Season nine features a conversation on faith deconstruction with The Christian Century’s Jon Mathieu
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Season nine of the New Way podcast from 1001 New Worshiping Communities kicked off Thursday with the first of a two-part conversation with the community engagement editor of The Christian Century, Jon Mathieu.
Also, the pastor of new church Harbor Online — as its name implies, the community gathers not in person but only online — Mathieu talks with New Way host the Rev. Sara Hayden about Harbor’s post-evangelical and inclusive community.
On its website, Harbor Online describes itself as a community where “everyone belongs to each and to God” and “that every person who desires to belong does,” which Hayden asked Mathieu to flesh out.
“People desire to belong to one another and to love each other, so anyone who wants to should be able to participate in that in a Christian faith community,” Mathieu said. “We wanted to put that out front and center that no matter what you believe, no matter what baggage you have, if you want to be part of the community, you can be part of the community.”
During the conversation, Mathieu shared how he moved away from leadership in a conservative evangelical church. The departure, which led to a deconstruction of his faith, brought him closer to Jesus than ever before, he said.
Mathieu told Hayden the church he worked for wouldn’t allow his wife to be a pastor or his sister to participate in any leadership in the church, not even voluntarily.
“Unfortunately, it often takes a close relationship with someone being marginalized to actually see what’s happening,” he said. “That was the case for me.”
You can listen to Hayden’s conversation with Mathieu here.
In part two of their conversation, which drops on Sept. 2, the two continue to go deeper into both faith deconstruction and reconstruction — and into the importance of offering an online worshiping community for those who do not find acceptance where they live.
In case you missed the final episode of season eight, listen to Hayden’s conversation with noted author and activist Brian McLaren. He and Hayden discuss “Is the Church Brave Enough?”
(Part one) and “Do I Stay Christian?” (Part two).
The New Way podcast is produced by Atlanta-based artist and pastor the Rev. Marthame Sanders, who hosts the weekly podcast Aijcast, which is part of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement.
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