At our recent offline Gathering, Mark Vernon – former Anglican Priest, turned atheist, turned Christian agnostic – led us in a Buddhist inspired meditation. To get the full benefit from this, you might want to sit near some other people (e.g. in a cafe, the library, or park, etc.) as it’s all about how we perceive ourselves in relation to others.

 

If you want to further explore the ideas of faith and doubt with Mark, then get a copy of his excellent How To Be An Agnostic, in which he recounts his journey from Anglican Priest to Atheist to ‘Christian Agnostic’. I also thoroughly enjoyed The Meaning of Friendship and Love: All That Matters. – Tim

Lent is upon us once again. A wonderful counter-cultural season where we reflect on those things we might need to give up. So we asked Brian Draper to send us something that would help guide us through this time. And he came up trumps with a reflection on the transforming power of stillness. So tune in if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and frazzled, and join us as we commit to intentional stillness through Lent.

 

If you want more from Brian then make sure you tune into our fascinating conversation with him Mindfulness: The Doorway to the Soul?

 

And make sure you check out his website, and many excellent books.

It’s that time of the year again! We thought we’d have a week off interviewing, and so we’ve arranged a little Christmas reflection for you. Nicola Slee is a feminist practice theologian and poet who is currently director of research at The Queen’s Foundation of Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. In this podcast, Nicola reflects the implications of Jesus being born a girl. Now there’s something for you to ponder over your mince pies and mulled wine!

If you want to dig deeper into the issues Nicola raises in this reflection, then check out her book Seeking the Risen Christa

With Pentecost almost upon us, we offer you our 7th and final refection. So who has the privilege of closing out this series? Well it’s Associate Professor of Psychology, Richard Beck of course!

 

If you want more from Richard (and why wouldn’t you?!) then check out his thoroughly splendid blog and books.

We hope you’ve found these reflections helpful. See you later on in the Church calendar!

In our sixth instalment of our Pentecost for Progressives series, we bring you Roger Mitchell.

Roger is an Honorary Research Fellow at Lancaster University and has pioneered a movement around the idea of Kenarchy, by which he means ‘self emptying power’. And it is this theme he skilfully weaves into a Pentecost refection.

 

You can read more about this in his book Discovering Kenarchy: Contemporary Resources for the Politics of Love. You’ll also want to check out The Fall of the Church and his very interesting blog.

Rachel Mann brings us our fifth Pentecost for Progressives reflection. Rachel is a Church of England priest, and is poet in Residence at Manchester Cathedral. She’s also transgender, and brings something of her experience of wrestling with identity and faith to this fascinating reflection.

 

If you want more of Rachel’s story, then check out her website and her two books Dazzling Darkness and The Risen Dust.

Our journey towards Pentecost continues. This week’s refection comes from freelance community theologian and author, Ann Morisy. Ann has researched and written on everything from the spirituality of public transport, through to the spirituality of ageing. But for us, she turns her attention to Pentecost.

 

If you want more from Ann, check out her many splendid books.

Here’s our second Pentecost reflection for you. This time Alastair McIntosh reflects on how his understanding of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit has changed and evolved, from one of judgement to one of spiritual activism.

 

If you want to take Alastair’s ideas further, then check out his latest book Spiritual Activism, and have a listen to our fascinating conversation with him.

We’ve got a new Nomad Spirituality series for you, Pentecost for Progressives. Each week between Easter and Pentecost we’ll be giving you a reflection from someone who’s been through a faith shift/deconstruction, or who just views the faith with a critical eye. We asked them the question, what does Pentecost/Holy Spirit mean to you now?

First up is Barbara Glasson. Barbara started an inclusive faith community in Liverpool centred around baking bread. She went on to work with lesbian, gay and transgendered Christians, and with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She’s now doing interfaith work with Muslims in Bradford.

 

If you want more from Barbara, then check out her books.

As well as our usual interview shows we like to give you some food for thought focussed around the Church Calendar. This Easter we’ve asked the Jesuit Priest, Father James Martin to reflect on how he relates to the suffering and resurrected Jesus.

 

If you want more of Father Martin, then check out his many excellent books and America, the Jesuit magazine he is editor-at-large of.

Last year we gave you our ’12 Days of Christmas’ reflections. We’re adding to that series with a reflection by the director of the missional community InnerChange, John Hayes. John reflects on the contradictions inherent in our modern celebration of Christmas.

 

Want more? Then have a read of John’s excellent book Sub-merge: Living Deep in a Shallow World

Every now and then we treat you to Nomad Spirituality, a guest meditation based around the Church calendar. So we thought a reflection based around Harvest might be in order. Bruce Stanley seemed like the man as he’s a forager, owns a small holding, pioneered the Forest Church movement. But rather than giving thanks, what harvest prompts Bruce to do is ask some challenging questions.

 

If you need more Bruce, then check out his website, and his book Forest Church: A Field Guide to Nature Connection.

For the final show in our ‘Interfaith Easter’ series we’ve asked James Ford to reflect on Easter from a Buddhist perspective. Not only is James a Zen Buddhist Priest, but he’s also a minister in the Unitarian Church. A rather interesting mix, I think you’ll agree.

So sit back, turn up the volume and glean from James’s wisdom and insight.

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Our latest Easter reflection comes from Jason Mankey and Mike Stygal. Jason was a Christian, but became increasingly disillusioned with right wing politics and intolerant attitudes, and so began to explore paganism. But despite this, he maintained his love of Easter. You’ll remember Mike from our recent interview. He’s the President of the Pagan Federation. Enjoy!

 

For our sixth Easter reflection we’ve asked Paul Beaumont to mull over what Easter means for someone who has lost their faith.

Paul was a committed evangelical Christian for 25 years, but when he began to be honest about his lack of spiritual experiences and his concerns about aspects of the character of God as revealed in the Old Testament, his faith began to unravel…

 

If you want to know more, cast an eye over his novel, A Brief Eternity

Our interfaith Easter series continues with Robert Cohen. Robert is a Jew, but one who is married to an Anglican Minister. This combined with the fact he lives in one of the least Jewish counties of England puts him very much on the margins. Needless to say, Robert has had a very interesting and unique experience of both Judaism and Christianity.

 

For more about Robert, check out his blog Micah’s Paradigm Shift..

We took a bit of a chance with this one. We asked a secular scientist if they could find a link between their scientific discipline and the themes of Easter. Prof. Michael Merrifield had a crack at it, and found some sweet connections between his field of astronomy and death and resurrection (and also talked a lot about his real passion, telescopes!).

 

If you like what you hear, head over to his YouTube channel for more.

Each week on the lead up to Easter, we’ll be giving you an Easter reflection, with a twist. Rather than asking Christians to reflect on their own festival, we thought it’d be more interesting to ask people from other faiths and none to reflect on the symbolism of Easter. A great way to learn about other religions, we thought.

 

We’re easing you in gently with Mark Vernon. Mark used to be an Anglican priest, but he now considers himself an agnostic. So buckle up for an Agnostic Easter…

If you want more from Mark, then get hold of the excellent How to Be An Agnostic.

2015 sees the resurrection of Nomad Spirituality! Nomad can be a bit cerebral, so we occasionally want to balance this with something a bit more experiential.

Writer, poet and priest, Ian Adams, has stepped up and given us a meditation on stillness. So find a quiet spot, turn down the lights, and lose yourself in stillness…

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Oh, and we recommend Ian’s daily meditation, Morning Bell.

(The meditation begins at 6 mins 7 secs)

And you thought we’d finished (so did we, actually!). This one, however, really is the grande finale, and it’s a corker.

Krista Tippett has an award winning radio show, On Being, and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” And today she’s on Nomad telling you why she doesn’t do Christmas…

 

Oh, and if you want more from Krista, check out our interview with her where we discussed the lost art of listening. And you’d do well to read her book Speaking of Faith

To close out our 12 Days of Christmas we’ve enlisted the services of the author of Consumer Detox (read it, its really rather good, unless you don’t like being massively challenged, then don’t read it!) and founder of the Breathe Network (“Less Stuff, More Life”), Mark Powley.

Apparently the issue isn’t so much the way we go about Christmas, but the way we go about the rest of the year. Interesting!

 

If you’re interested in more from Mark, we interviewed him, way back in the day…

Philosopher, sociologist and Christian feminist, Elaine Storkey has achieved a lot in her life. She’s lectured around the world, written numerous books, she succeeded John Stott as Executive Director of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, and she served as the President of TEAR Fund. And now, she’s on Nomad Podcast, bringing you her Christmas reflection!

 

 

Shane Claiborne – author of the must read book The Irresistible Revolution (among others), and founding member of the New Monastic community The Simple Way – would like to share some thoughts on Christmas. Anyone interested?!

 

If you want more, dig deep into our archives and discover our interview with Shane…

Nadia Bolz Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, and a leading voice in the emerging church movement, known for her honest and provocative style. And today she’s bringing a Christmas reflection just for you!

 

Want more? Of course you do. Check out our rather pleasing interview with her…Oh, and read her really rather splendid book Cranky, Beautiful Faith.

Greg Boyd is one of Nomad’s favourite theologians and authors. He’s a leading figure in the reformation of evangelicalism, passionately advocating everything from the importance of doubt, care for creation, a non-violent view of God, and much more. Read his blog at ReKnew and listen to his sermons at Woodland Hills Church. Oh, and read all his many books!

And today Greg is bringing a Christmas reflection from his unique perspective, just for you, the beloved Nomad listener. Enjoy!

 

Crying out for more? Look no further than our two previous interviews with Greg, on the importance of community and vegetarianism and non-violence.

The late Author and lecturer, Phyllis Tickle, was one of the most influential voices in emerging church circles, and one of our favourite guests of 2014.

We asked Phyllis to reflect on Christmas from the perspective of the emerging church and emergence Christianity.

Need more Phyllis? Easy, just check out our interview with her, where we discuss why a new church is emerging. It’s a classic.

 

Oh, and you might want to read all her books (we have).

Jenny Baker was one of the founders of the Sophia Network, an organisation that champions the equality of women and men in church. She’s also author of the book Equals: Enjoying Gender Equality in All Areas of Life.

 

So we asked Jenny to reflect on the Christmas story from the perspective of gender equality.

Today’s Christmas reflection comes from Nomad’s favourite musician and activist, David Benjamin Blower.

David sets up a showdown between Christmas and Empire and throws in a couple of your favourite Christmas carols for no extra charge. So brace yourself for a good measure of hope-filled challenge, served up with a sprinkling of musical creativity. Enjoy!

 

Oh, and while you’re at it, read his excellent book Kingdom vs. Empire, and listen to his many wonderful albums.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter is the executive director of New Direction Ministries in Canada, an organisation that exists to provide “safe and spacious places for those outside the heterosexual mainstream to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ.”

We asked Wendy to reflect on Christmas from the perspective of her experience in ministering to gay and lesbian Christians.

 

Need more? Then check out our interview with Wendy where we did deeper into these issues, and definitely read Wendy’s excellent book Generous Spaciousness.

Robin Parry is an evangelical, but unlike most evangelicals he doesn’t believe that Hell and death is the end of the story for most of humanity. Instead, he believes the Bible teaches that we will all ultimately be reconciled to God and enjoy eternity with him.

So we set Robin a challenge. Can he find universalism in the Christmas story? Tune in to find out the results!

 

After more? Then have a listen to our interview with Robin where we dig deeper into the idea of universalism. And definitely have a read of his book The Evangelical Universalist.

Dave Andrews has committed his life to serving the poorest and most marginalised people in Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal for more than forty years. His wisdom and humility made him one of our most popular interviewees of 2014.

In his Christmas reflection, Dave draws out some fascinating and surprising insights from the example of the Wise Men.

 

I know, a short refection just isn’t enough. Then check out our interview, and his many books. That should keep you going.

Carl Medearis – one of our favourite interviewees of 2013 – kicks off Nomad’s 12 Days of Christmas. Carl was a missionary in Beirut, Lebanon for 12 years and now works as an international expert in the field of Christian-Muslim relations.

So, sit back and marvel as Carl seamlessly weaves shepherds, ISIS, Bono and Jesus into his Christmas reflection. Enjoy!

 

And if that’s not enough for you, check out Carl’s excellent book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism.

Tim wrote a short Christmas meditation that Dave read out to help their community reflect on the significance of the incarnation. And they thought you might enjoy it.

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The background music is from Grace’s latest album Landskapes, the track is Skape by Electrik Cafe. Check it out and loads more super creative meditations and prayers at proost.