Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Rudy Rasmus to hear his incredible story, how he moved from marginal lifestyle to beloved pastor and community leader, and how he has gotten closer to God. Rev. Rudy Rasmus is Senior Pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston and is the author of numerous books, the most recent of which is "Love. Period."
His website is here:
St. John's UMC website is here:
Rudy's new coffee shop, Through Good Coffee, is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Blanca Puma to discuss solidarity, the amazing power of community, and "minga"--working together for the betterment of all. Blanca Puma is Executive Director of Fedice, a non-profit working with indigenous and marginalized communities in Ecuador.
The Fedice website is here:
Blanca Puma can be reached here:
Charles and Gregg have a spirited discussion about the social construct that is juvenile delinquency, the attitudes and policies that led to the rise of incarceration, and how to change this narrative and make a difference.
Materials mentioned in the episode:
"From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America," by Elizabeth Hinton:
"The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration," by Ta-Nehisi Coates:
"The $3.4 Trillion Mistake: The Cost of Mass Incarceration and Criminalization, and How Justice Reinvestment Can Build a Better Future for All":
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Rozella White to learn how to change the course of our lives, and about how Mission Year is helping young people to add meaning to their lives by connecting with others. Rozella White is Houston City Director for Mission Year, which connects young adults with a year of meaningful service. Rozella also serves as a coach, creator, and consultant in Houston.
Mission Year's website is here: http://missionyear.org/our-cities/#houston
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Sara Miles to discuss using food to build solidarity, how the simple act of eating and praying with people can be transformative, and the powerful link between suffering and joy. Sara Miles directs The Food Pantry, which operates at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California. She has been on staff at the church as well.
The Food Pantry's website is here:
Sara's book, "Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion: is here:
Her other books are available here:
Charles and Eric Moen are joined by Beth Magill to discuss missional communities and how they are transforming churches throughout Texas and engaging meaningful work in neighborhoods. Rev. Beth Magill is Associate Missioner for Congregational Initiatives at the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
The Missional Communities website of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Tamara Fyke to discuss ways to build positive character traits in adolescence, and how to encourage resiliency. Tamara Fyke is the Creator and Brand Manager of Love in a Big World, an innovative social and emotional learning curriculum that fosters the development of caring learning communities.
Love in a Big World is available here:
Charles and Gregg are joined by Bill Mefford to learn how churches can connect with meaningful work in their communities and how they can embrace vulnerable populations. Bill Mefford is the Faith Organizer for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He has worked in United Methodist churches for many years and has a Doctorate in Missiology from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Bill also writes for Figtree Revolution, which can be found here:
United We Dream is mentioned in this episode:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Dave Fleischer to learn about how deep conversation and sharing stories can break down prejudice, persuade people with different opinions, and change minds. David Fleischer is Project Director for the Leadership LAB at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and has worked in electoral politics for 30 years.
The Leadership LAB's website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by George Youngblood to learn about alternative peer groups, their role in adolescent substance abuse recovery, and the components of an effective program. George Youngblood is the CEO of Teen and Family Services, a peer-based substance abuse recovery program in Houston and Austin. Their website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Justin Coleman to look at the importance of the written word in our current environment, and the vacuity of the idea of colorblindness. Rev. Justin Coleman is Senior Ministry Officer at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee, where he helps publish a wide variety of materials including the website "Ministry Matters:
Charles and Gregg are joined again by James Alison for a discussion about reclaiming the concepts of truth and reconciliation in our world's divisive moment. James Alison is a world-renowned theologian and writer who has lived and worked in the UK, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the United States. He joins the pod from Madrid, Spain. His latest book is Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice, found here:
James Alison's website is here:
Charles and Gregg are joined by James Alison for a discussion about reclaiming the concepts of truth and reconciliation in our world's divisive moment. James Alison is a world-renowned theologian and writer who has lived and worked in the UK, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the United States. He joins the pod from Madrid, Spain. His latest book is Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice, found here:
James Alison's website is here:
Charles is joined by Elizabeth Henneke to discuss the movement to keep Texas 17-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system, and why it is of critical importance to our kids. Elizabeth Henneke is Policy Attorney for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and is based in Austin.
The Raise the Age Facebook Page can be found here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined again by Lanecia Rouse Tinsley to discuss the role art can play in healing and the power of expressing ourselves without words. Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is a professional artist and teacher who is currently serving as Artist-in-Residence for Holy Family HTX. Her website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Lanecia Rouse Tinsley to discuss her journey to art, the healing place that art has in her life, and how we can express ourselves in new and meaningful ways. Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is a professional artist and teacher who is currently serving as Artist-in-Residence for Holy Family HTX. Her website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg look at the Christmas story and how people living through pain and disconnectedness can find joy in it.
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined again by Simon Gatenby to look at the divisions pushing people apart and how to push back against them. Rev. Simon Gatenby is Rector of Brunswick Church in Manchester, UK in the Church of England. Simon has brought hope to the diverse Manchester community for 23 years. The website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Simon Gatenby to learn about creating a diverse community and living with uncertainty and fear in our tumultuous times. Rev. Simon Gatenby is Rector of Brunswick Church in Manchester, UK in the Church of England. Simon has brought hope to the disparate Manchester community for 23 years. The website is here:
Charles, Matt, and Gregg have a spirited discussion about living in an age of fear, working through anxiety, turning toward love and action, and moving toward the Beloved Community.
"Why We're Living in the Age of Fear" by Neil Strauss is the article mentioned in this episode. It is here:
Happy Thanksgiving! The podcast will return with a new episode next week.
Charles, Matt, and Gregg look for a way forward facing a divided America and an uncertain future in the wake of the tumultuous 2016 election, seeking ever-widening circles of kinship.
The Vox article mentioned in this episode is How Politics Makes Us Stupid:
Charles and Gregg are joined by Jay Jenkins to discuss the historic victories for criminal justice reform in Harris County, Texas on Election Night 2016, and the reasons for hope that they bring. Jay Jenkins is Harris County Project Attorney for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a nonpartisan organization advocating for meaningful improvements in the Texas criminal justice system.
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition website is here:
Charles and Matt examine forgiveness and its challenges, its relationship to the criminal justice system and kinship, and the importance of seeking it.
Miroslav Volf's book "The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World" is discussed in this episode. It can be found here:
Charles, Gregg, and Matt are joined by Eric Moen to learn about drilling water wells in Honduras and how water brings hope and builds community in remote places. Eric Moen is the Director of Urban Ministry and Mission for St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.
Texas Water Mission's website is here: