that white people have to do. Because until we can do that, we're never going to be truly willing to dismantle racist systems. — Kerry Connelly

    Episode 101: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One): A Conversation with Kerry Connelly (Part One)

    Hosted by: Cassidy Hall

    With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman

    Guest: Kerry Connelly

    Date Recorded: April 13, 2020



    Featured photo: George Washington Bridge, photo by James Ting on Unsplash.

    • 31 min
    Kathleen Norris: Silence, Acedia, and Pandemic (Part Two)

    Kathleen Norris: Silence, Acedia, and Pandemic (Part Two)

    This week's episode — our 100th overall, not counting our "pilot episode" — features the conclusion of Kathleen Norris's second conversation with Encountering Silence.



    Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Acedia and Me, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace and The Virgin of Bennington. She’s also published seven books of poetry, her first being the 1971 Big Table Younger Poets award-winning  Falling Off.

    I provide myself with enough chocolate to keep going. — Kathleen Norris

    Kathleen’s work explores the spiritual life with an intimate and historical perspective. Cassiday notes, "Her book Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life accompanied me in the most beautiful ways a book ever has and truly changed my life—and it remains among my top 3 favorite books alongside Thomas Merton and Mary Oliver. I wept through the book feeling more understood and clear-headed about my own spiritual journey than ever before."



    This is part two of a two-part episode. Click here to listen to part one.

    I'll never forget, I was talking to an Episcopal nun; when I told her I was writing a book about acedia, she said, 'Well you know, you've taken on the devil himself.' And now that I've finished that book, I know exactly what she meant. She was absolutely right about that. The crazy thing is that her comment didn't stop me, I just kept going with it. — Kathleen Norris

    Amid the pandemic Kathleen shared some recent work on the National Catholic Reporter, offering tips for coping with acedia amid this time of slowing down and staying in. She writes, "I recognize acedia when it does turn up. Being forced to stay still is a breeding ground….It's the feeling of being totally bored and totally restless. It's a horrible combination… It isn't just depression. It isn't just boredom. It's a lot of things."



    Widowed in 2003, Kathleen is no stranger to living alone. She now divides her time between South Dakota and Honolulu, Hawaii.



    In our previous conversation with Kathleen in 2018, she had this to say:

    Silence sometimes shows you what you’re really suffering from… just to sit there and let the silence sink in, and often that’s when you discover what it is you’re really worried about, what you’re really suffering from, what your real concerns are, because when you’re busy in the world either with activity or a lot of verbal stuff going on, you’re ignoring some of those deeper things, and sitting in silence for a while, it will start to surface.

    Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:



    Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

    Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk

    Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace

    Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me

    Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me Audiobook

    Kathleen Norris, The Virgin of Bennington

    Kathleen Norris, Falling Off

    Kathleen Norris, Journey (includes the poem "The Presbyterian Women Serve Coffee at the Home")

    Patrick Shen, In Pursuit of Silence



    Episode 100: Silence, Acedia and Pandemic: A Conversation with Kathleen Norris (Part Two)

    Hosted by: Cassidy Hall

    With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman

    Guest: Kathleen Norris

    Date Recorded: April 27, 2020

    • 29 min

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