Poet Dr. Mischa Willett Interview PGE 72



My guest for this episode is Dr. Mischa Willett.

Dr. Willett is the author of two critically-acclaimed books of poetry: The Elegy Beta and Phases, and is editor of Philip James Bailey’s epic Festus. He teaches in the English Department at Seattle Pacific University and in its MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a specialist in British Literature of the Nineteenth-Century, particularly the poetry of writers such as William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, though he often teaches Shakespeare and the History of Drama as well. Recently, his interest in the aesthetic movements of the period has caused him to engage the curious school of poets known as the “Spasmodics.”

As a Christian, scholar, and poet/artist, Mischa is here to share with us his poetry, his insights, and how he understands the integration of his faith, work, and art.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Meta Commerse Interview 2 Her Memoir PGE 71



In this episode Meta Commerse returns as my guest to discuss her fifth book, her memoir, Womaning.

Meta Commerse is a Blues Doula. A former professor of History and English, she’s an award-winning author. Among her works are short stories, essays, poetry, numerous newspaper articles, one stage play, her story medicine novel, “The Mending Time,” and now her memoir, with more to come. She earned her MFA degree at Goddard College in Vermont. Meta is a social entrepreneur, creator of Story Medicine Worldwide, a community-based healing movement. She is a performing artist, singing jazz, blues, and gospel music. She is the mother of three adult children and grandmother to three young adult grandsons.

The link to purchasing her book is here:

https://www.storymedicineworldwide.com/shop/

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Bob Ekblad Interview PGE 70



In this episode I interview Bob Ekblad about the work he and his wife, Gracie, have been and are doing and we talk about some of his books.

Bob and Gracie Ekblad are founders and co-directors of Tierra Nueva (New Earth) in Burlington, Washington.  Together they minister at Tierra Nueva and at their home-based retreat center New Earth Refuge in the Skagit Valley. As Directors of Tierra Nueva, Bob and Gracie work together with a team of staff and volunteers to serve immigrants from Latin America, inmates, homeless people and people struggling with addictions. In addition to Tierra Nueva, they founded and direct The People’s Seminary which is Tierra Nueva’s ministry training center for pastors, theology students and lay people.

Among Bob’s books, the ones we discuss in this interview are Reading the Bible with the DamnedA New Christian Manifesto: Pledging Allegiance to the Kingdom of God, Guerrilla Gospel: Reading the Bible for Liberation in the Power of the Spirit, and The Beautiful Gate: Enter Jesus’ Liberation Movement.

Bob and Gracie are both ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Janna Barber Interview PGE 69



In this episode, I welcome back Janna Barber to discuss her book, Hidden in Shadow: Tales of Grief, Lamentations, and Faith, and to have her read and discuss more of her poems. Janna was a guest when in interview participants in Foundling House back in Episode 33.

Janna Barber is a teller of stories, a writer of poems, and a lifelong member of the tribe of humanity. The grown-up daughter of a Baptist preacher and his Southern Belle wife, she’s now married to a pastor and living with two of their three kids in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is the author of Hidden in Shadow: Tales of Grief, Lamentation and Faith as well as Invisible Hope: Poetry for Ragamuffins. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ethics with Dr. Janette Engelbrecht PGE 68



Western approaches to knowledge have been called into question due to the legacies of European colonialism and white supremacy and Western conceptions of reality and the universe have been transformed by the advent or relativity and quantum physics. These challenges have influenced not only Western science in general, but Western medicine in particular. The revealed limits of Western medicine have resulted in indigenous and Eastern alternatives, once dismissed and marginalized, being given new consideration. Consequently there has been a significant growth in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). But with the increase in these practices as options, has also come questions related to ethics.

My guest for this episode is Dr. Janette Engelbrecht. She is here to explain to us more fully about the nature of Traditional Chines Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Medicine, why she has chosen to be a practitioner of this medicines, why these options are growing in popularity, and to discuss with us some of the ethical issues related to practice of TCM and CAM.

Dr. Janette Engelbrecht, LA.c., Dipl.OM,  is proud to offer Chinese Medicine services with an integrative approach. Her focus is on helping others to embody a healthy lifestyle in an effort to keep dis-ease and imbalance at bay. The treatments she offers range from a symptomatic style for things like pain or allergies, to a systemic/holistic style for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of internal diseases. Janette graduated from Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in May 2019 with dual Masters and Doctorate degrees. The lineage of Chinese medicine she studies is from a profoundly spiritual perspective rooted in Daoism, and it is from this Body-Mind-Spirit Daoist philosophy that Dr. Engelbrecht’s treatment plans are informed.

Dr. Engelbrecht has a strong background in Western cancer care and specializes in oncology. She has proven effectiveness in helping patients to manage the side and after effects of conventional cancer care including, but not limited to: pain, neuropathy, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, depression, agitation, dry mouth, etc.

In addition to oncology and pain, Janette focuses on digestion, nutrition, stress, sleep, women’s health & fertility, palliative care, and hospice care.

Dr. Engelbrecht is currently practicing with the East Asheville Acupuncture & Wellness Boutique. You can learn more about her at eastacupuncturewb.com.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Lena Epps Brooker Interview PGE 67



In my mind, there are two major atrocities at the historical roots of our nation that created legacies with which we are still dealing to this day. One was the enslavement of African peoples and, after slavery was brought to an end, the subsequent segregation and continued oppression of black people through the Jim Crow laws. The other was the displacement, genocide, and forced assimilation of the Americas’s indigenous peoples–the Native American/American Indian peoples.

A good deal of justifiable attention has been given to understanding and addressing racism directed toward black Americans. Not enough attention has been given to understanding and addressing racism directed at American Indians/Native Americans/Indigenous peoples. In order to take my own steps at correction of my own behavior, I am delighted to welcome as my guest for this episode Lena Epps Brooker. Lena is a Lumbee/High Plains (Sappony)/Cherokee who has written an important memoir of her school years during the time of Jim Crow in the South, titled Hot Dogs on the Road: An American Indian Girls’s on Growing Up Brown in a Black and Whiter World.

Lena’s immediate family was her father, Frank Howard Epps, her mother, Grace Smith Epps and her two younger brothers, Franklin and Cameron Epps. She grew up on the grounds of the Magnolia School in the Saddletree Community of Robeson County, North Carolina. Her father was the principal of the school and her mother was supervisor of Indian Schools for the Robeson County Board of Education.

In 1962, Lena was the first American Indian and person of color to graduate from Meredith College, an all-women’s Baptist college in Raleigh, North Carolina. Of the things Lena has done in her career, she was an elementary school teacher in Charlotte, served in administrative positions with NC State government, including the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, diversity and community relations director for The Women’s Center in Raleigh, and diversity management consultant for corporate headquarters of a multi-state bank in Raleigh. As a volunteer was a certified lay minister with the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church serving Weaverville United Methodist Church.

In her 25+ years of living in Raleigh, Lena was active in community affairs including serving on the City of Raleigh Human Relations Commission, the Raleigh-Wake County Arts Council, Triangle Native American Society, NC ACLU Board of Directors, the NC Council on the Status of Women.

Lena’s late husband of 53 years was Jim Brooker with whom she had two daughters, Lora Brooker and Lindsey Brooks.

In this episode, in giving us guidance in things we can do to help make changes, Lena especially advises reading books written by her peoples. Among those include the following:

The Only Land I Know: A History of the Lumbee Indians, by Adolph L. Dial and David Eliades

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nationand The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggleby Malinda Maynor Lowery

Strong Like Rhonda: Exploring Female Power in the Lumbee Tribe, and Poems and Hollers from a Candy Apple Indian, by Dana Lowery Ramseur

Upon Her Shoulders: Southeastern Native Women Share Their Stories of Justice, Spirit, and Communityby Mary Ann Jacobs, Cherry Maynor Beasley, and Ulrike Wiehaus

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Critical Race Theory with Kendall Thomas PGE 66



My understanding is that in order to understand Critical Race Theory accurately one should begin with the seminal work, Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement, authored and edited by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas.

Especially since June of 2021, the political and Christian Right has chosen to target Critical Race Theory as harmful to the democracy and culture of the United States. Over 22 states have passed or are considering passing laws that prohibit the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

Based on what I have read from the ‘The Key Writings’ book and what I have heard or read about Critical Race Theory from the political and Christian Right, it is my conclusion that what is being presented by the political and Christian Right is some mixture, depending upon whose perspective is being presented, of being uniformed, misinformed, simply wrong, and often intentionally maliciously deceiving.

In order to help provide some fuller, deeper, and more accurate understanding and to help correct what is being presented from the political and Christian Right, Professor Kendall Thomas, one of the co-authors and co-editors of ‘The Key Writings,’ has graciously agreed to be my guest for this episode.

Professor Thomas is the Nash Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He is a scholar of comparative constitutional law and human rights whose teaching and research focus on critical race theory, legal philosophy, feminist legal theory, and law and sexuality.

Professor Thomas is the co-founder and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School, where he leads interdisciplinary projects and programs that explore how the law operates as one of the central ways to create meaning in society. He is also a founder of Amend the 13th, a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to end enforced prison labor.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Irie Price Interview–Race, Culture, and Wellness PGE 65



Irie Price is a writer, blogger, and stakeholder engagement consultant interested in asking questions that lead to growth. The author of the blog, WELL, Irie believes hearing other people’s stories is a powerful way of understanding our own. That is why her work and blog explore race, culture, and wellness through the power of personal narrative.

You can learn more about Irie and read her blog at her website:

https://irieprice.com/

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Interview with Lyricist Mel Bringle and Composer Sally Ann Morris PGE 64



This episode is part of one of my ongoing series I call “Christian Music Not Played On Christian Radio.” The purpose of the series is heighten awareness that although traditional Christian music may no longer be the dominant music style experienced in Christian Churches in the United States, the composition of new music in the traditional forms of hymns and anthems is thriving.

In this episode we get the pleasure of experiencing the fruit of a long and wonderful partnership between lyricist, Dr. Mary Louise, ‘Mel,’ Bringle and composer Sally Ann Morris. Much of their music is intended for congregational singing. They share with us a smidgen of the range of their work and give us insights into the process of their partnership.

Sally Ann Morris has composed upwards of 200 hymn tunes and congregational songs, many of which are found in multiple denominational hymnals in the United States, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Japan. Her musical styles range from classically traditional influences to lyric melodies, jazz, folk, and pop. Sally is a Life Member of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and, in 2021, was named a Fellow of the Society, its highest honor. She lives in Winston-Salem, NC, and is Musician in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity where she leads, enlivens, encourages, demonstrates and teaches the diverse wealth of congregational song for chapel services.

Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and coordinator of interdisciplinary studies at Brevard College in Brevard, NC; she is also a ruling elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, NC. Her Ph.D. in practical and pastoral theology is from Emory University.  An award-winning hymn writer whose original texts and translations appear in the hymnals of numerous denominations in North America and Scotland, she has served as President of The Hymn Society in the US and Canada and as chair of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, responsible for creating the hymnal Glory to God.  In the summer of 2020, she was named a Fellow of the Hymn Society.

Mel and Sally’s music played for this episode is published by GIA Publications and is used by permission.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.


Rabbi Joseph A. Edelheit Interview Peacebuilding 8 PGE 63



Peacebuilding, social justice, and bridge building all overlap and interweave. My guest for this episode exemplifies the desire and quest for all three of these.

The Rabbi Dr. Joseph A. Edelheit has been a long-time activist in interfaith dialogue. He is Emeritus Professor of Religious and Jewish Studies at St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, Minnesota) where he initiated and facilitated the transition of a Religious Studies program from a minor in the Philosophy Department to an independent college level program in the College of Liberal Arts, and worked in the surrounding communities on issues of anti-Semitism and interfaith dialogue. In addition to teaching for over 25 years in university settings, Rabbi Edelheit served over 45 in the rabbinate, serving Reform Jewish congregations in Michigan City, Chicago, and Minneapolis. He is currently volunteering in Jewish communities in Brazil.

Rabbi Edelheit served on the Clinton administration’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (1995-2000) and also initiated and directed a non-governmental organization, Living India, for almost a decade, providing HIV/AIDS care to orphans in India.

Rabbi Edelheit is coeditor of and contributor to Reading Scripture with Paul Ricoeur and is the author of What Am I Missing: Questions on Being Human.

Rabbi Edelheit is the 2021 University of Chicago Divinity School Alumnus of the Year.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.