29 episodes

Unlikely Conversations is a podcast from the Collegeville Institute. Our second season features the voices of writers of faith who are engaged in activism.

Unlikely Conversations from the Collegeville Institute unlikelyconversations

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Unlikely Conversations is a podcast from the Collegeville Institute. Our second season features the voices of writers of faith who are engaged in activism.

    The Spiritual Practice of Discernment: A Conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

    The Spiritual Practice of Discernment: A Conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

    Have you ever asked yourself: how does spiritual discernment work, practically? What are the signposts? How can I feel God’s subtle nudge?
    In the final episode of this season, we discuss the ways that spiritual discernment practices reveal God's calling in our big and little decisions. Join our conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson, who is Project Director of the Communities of Calling Initiative at the Collegeville Institute. Jane recently retired from Seminary of the Southwest, where she was Associate Professor of New Testament and Director of Community Care. She is a wise teacher and expert on spiritual discernment who works with congregational leaders, many of whom we’ve heard from this season on the podcast.

    • 33 min
    Creative Callings in the Pandemic at Plymouth Church

    Creative Callings in the Pandemic at Plymouth Church

    The pandemic has altered church life in ways we are still discerning. For Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York, the disruption dissolved lines between home life and church life, and it pushed congregational members to explore creative callings in new, innovative ways. In this episode, Journalist Eliza Gray and Pastor Brett Younger discuss the way COVID shifted their engagement and ministry in church community.
    Plymouth Church is one of thirteen congregations taking part in Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative. The Communities of Calling Initiative is a five-year program that grants congregations funds to design a new project or enhance existing ministries that help Christians discover and deepen their sense of God’s calling in their lives

    • 37 min
    Writing as Prayer, Discernment, and Vocation

    Writing as Prayer, Discernment, and Vocation

    When have you felt most alive before God? In this episode, Carol Davis Younger shares her vocational story of becoming a writer, which has deepened her spiritual journey and sense of God's presence. Through creating curriculum and hosting church writing groups centered on Scripture, she invites others in her congregation at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, NY to use writing as a tool of discernment and as a form a prayer.

    • 28 min
    The Call to Rise After Crisis: A Conversation with Meena Natarajan and Ingrid C. A. Rasmussen

    The Call to Rise After Crisis: A Conversation with Meena Natarajan and Ingrid C. A. Rasmussen

    What happens when a church is called during a crisis to not just to the people in the pews, but to the families, organizations, and businesses in the neighborhood? In this episode, we speak with Meena Natarajan, Executive and Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, and Ingrid C. A. Rassmussen, pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Together, they tell the story of their friendship and partnership in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis following George Floyd's murder in May 2020. Pangea Theater produces community-based art and Holy Trinity is a Lutheran congregation located one block from the Third Police Precinct, which was burned during protests again police brutality in Minneapolis. Since those events, Ingrid and Meena have been meeting together with a coalition of community leaders called Longfellow Rising.
    Holy Trinity is one of thirteen congregations taking part in Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative. The Communities of Calling Initiative is a five-year program that grants congregations funds to design a new project or enhance existing ministries that help Christians discover and deepen their sense of God’s calling in their lives.

    • 34 min
    The Call to Sing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

    The Call to Sing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

    Music can deepen and broaden our experience of joy and grief. In this episode, Ann Schrooten speaks about her calling to serve through music, and how that vocation transformed during the pandemic and following George Floyd’s murder near her church in Minneapolis, MN. She describes how the cries for justice in her community led her to ask a new question about leading music in her church.
    Holy Trinity is one of thirteen congregations taking part in Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative. The Communities of Calling Initiative is a five-year program that grants congregations funds to design a new project or enhance existing ministries that help Christians discover and deepen their sense of God’s calling in their lives.

    • 40 min
    Addressing the Purpose Gap with Dr. Patrick B. Reyes

    Addressing the Purpose Gap with Dr. Patrick B. Reyes

    How do we understand God’s calling when not everyone has access to the same networks, resources, or opportunities?
    In this episode, practical theologian Dr. Patrick B. Reyes speaks about his new book, The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive. Reyes writes about his own childhood neighborhood, which he describes as an education desert. He flips the white, western script of individual “shining stars,” and expands our view to see calling in terms of whole constellations.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

B4M podcaster ,

Gems

Each episode is a blessed gem and gift. So much learning is shared.

tls6280 ,

New Perspectives

There is so much to learn in each episode & we are given new perspectives about stories most have grown up with! These conversations are fascinating!

Dpruth ,

Perfect for our current national context

With all the division in our world right now, especially division that’s rife with religious undertones, the honest, respectful, interesting conversations in this podcast are extremely refreshing.

And they’re incredibly down-to-earth. The guests on each episode are knowledgable, but not preachy. They’re interesting, funny, kind and full of the best of humanity.

I thought I’d like this podcast when I first heard about it, but I’m even more hooked than I expected to be.

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