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"...Dr. Catherine Meeks is the most courageous person I know...". That's from your producer, Easton Davis. In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Dr. Meeks. She shares her own story of personal memoir, purpose, the work of racial healing, and her recent award: The President Joseph R. Biden Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award medal. Specifically to the work of racial healing, they talk of how The Gospel points us in the direction of this important work and beloved community.Dr. Meeks will be preaching and teaching at the National Cathedral, this Sunday and Monday, May 22-23. Watch her preach this Sunday at The National Cathedral: https://cathedral.org/Read about her award: https://episcopalatlanta.org/news/presaward/Learn more about the Center for Racial Healing: https://www.centerforracialhealing.org/
A Response to Buffalo

A Response to Buffalo

2022-05-1724:17

This episode is in response to the recent hate crime and killing of ten black people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York that took place on May 14, 2022. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright reflect on a speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Cornell College in Iowa on October 15, 1962. A lecture in which Dr. King addresses the hate we have for one another. A hate because of fear. A fear because we don't know one another. Not knowing one another because we fail to communicate. Failing to communicate because we are separated. These are tough conversations, and we invite you to both listen, share, and be in conversation with people about these very things. Because these are hard but holy conversations. 
We can all agree across party lines that we ought to care deeply for our children. Yet, many children are left in the margins. Jesus says to let the children come to me and not to hinder them. There isn't an argument that certain populations and demographics of children in our country are hindered in many ways!In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with The Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). A nonprofit that envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish. In their conversation, they discuss the history of CDF, freedom schools, a movement of young people to address systemic racism, and the steps we must take to bring the justice of Jesus to life in our everyday lives.Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson is president & CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and CDF Action Council. CDF envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. Wilson is board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) and the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE).From 2011 through 2020, Rev. Wilson was president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based philanthropy for child well-being and racial justice in St. Louis. From 2008 through 2018, Dr. Wilson also pastored Saint John’s Church (The Beloved Community), a multiracial congregation in the city.  Under his leadership, the foundation constructed and established the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being, a community action tank engaging thousands of citizens annually. After the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., the church hosted the #BlackLivesMatter Freedom Ride to and other mobilizations.Wilson was appointed co-chair of the Ferguson Commission, which released the ‘Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity’ Report, calling for sweeping changes in policing, the courts, child well-being and economic mobility in 2015. He currently serves boards for Duke Divinity School, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Dr. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana, Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Ministry from Duke University. A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Starsky is married to Dr. LaToya Smith Wilson, a dentist and child advocate. They are raising four children.Follow Dr. Wilson’s activism, philanthropy, and ministry at @RevDrStarsky and @ChildDefender.
Join us in celebrating the 100th episode of For People! Over the past two years, we've released an episode almost weekly, and we thank God and you for the inspiration to forge forward.  Last week, we heard six soundbites from For People special guests. This week, we unpack some of Bishop Wright's best excerpts with Melissa, Easton, and special guest and For People listener, The Rev. Winston Arthur. A priest and rector in The Diocese of Atlanta. This is THE episode to share with a friend. We firmly believe For People is unique in challenging people to think of just how BIG God is in loving the hell out of the world. Some For People stats to celebrate: We've been heard in 102 countries, 4,600 cities, and have an all-time download of 120k. We average 1,100 downloads per episode. 
Join us in celebrating the 100th episode of For People! Over the past two years, we've released an episode almost weekly, and we thank God and you for the inspiration to forge forward. This episode starts with Melissa, Bishop Wright, and producer Easton Davis sharing the journey, the innovation, and the Good News they've witnessed along the way. The heart of the episode includes six of our favorite soundbites from special guests including The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Diana Butler Bass, Sheffield Hale, Dr. Gregory Ellison II, The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice, and Bishop Will Willimon. After each soundbite, Melissa and Bishop Wright share their insights and how these conversations have grounded For People as a podcast of story sharing. This is THE episode to share with a friend. We firmly believe For People is unique in challenging people to think of just how BIG God is in loving the hell out of the world. Some For People stats to celebrate: We've been heard in 102 countries, 4,600 cities, and have an all-time download of 120k. We average 1,100 downloads per episode. 
More Easter

More Easter

2022-04-2228:28

More Easter. More joy. More face-to-face smiles. This is what Easter felt like after two years of more challenging Easter celebrations. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright reflect on Easter and what it meant to them after these past 2 years. They reflect on three soundbites from members of The Diocese of Atlanta. Marycelis Otero, The Rev. Juan Sandavol, and Dr. Mary Hooper all share their insights of what Easter meant to them and the joy they witnessed. Christ is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia. Listen in for the full conversation.Before listening, read For Faith.
What is the table on Maundy Thursday is the real intent of Holy Week? And that Good Friday is the moment that Rome decides it is going to destroy the table? So, Rome introduces the cross to stop the feast from going any further than that upper room. In this episode, Bishop Wright and Diana Butler Bass continue their conversation on freeing Jesus through a discussion of the triduum, the three days before Easter, and the argument that Maundy Thursday, the day before the triduum, and the day of The Last Supper, might very well be the most important day of them all. Listen in for the full conversation.Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, popular speaker, inspiring preacher, and one of America’s most trusted commentators on religion and contemporary spirituality.  Diana’s passion is sharing great ideas to change lives and the world—a passion that ranges from informing the public about spiritual trends, challenging conventional narratives about religious practice, entering the fray of social media with spiritual wisdom and smart theology, and writing books to help readers see themselves, their place in history, and God differently. She holds a doctorate in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of eleven books. Her bylines include The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN.com, Atlantic.com, USA Today, Huffington Post, Spirituality and Health, Reader's Digest, Christian Century, and Sojourners. She has commented on religion, politics, and culture in the media widely including on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, CBC, FOX, Sirius XM, TIME, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and in multiple global news outlets. In the 1990s, she wrote a weekly column on religion and culture for the Santa Barbara News-Press, which was distributed nationally by the New York Times Syndicate.She and her husband live in Alexandria, Virginia, with their dog and their sometimes-successful backyard garden.
Jesus lives beyond the narrow confines of the world. Yet, many people try to put him in a box. And how can we as believers get him out of that box into the world? That is our call. In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with special guest Diana Butler Bass. They discuss her calling to free Jesus into the world and how we can do this through personal memoir. They discuss the power of sharing our own stories and how it brings Jesus into people's lives in new and refreshing ways. If the stories of Jesus are to thrive in our current culture, we must share our own stories of struggles and faith. Listen in for the full conversation.Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, popular speaker, inspiring preacher, and one of America’s most trusted commentators on religion and contemporary spirituality.  Diana’s passion is sharing great ideas to change lives and the world—a passion that ranges from informing the public about spiritual trends, challenging conventional narratives about religious practice, entering the fray of social media with spiritual wisdom and smart theology, and writing books to help readers see themselves, their place in history, and God differently. She holds a doctorate in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of eleven books. Her bylines include The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN.com, Atlantic.com, USA Today, Huffington Post, Spirituality and Health, Reader's Digest, Christian Century, and Sojourners. She has commented on religion, politics, and culture in the media widely including on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, CBC, FOX, Sirius XM, TIME, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and in multiple global news outlets. In the 1990s, she wrote a weekly column on religion and culture for the Santa Barbara News-Press, which was distributed nationally by the New York Times Syndicate.She and her husband live in Alexandria, Virginia, with their dog and their sometimes-successful backyard garden.
Apprecation

Apprecation

2022-04-0122:26

The prodigal son is a favorite parable of many. Partly, because if we are honest, we've at one point or another been the foolish young son, the loving father, or the resenting older brother. It is also because family strife is real, hard, and we all go through it at times in our lives. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about all three of the family members in this story, and when it comes to love there is something more at stake than right and wrong. Listen in for the full conversation.This episode is based on Intimacy, the fourth of a 5-part Lenten video series from Bishop Rob Wright. Each Wednesday in Lent, from March 9-April 6, a new video and reflection guide is available. Invite a friend and join us in keeping a Holy Lent. Learn more at episcopalatlanta.org.lent-2022.
Intimacy

Intimacy

2022-03-2521:19

Before Moses becomes a deliverer of his people, he's a felon in the wilderness. Intimacy with God is what changes him from a rogue to a reformer. God says "I am" and this exchange of names is the beginning of knowing and being known.In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about practical ways to grow closer in intimacy with God and what gets in the way; not only in our relationship with but in our relationship with neighbor and family. This episode is based on Intimacy, the third of a 5-part Lenten video series from Bishop Rob Wright. Each Wednesday in Lent, from March 9-April 6, a new video and reflection guide is available. Invite a friend and join us in keeping a Holy Lent. Learn more at episcopalatlanta.org.lent-2022.
Order

Order

2022-03-1820:00

We are heavenly citizens living out our lives on earth. We are in this world, but striving to be not of this world. That's hard. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation of what it means to be heavenly citizens of many races, geographies, genders, and orientations. Listen in for the full conversation. This episode is based on Order, the second of a 5-part Lenten video series from Bishop Rob Wright. Each Wednesday in Lent, from March 9-April 6, a new video and reflection guide is available. Invite a friend and join us in keeping a Holy Lent. Learn more at episcopalatlanta.org.lent-2022.
Clearer

Clearer

2022-03-1120:48

Lent has begun! And we are excited to share Lent with you over these next weeks. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about Jesus in the wilderness,  His fasting of 40 days, and what happens out in the desert. Jesus is tempted by the devil. Not the devil that we might think of, but the Hebraic devil that comes to test Jesus with his knowledge of scripture; of God's very word.This episode is based on Clearer, the first of a 5-part Lenten video series from Bishop Rob Wright. Each Wednesday in Lent, from March 9-April 6, a new video and reflection guide is available. Invite a friend and join us in keeping a Holy Lent. Learn more at episcopalatlanta.org.lent-2022.
What happens when we are called by God to live out the Gospel message in the world? Big questions don't always require big answers. It's about loving people; all people.In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis. They discuss the calling to serve Jesus by serving one another, the notion of radical love, and Bishop Jennifer's own conversion story. *spoiler alert, she wasn't baptized as a baby*Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, a native of New York City, holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in urban studies from Smith College, an M.A. in historic preservation planning from Cornell University, and an M.Div. degree from Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in 1997. Before being elected bishop in 2016, she served in the Dioceses of Newark, Central New York and Chicago. She is the first black woman to be elected a diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church.
“What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but coworkers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance.” -Clarence JordanIn this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford. They discuss how Jonathan's life of faith and his corporate background prepared him to lead Habitat for Humanity, a massive global nonprofit that partners with families around the world to build better lives. Habitat is a ministry that believes partnership is the center of service. That relationship, community building, and dignity must be present. Bishop Wright and Jonathan touch on these very things, and when we follow Jesus with our best selves we walk shoulder to shoulder with the entire human family, especially those impacted disproportionately. Jonathan T.M. Reckford is chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, a global Christian housing organization that has helped more than 39 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve their homes.Since 2005, when he took the top leadership position, local Habitat organizations in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries have grown from serving 125,000 individuals each year to helping more than 4.2 million people last year build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Learn more about Habitat.
Closer

Closer

2022-02-1821:01

We continue to struggle to speak of and learn from our history.  Think about Joseph and his brothers. Joseph shows up, asks them to come closer, and forgives them for selling him into slavery. Talk about forgiveness over history.In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss the truths we fail to share. They talk about how vulnerability and confession go hand in hand in our faith lives and that together they can bring us closer to God than ever before. Listen in for the full conversation. Before listening, read For Faith.During the break, we featured The Hunger Walk Run 2022 happening in Atlanta on March 6. This event supports many partners of the Atlanta Community Foodbank including The Episcopal Community Foundation of The Diocese of Atlanta. Learn more and register to walk or run at ecfimpact.org/hwr.
Once

Once

2022-02-1123:10

At some point in a faithful life with Jesus, you have to lose some arguments. That means you turn it over and trust Jesus and his words in your own humility. That day in Gennesaret, Jesus gives clear direction to go out deeper and cast their nets. Simon does this and so many fish are caught the nets start to break and they call over to the other boat to come help. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss why we often turn to our own selves and devices instead of to God when we struggle to find the right way. But then when we do trust in Jesus and give ourselves over in humility, the Spirit shows up. Listen in for the full conversation.Before listening, read For Faith.This month, prayerfully consider giving to Path to Shine. An organization working towards freedom in the lives of children through mentoring and education. Learn more. 
Exodus

Exodus

2022-02-0423:46

Freedom looks good on you, and a free God made us for freedom! Even so, many of us are a slave to something in our lives. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about freedom, neighborliness, and the richness in our lives we experience when we give up materialism for neighbor. Listen in for the full conversation. Bishop listening, read For Faith. This month, prayerfully consider giving to Path to Shine. An organization working towards freedom in the lives of children through mentoring and education. Learn more. 
Grow Up!

Grow Up!

2022-01-2821:30

Love is patient, love is kind, and love tells us to grow up! Bet you forgot that part, didn't you? This favorite piece of scripture used at weddings is the wise words of St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. What Paul writes about love is that it is the yeast in which a community will grow, heal a marriage, and if we choose not to use that love, what is the point?In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation of grown-up love,  what it costs, and we sometimes fail to. Listen in for the full conversation. Before listening, read For Faith.
Body

Body

2022-01-2122:42

In a divided world, what can being church mean? St. Paul gives us the word body. A word and image to understand how we ought to live with one another, not as a means of denying our brokenness but as healing medicine for us. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about what it means to be the Body of Christ. The hard stuff. The parts where we deny what is really going on. And the giftedness we can experience as a community when we look into the community for the people willing to ask the hard questions and have the harder conversations. Listen in for the full episode. Before listening, read For Faith.Want to join us for Imagine Church this Sunday? Worship with us online at 7pm ET on the Imagine Church website, YouTube Channel, or Facebook page. 
On Monday, January 17th, 2022, we celebrate the 93rd birthday of The Preacher King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What made Dr. King who he is as a preacher? What are some insights on who Dr. King is as a prophet? In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with special guest Dr. Richard Lischer, author of The Preacher King. They discuss the legacy of Dr. King, how he mobilized people to address tough problems, his preachings, and important moments in his life as a prophet. Listen in for the full conversation. Dr. Richard Lischer is professor emeritus at Duke Divinity School, where he has spent his entire teaching career. Before coming to Duke, he served as pastor of Lutheran churches in Illinois and Virginia. He is the author or editor of fifteen books and has contributed chapters in many others. His reviews and essays appear regularly in The Christian Century. Although an academic and a preacher, his work in memoir has received public attention—including Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery (Doubleday) and Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son (Knopf). OUP has recently released the new, updated edition of his prize-winning book, The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America. 
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