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New podcast highlights PC(USA)’s 1001 new worshiping movement


Stories speak to the ‘New Way’ 21st century church is coming to be

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

At left is the Rev. Sara Hayden, host of the “New Way” podcast. It’s produced by Marthame Sanders of Aijcast, a 1001 New Worshiping Community in Atlanta, at right. (Sanders photo courtesy of Ely Photo/@elyphoto)

LOUISVILLE — The first season of the “New Way” podcast, with host the Rev. Sara Hayden, will drop on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

It’ll explore the connection between people and their communities and the way that context shapes faith.

In the season’s episodes, Hayden, director of the 1001 apprenticeships and residency program of the PC(USA)’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement, covers a variety of subjects related to how church is coming to be in the 21st century.

Guests include Vera White, former national coordinator of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement; the Rev. Abby King-Kaiser, an artist and new worshiping community leader in her hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio; Dr. Bethany McKinney Fox, co-founder of an ability-inclusive church in Los Angeles; and Nick Pickrell, organizer of The Open Table, a new worshiping community in his hometown, Kansas City.

“What we’re exploring is the connections between people and their communities and the way that context shapes the church,” says Hayden. “In doing this, there are incredible moments of self and spiritual discovery.”

Leaders in — and connected to — the Church’s ‘1001’ movement share very human stories of how experiencing a parent’s divorce as child, moving to a new country, being a child of artists, or experiencing significant change helped shape them and the churches they serve.

“Sara has done a remarkable job of curating this first batch of stories (six episodes) to draw attention to the complexity and depth of the whole movement,” says New Way producer Marthame Sanders.

An Atlanta-based dad, artist and pastor, Sanders also hosts his own weekly podcast, “Aijcast,” which is part of the 1001 new worshiping community movement.

“The essence of Reformed tradition says God is still at work in these incredible ways,” says Sanders, “because the gospel is always relevant, no matter how much the world changes.”

“This is what the ‘1001’ movement is about — and “New Way” speaks to this. These new worshiping communities are a phenomenal embodiment of the whole notion of what it means to be incarnational people (of Jesus) in 2019.”

Hayden and Sanders have two more seasons planned for this year. They’ll drop six new episodes about every four months. By telling these stories, they hope it will inspire and encourage others — as well as give them something practical “to sink their teeth into.”

The “New Way” podcast is available on Apple iTunes, Google Play  and other podcast services starting on Tuesday. You can also listen directly from the website.

For guidance on how to listen to a podcast, or to subscribe to New Way, where new episodes are downloaded directly, click here.

In 2012, the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA) declared a commitment to a churchwide movement that resulted in the creation of 1001 worshiping communities over the next 10 years. At a grassroots level, hundreds of diverse new worshiping communities have already formed across the nation.



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