Keeping Faith
Holiday Special: Light In The Darkness

Holiday Special: Light In The Darkness

December 17, 2020

For the last episode of our season, we're bringing you some light in the darkness of a challenging year on this Keeping Faith Holiday Special. 

 

We're catching up with Kate Werneburg, Luke LaRocque and Dave Photiadis from episodes past to hear what's bringing them joy, connection and yes, even faith in this holiday season like no other. 

 

Together Kate, Luke & Dave reflect on memories of holidays growing up. The traditions that meant to the most to them. And how they're updating them to resonate with their lives now.

 

They share the need for us to lean into peacemaking as we connect with family & friends. And that taking care of yourself is a key part of being able to do that work. 

 

And they share the practices they use to help them stay spiritually connected this time of year. And offer blessings for each of us this holiday season.  

 

Because yes, it's still possible to find meaning, even if this season looks different.

 

Thanks for being part of Season 2! We'll be back in the new year with more info on what's coming up next for Keeping Faith.

 

In the meantime, you can catch up on episodes and find spiritual practices to help support you through the holidays at keepingfaithpod.com. And share your thoughts with us on this episode or season via email at hello@keepingfaithpod.com. Or find us @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.

Living In Love With The Universe

Living In Love With The Universe

December 10, 2020

When Stephen Scharper saw his childhood nature area bulldozed to make way for a new rec centre, he felt a spark alight within him.

 

It was a deep understanding that the health of natural world is a direct reflection of the health our societies. And that in order to save one, we have to fight for the health of both.

 

And this belief has driven his curiosity about the cosmic connection between us and the natural world in every aspect of his life. 

 

Prof. Stephen and I talk about his life-long fascination with nature and his adventure-filled childhood among the forests, creeks and toboggan hills of suburban Conneticut. 

 

He reflects on the memory of Richard Nixon visiting that rec centre as the moment he realized we have to fight for what we value. And fueled his commitment to the social justice movements of the 1980s & 90s. 

 

And he shares his belief that we need to find joy in the hard work of social change. Because without it, we're missing a key part of the cosmic experience.

 

Because how do you make a difference, and make sure you're not running on empty?

 

This is his story. 

 

Stephen Scharper is an associate professor at the Department of Anthropology and the School of the Environment at The University of Toronto. He is the author of several books on theology and ecology, including a new edition of The Green Bible, released in November, 2020.

 

Find Stephen's Breathing With Nature Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Find out more about his story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook. 

Defying Labels

Defying Labels

December 3, 2020

Growing up with a scientist father in one of Toronto's most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, Luke LaRocque's life looked different than what you'd expect of a "traditional" Christian upbringing. 

 

So it wasn't a surprise when in college he began to question whether the term "Christian" even fit him at all. 

 

But after years of searching, he came to realize that what really mattered was whether that faith felt true to him - regardless of if he fit the label perfectly. 

 

Luke and I talk about his belief that faith is inherently political. And at the same time, struggles with seeing his faith used for political gain. 

 

He shares his challenge with the term "evangelical." And the deep need he sees for us to have conversations across our divides. 

 

And as he leaves a job he loves, he reflects on his deep belief that what we're here to do in the world is so much more than our job titles. 

 

Because how do you find belonging, when you feel like you don't fit in?

 

This is his story. 

 

*Heads up! There are a few technical issues with this episode. But it's a really good one. So bear with them, and you won't be disappointed!

 

Try out Luke's Praying With Technology Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Find out more about his story and join the conversation @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook. 

Part Of A Legacy

Part Of A Legacy

November 26, 2020

Danielle Webber grew up struggling to explain her Unitarian Universalist faith to her friends. 

 

Because while she went to church on weekends and attended Sunday school, services began with the lighting of a chalice and included Buddhist meditations and modern poetry more frequently than stories about Jesus. 

 

So as an adult, when she began looking for a career to bring together all of who she is, she saw it as an opportunity dig deeper into the 
complex faith she's held dear all her life - going to seminary to become a Unitarian minister.

 

Reverend Danielle and I talk about her life as a 3rd generation Unitarian Universalist. And how this family legacy has deeply shaped her life. 

 

She describes the evolution of her beliefs from the time she was a kid to being a minister now. And how at the core of it all, remains a deep trust in every person's capacity for good. 

 

And she talks about how we're all inherently spiritual and that being part of a spiritual community - whatever form that takes - helps you live into your values in a way you can't do alone. 

 

Because how do you carry forward the legacy of your past?

 

This is her story. 

 

Find Rev. Danielle's Morning Writing Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Hear more about her story and share your thoughts with us @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.

Finding My Ground

Finding My Ground

November 19, 2020

Alkarim Versi grew up loving urban life in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

But it wasn't until he ventured outside the city and into the natural world, that the deepest parts of him truly came to life. 

 

And since then, he's learned to lean on this connection to nature to help him find his ground, no matter where he finds his feet.

 

Alkarim and I talk about the multicultural history of Kenya. And the effects colonialism's had on faith communities and the role they play in people's lives.

 

He recounts the solo camping trip that first brought him into deep connection with nature. And how it's become the place he returns to again and again, for healing and strength.

 

And he shares his thoughts on how you too can get outside and connect with nature. Even if you're afraid to take the first step.

 

Because how do you find your ground, no matter where you are?

 

This is his story. 

 

Try out Alkarim's Walking Barefoot Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about his story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.

A Hundred Percent Of More Than One Thing

A Hundred Percent Of More Than One Thing

November 12, 2020

Talia Chernow grew up between worlds - being raised Jewish by her father and attending Unitarian Universalist services and Pagan rituals with her mother. 

 

So by the time she reached her coming-of-age in both the Jewish and Unitarian traditions, she'd come to see herself as a mix of it all - as a Jew-Una-Pag-atarian.

 

And now, it doesn't surprise her she's added one more tradition to the mix - as she shares her life with an atheist, raised Muslim.

 

Talia and I talk about how she makes all these diverse - and sometimes opposing - traditions fit. 

 

She shares her struggle to claim her place as a full member of any one of them. And to be seen by others that way too.

 

And she reflects on how wrestling with all of this has taught her faith is something she defines for herself. And that it's possible to be 100% of more than one thing too. 

 

Because how do you make sense of everything you are?

 

This is her story. 

 

Find Talia's Mindful Knitting Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook.

Live: How To Read The News, Mindfully

Live: How To Read The News, Mindfully

November 6, 2020

This week, we decided to do something a little different on Keeping Faith.

 

With all eyes on the US election, we know the news cycle has been tense and overwhelming.

 

So to help you find some calm in the chaos, we're talking about how to approach the news mindfully.

 

I'm joined by friend of the podcast and mindfulness practitioner, Colin Oliver. And together, we'll guide you through a mindfulness practice you can use to help you process even the most difficult news stories.

 

***Replay: This episode originally aired live on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

 

Share your thoughts on this episode or your experience trying out the Breath Focus Practice on Instagram & Facebook @keepingfaithpod.

Listening In The Chaos

Listening In The Chaos

October 29, 2020

When Jessica Rose left for L.A. two years ago to pursue her acting dreams, all signs pointed to it being a life-changing move. 

 

Turns out it was, but not in the way she expected.

Soon after arriving, Jessica's life fell apart and she found herself alone - with no job, nowhere to live and no one to lean on.

But instead of running from the chaos, Jessica decided to sit in the middle of it. To dig deep and ask what it had to teach her. And that turned out to be the most life-changing move of all.

Jessica and I talk about how this journey brought her out of her head and back to her heart. And to trust the wisdom she found there. She reflects on the events of her life as a trail of breadcrumbs from the universe, leading her to find strength she never knew she had.

And she talks about how being completely alone led her to find the community she always craved.

Because how do you start picking up the pieces, when everything's fallen apart?

 

This is her story. 

 

Try out Jessica's version of the Morning Pages Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Instagram & Facebook. 

 

***Don't forget! Next week, we're bringing you a special LIVE episode of Keeping Faith! Find the link in our bio on Instagram or on our website at keepingfaithpod.com/season2.

 

Finding My Place, Anywhere

Finding My Place, Anywhere

October 22, 2020

Kayla Rao grew up all over the world as the daughter of Canadian diplomats. And while they never explicitly talked about faith as a family, lessons on morality, hope and empathy were everywhere.

 

But when Kayla's father unexpectedly passed away when she was in her early 20s, she began searching for a sense of stability and meaning she never craved before.

 

10 years later, it's landed her with a husband and kids in the middle of a big, loud, Jewish family.

 

Kayla and I talk about her life-long experience as an outsider. And how it's led her to feel comfortable raising a family in a culture she doesn't share. 

 

She talks about the radical empathy she's learned from seeing the challenges people face across the globe. And how all of this has given her deep faith in the goodness of humanity.

 

Because how do you find your place, when you feel like you never belong?

 

This is her story. 

 

*Head's up: There are a few technical issues with this episode. Bear with them, and we promise you won't be disappointed! :)

 

**There's a brief story about domestic abuse at 33:33 min. If you'd prefer to skip it, fast forward 1 min and restart at 34:41 min.

 

Find Kayla's Morning Problem Solving Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com/library. Learn more about her story and tell us your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Facebook & Instagram. 

Sitting In Discomfort, Together

Sitting In Discomfort, Together

October 15, 2020

When Ian Aley & Megan Bjella found out they were expecting a child the week COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, they knew this journey to parenthood would be different than anything they'd planned. 

 

But there was a time not too long ago when they weren't sure they'd even get to this place, as they struggled to agree on whether to become parents at all. 

 

Together, the 3 of us talk about how they built a life together, when they disagreed on such a fundamental thing - having kids.

 

And how when they each let go of wanting a specific outcome, it created space for them to come together.

 

And we talk about the faith they have in living life in community - how it's taught them the importance of sitting with discomfort and to keep showing up for each other, even when you disagree. 

 

Because how do you move forward together, when you're not on the same page? 

 

This is their story.

 

Try out Ian & Megan's Intention Setting Practice in our Spiritual Practice Library at keepingfaithpod.com. Find out more about their story and share your thoughts on this episode @keepingfaithpod on Facebook & Instagram. 

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