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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Relishing a slower pace of life


‘New Way’ podcast celebrates relationships with waves, mountains, fire — even our own gut

November 26, 2021

The Rev. Chantilly Mers-Pickett

 In her introduction to a recent episode of the “New Way” podcast, the Rev. Sara Hayden quotes St. Thomas More, who once said, “Soul cannot thrive in a fast-paced life because being affected, taking things in and chewing on them requires time.”

After mentioning the scorching heat around the country that is surprising many of us with its intensity, she said, “If you’re still hustling, take a moment with us to dream and pay attention to the life around you. We have the perfect episode for you right now.”

With that,  Hayden, host of the podcast for the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement, began a two-part conversation with the Rev. Chantilly Mers-Pickett, co-organizer of The Common Ground in New York City and a facilitator of The Circle Way.

In part one of the conversation, Mers-Pickett talks about having her first child — calling it her “reorienting relationship to mothering and wombs.” Up that point, she said, her own body had belonged to her. But now there was “a real grief and loss of independence,” which she described as “a form of wilderness.”

“I didn’t know day from night. I was going from one cry to the next,” she said, “trying to figure things out, trying to adapt to this human, trying to learn from this human, trying not to project my childhood wounds onto this being.”

Looking back, Mers-Pickett realizes this was a deeply formative time — and still is — for her own growth. Telling Hayden that she wishes we could talk about such important matters in our churches, Mers-Pickett and Hayden speak about relishing the slow pace of life and the joy of being in relationship with things: waves, mountains, fire — even our own gut.

Listen to part one of Hayden’s conversation with Mers-Pickett here.

Join more than 9,000 others by subscribing now for “New Way” episodes via SpotifyGooglePlayStitcher and Apple Podcasts, so that you don’t miss an episode.

 The “New Way” podcast is produced by Atlanta-based artist and pastor the Rev. Marthame Sanders, who also hosts the weekly podcast “Aijcast,” which is part of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement.

In 2012, the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA) declared a commitment to this churchwide movement that would result in the creation of 1001 worshiping communities over 10 years.

 Paul Seebeck, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus: New Way Podcast

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Mark DeSantis, Director, Infrastructure Systems & Cyber Security, Board of Pensions
Ann DeVilbiss, Production Associate, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

Let us pray

Gracious God, thank you for how you are using the 1001 movement to inspire your church. We pray that each of us would recognize how we are — and can be — part of a church participating with you in drawing others closer to Jesus. Amen.