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Theosophia Podcast

Author: Sarah Elizabeth Smith

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A platform for women's voices in theology.
99 Episodes
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Sara and Sarah chat about stewardship and parenting during covid-tide.  Sara explains how her family of five are caring for one another and being extra thoughtful about how they are spending their time in their small town Tennessee life.  We are keeping all our friends and family who are navigating these hard times in our prayers.  Parents, teachers, administrators ya’ll are doing the lord’s work out there and we appreciate you.  We hope this episode gives some guidance and framework for thinking about how to create a healthy family dynamic by centering our lives in, on and through God’s Love.
This week’s podcast features a very inspiring lay leader in Sarah's community of Oklahoma City, Ann Ali or as some folks in her call her in her community, “Rev” Ann Ali.  Ann and Sarah chat about her life and service to her community and country as a police officer, army reservist, pastor and teacher.  They also discuss what god is calling us to during this time of corona virus.  Ann is full of cultural and familial wisdom antidotes and speaks of a faith that moves mountains and restores weary souls to their Maker.  Ann is an agent of change and seeks to share the love of god to all those she meets especially those on the margins she works with in homeless outreach as an Episcopal lay leader in her home church of St. Augustine’s Oklahoma City.
Ethical Non-Monogamy

Ethical Non-Monogamy

2020-06-3001:14:18

Happy Pride Month! In celebration of the rich, beautiful, diversity God created in LGBTQ folks we wanted to share this episode on ethical non-monogamy! Sara and Sarah chat about their experiences with ethical-non monogamy.  They explore the theological and practical expressions of this relational practice as they de-mystify its use in the world.  They hope you all find this helpful as you navigate your own relationships and relational ethics.  
This episode is a two part combined episode of a conversation around Nadia Bolz-Weber’s latest book entitled “Shameless - A Case for not feeling bad about feeling good, about sex.” The first part our co-host from last season, Kelsey Davis joins Sara and I for an Instagram Live session about the first half of the book.  The second part is just the Sara’s talking about the second half of the book and what stood out most to us and how we could use the book practically in our contexts. 
Sarah explores what it means for mothers to image the Divine and how we can practically relate to God as Mother as we honor all mother figures today.  The music before the sermon is Grace Church Episcopal Yukon’s amazing praise band’s rendition of This is My Mother’s World.
Kate McElwee is the Executive Director who works from Rome Itay and Katie Lacz is the Program Associate who works from Denver, Colorado. The Women’s Ordination Conference is the uncompromising feminist voice for women’s ordination and gender equity in the Roman Catholic Church since 1975.   The Conference has been championed and ran by some incredible women in theology including theologians Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary Hunt and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz to name just a few.Sarah's conversation with Kate and Katie explores the meaning of Catholicism in their lives and how the Conference provides support and valuable ministry to women who feel called to the priesthood.  In the second part of this episode, Sara and Sarah digest her conversation with their Catholic friends and how much they admire their strength, tenacity and fiery spirits.  
Yadenee is a playful and fierce scout for the oracles of ease, wholeness, and liberation. Her practice and ministry are to cultivate spiritual wellness and healing as a lifestyle. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister based in Tulsa, OK.  The first half of the episode is Sara and Yadenee chat about her pilgrimage to India and how space/place impact our spiritual lives.  In the second half of the episode, Sara and Sarah digest Yadenee's wisdom and reflect on how her wisdom shows up in their current life situations especially in the aftermath of the Nashville tornado.
To kick off Season 3 of the podcast Sarah interviews her new host, the Rev. Sara Green.  Sara is a Unitarian Universalist minister as well as the youth and young adult of color ministry associate for the UU Association. Sarah and Sara chat about Sara's path to ordination in the UU tradition and what exactly UU theology is all about and how her questions have shaped her life in pursuit of liberation, healing and covenantal relationships.
Margaret Ernst learned what she knows about faith and justice from organizing alongside clergy, school parents and airport workers in Philadelphia and has organized alongside immigrant communities resisting ICE in mid-Tennessee. A program manager with Faith Matters Network, she has helped build a curriculum on Movement Chaplaincy through Faith Matters Network's Daring Compassion Project under the leadership of Micky Scottbey Jones and Hilary Allen. Margaret lived for the past 4 years in Nashville, TN and recently moved back to Philadelphia. There she continues her work with Faith Matters Network, and has joined the pastoral team at Chestnut Hill United Church. As of this Saturday, she is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She loves to sing and laugh at all costs. More background and updates on Faith Matters Network's Daring Compassion project can be found at: https://www.faithmattersnetwork.org/daringcompassion, including a link to download a guide Margaret created for movement chaplains to provide care for communities responding to white supremacist hate rallies. 
Mother Ruth tells the story of how her multi-cultural community came together with all it’s ups and downs.  Holy Family is a mixed congregation of Anglo, Hispanic and Filipino folks from all over the San Jose and surrounding areas.  I had the privilege of worshipping with them this Easter and I can tell ya’ll from first hand experience, this is what the Kingdom of God looks like on earth.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  It is the Beloved community.  Thank you so much Mother Ruth for sharing your heart and wisdom and what thoughtful leadership looks like in holding together God’s diversity in a community.  You are such an example of how the church can and I think how the church should combine cultures and identities together in the one christian identity but at the same time honor their differences and particularities.  Such important work for the church.  
Mother Ruth is the first female priest at Holy Family Episcopal Church, San Jose, CA.  Holy Family is a multicultural and multigenerational community whose mission is to celebrate God through Jesus Christ. She is also a native of the Philippines.  Mother Ruth and I met when I was in California visiting our co-host Kelsey Davis.  Kelsey was giving the Easter homily at Holy Family as Mother Ruth presided over the celebration.  We got to chat for a good half hour before the service and I was captivated by her story and immediately asked her to be on the podcast.  So we are thrilled to share this interview with you all.  Mother Ruth is an incredible woman and one of the most delightful people I’ve ever met.In episode, we chat about her journey to the US working in ministry,  how she transitioned from the United Methodist Church to the Episcopal Church and what her experience has been like in ministry as a woman of color.A Note from Ruth: US embassy in the Philippines was not removed but instead they removed the USCIS.
The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 1000-member multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City. She is an activist, preacher, writer, theologian and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ equality. Middle Church and Jacqui’s activism for these issues has been featured in media such as The Today Show, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New Yorker, Essence and The Huffington Post. Jacqui is a frequent contributor to MSNBC. Jacqui earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion from Drew University. She has been adjunct professor at seminaries across the country, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and the Graduate Theological Union.   Mama Jacqui is nothing short of a super woman theologian and we are so so thankful she took the time to be with us at Wild Goose Festival this year!  We cover a lot of ground in this episode.  We chat about her incredible multi-cultural church in New York, how the center of faith is Love, and all the way to deep theological conversations about why Jesus didn’t need to die.  
This week we are sharing Sarah's latest sermon.  It was her first Sunday morning sermon at her home church of Grace Episcopal in Yukon, Oklahoma led by the wonderful priests Fr. Tim & Mother Kirsten Baer and Deacon Helen.  She took a pastoral approach to the text instead of a strictly theological one.  This means she was meeting the people where they are at and offering a personal story to relate to the congregation.  She wasn’t coming at the text with a teaching head but rather a coming at it with a heart of love and compassion.  These two aren’t necessarily opposites but it does matter how you approach a text when you are interpreting it to make a message to a community. In the Episcopal tradition, we develop sermons around the gospel reading for that particular day in the calendar and last Sunday’s reading was Luke 11: 1-13.
Khortlan Becton is a native Houstonian. By the grace of God, she has received Bachelor's degrees from the University of Alabama in African American Studies and Religious Studies as well as a Master's of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Khortlan is passionate about affecting social change, serving underprivileged children and youth, and writing poetry. She will be attending law school in the Fall. In this episode, Kelsey and Khortlan talk about God as Mother and the myriad of ways God's character shines through women in motherly roles. 
Khortlan Becton is a native Houstonian. By the grace of God, she has received Bachelor's degrees from the University of Alabama in African American Studies and Religious Studies as well as a Master's of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Khortlan is passionate about affecting social change, serving underprivileged children and youth, and writing poetry. She will be attending law school in the Fall. 
The Rev. Kayla Bonewell joins us for a second episode about her church Cathedral of Hope’s prison ministry.  What started as visiting an incarcerated parishioner turned into a quarterly open and affirming worship service and pastoral care session for the many inmates at a prison in rural Oklahoma.
The Rev. Kayla Bonewell was born in Oklahoma City.  She earned a BA in Religion from Oklahoma City University (2002), a Master of Liberal Arts from Naropa University (2004), and a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California (2008). Ordained in the United Church of Christ (2010), Kayla has ministry experience as a hospital chaplain, campus minister, social justice activist, youth minister, associate pastor, and solo pastor.  Her personal mission statement is “To empower community, through experiences of the divine, to lead lives of deep meaning, while cultivating health, peace, and beauty in our world.” She is passionate about relevant worship, spiritual growth, and community engagement.   She is currently the pastor in charge at two UCC churches in OKC, the Cathedral of Hope and Church of Open Arms.  Kayla and Sarah have a candid conversation about the intersections of her faith, doubt and sexuality.  She shares her story of growing up with a passion for all things God and church but finding no refuge in her home church of the United Methodist tradition and her journey to finding a home in the UCC tradition.  They also chat about how the social landscape of Oklahoma has changed since we both grew up here and what gives her hope.
Rocky’s work is a ministry to those who have oppressed and harmed by people’s interpretations of the Bible.  The documentary traces the steps two scholars took in uncovering the history of how the word homosexual was put into the text nearly 50 years ago and subsequently used as a weapon against the LGBTQ community.  This is a powerful and timely story for not just the queer community but all christians that have struggled with what they were taught about the biblical text in terms of sexuality and sin and how to treat others.  Rocky recounts how her story ran right into Kathy Baldock and Ed Oxford’s research on the translation team that put the word homosexual in the Bible and the divinity student who wrote the team telling them of their error that he predicted would be very costly on people’s lives.  Forge Article: Has “Homosexual” always been in the Bible?Follow Rocky's work on instagram and twitter @litthemovie Website: litthemovie.com Email: litthemovie@gmail.com
To honor Pride Month we are highlighting stories of LGBTQ women.  Rocky Roggio is a film maker out of Los Angeles, California.  Rocky shares that “As an LGBTQ female Christian, I have been navigating a religious environment that views me as “other,” “less than,” and “not equal,” for too long. These beliefs, held by many dear to my heart, have cast a dark, dangerous shadow over my life. After years of searching for my voice, and calling, as a storyteller, my path has led me here. It is my goal to change the Christian narrative and liberate the many LGBTQ people living in the dark; oppressed by bad theology. I want us all to live and be acknowledged as equals, under Gods love. There are truths that must be shared. We are here to share those truths.”
This week is part II with the Rev. Chelsea Yarborough.  Chelsea is a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt in Homiletics and Liturgics in the Graduate Department of Religion. If you missed last week’s conversation I would highly recommend listening to that first episode.  As one of our friend’s commented, it is completely and utterly a delicious conversation on Chelsea’s notion that "if it’s not dialogical, it’s not ethical."  This second episode echoes this ethical framework - the process of homiletics and preaching should be transformative, authentic, real and vulnerable.  Ya’ll this one is full of wisdom bombs again so you may have to listen to it twice!
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Comments (1)

Nancy Culp

Greetings! As I peruse the names of interviews you have posted, this seems exactly the place to ask this question. I am searching for a recording of the Bible in women's voices. Every recording I have found on Audible is in male voices. To place women soundly in biblical space, hearing the Bible read by women needs to be available.

Nov 9th
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