I have a new podcast – FKD UP BY FAITH – where I have healing conversations with people who’ve been ‘f****d up’ by their faith, and who’ve found hope, healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness, in, or out of their faith tradition. Have a look at ‘Be a Guest’ if you would like to come and have a conversation with me, or if you know someone who fits the bill…
If you would like to support me in producing the podcast you can donate via ‘Buy Me A Coffee’ on the link at the bottom of this page.
Kaj Jensen (they/them) is a genderqueer storyteller who calls the Pacific Northwest home. When not collecting stories, they spend time camping with their cat and spying on birds.In this our longest episode so far, Kaj shares their fascinating story of growing up as an Evangelical Christian, on a farm in the ‘middle of nowhere’ in the American midwest, where they asked their parents and pastor ‘difficult questions’ – like what happened to the dinosaurs? Kaj talks about queerness, community, and an authentic spirituality rooted in their love of nature.
Kaj’s website is kajjensen.com
The Poetry shared on the podcast is
At the beginning of Pride month, I am delighted to talk to Chris Brown (she/her) who is a UK-based trainer and consultant specialising in suicide prevention, mental health, and equalities issues, especially LGBTQ+ inclusion. Chris tells her story of childhood and adolescence in an Evangelical CofE church, and the pain, separation and trauma caused by the imposed ideas of sin/redemption. Ultimately, given the church’s rejection of her sexual identity and expression, Chris chose ‘life’ rather than the church. She talks about healing in relationship, community and awareness of what inclusion actually means.
As with all episodes of FKD UP BY FAITH – content warnings for difficult and potentially triggering topics apply.
You can find out about Chris’s work at www.chrisbrown.uk.com
The opening reading was from Anam Cara – by John O’Donohue
The poem spoken by Chris was The Summer Day – by Mary Oliver
LGBTQ- Inclusive Organisations listed on Stonewall UK
Resources for LGBTQ People of Faith listed on Stonewall UK
Dawn Lister is a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher and co-owner of Anahata Yoga Centre in Leigh on Sea. She is a Mum, and a writer who is currently working on a memoir about her experiences of growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, which – like many ex-members of the JW organisation – she considers to be a cult. Dawn tells her fascinating – and sometimes difficult – story of childhood and adolescence in a Jehovah’s Witness family, about the process of leaving the church, and her long path to healing, wholeness, and forgiveness. https://anahatayogacentre.com Dawn and her business partner Daniel Groom also have a wonderful podcast called ‘From the Heart’ which you can find via their website or on all the usual channels. As with many stories of being FKD UP BY FAITH, some people might find aspects of Dawn’s story upsetting.
jUDE read the poem PRAYING – by Mary Oliver
Jax Bull is an interfaith minister, coach, counsellor and ‘iheart’ facilitator who lives in East London.
In this lively conversation, Jax shares about being mixed race, her deep connection to the ‘Readybrek Glow’ of God, her intimate relationship with Jesus, and her eventual break from a church where the Gospel wasn’t always preached as Love.
Jax’s website https://theserenitypractice.com/about
iheart – Innate Health Education and Resilience Training – is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping young people uncover their innate resilience and mental wellbeing. https://www.iheartprinciples.com
The Body is Like Mary
The body is like Mary, and each of us has a Jesus inside.
Who is not in labour, holy labour? Every creature is.
See the value of true art, when the earth or a soul is in
the mood to create beauty;
for the witness might then for a moment know, beyond
any doubt, God is really there within,
so innocently drawing life from us with Her umbilical
universe – infinite existence …
though also needing to be born. Yes, God also needs
to be born!
Birth from a hand’s loving touch. Birth from a song,
from a dance, breathing life into this world.
The body is like Mary, and each of us, each of us has
a Christ within.
– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky in his book, ‘The Purity of Desire’.
Revd Sheila Zeitsman is an ordained OneSpirit Interfaith Minister and faculty member for OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation.In this fascinating conversation, Sheila shares her story of growing up as a white African in Zimbabwe, her uneasy path to faith, her ordination as a Church of Ireland priest and her later ordination as an Interfaith minister. Sheila’s bio on the OneSpirit Website – https://www.interfaithfoundation.org/faculty
The Loving Kindness Song mentioned by Jude – sung by Jess Huetteman on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZwSMpjEb-M
Sheila’s Blessing was by John O’Donohue
May all that is unforgiven in you
May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquillities.
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.
–John O’Donohue (“To Come Home To Yourself”; Benedictus/To Bless the Space Between Us)
My guest on this first episode is Roger Wolsey – USA based Pastor, who is best known as an advocate of Progressive Christianity. He is author of Kissing Fish (Christianity for People who don’t like Christianity)We talk about the state of Christianity in the USA, about what Progressive Christianity is, and about hope and healing for people who’ve been wounded by their faith, and about love.
Roger’s website https://www.rogerwolsey.com
Podcasts are scheduled for Mondays. Subscribe via your podcast app to be notified.