Ezeruncaged is laid to rest, but I’m not. Welcome to my newest podcast project: Sancta Colloquia.
“Sancta Colloquia” is latin for: Sacred Conversations.
Some of my favorite episodes of Ezeruncaged were the times friends were invited to participate. The different voices added to our familiar tones, the varying view points highlighted where co-hosts had become too similar. So, when Ezeruncaged dissolved, I thought to myself: why not create a podcast that was comprised of just conversations with other people? I know a bunch of really interesting people; access to potentially great dialogues and conversations is no further than a few key strokes away. In reality, it’s just making public some of the cool conversations I’m already having day to day in various venues. Simple enough.
But, in order to have really good conversations, the space in which those conversations occur has to be safe, it needs to be valued as sacred. And making and maintaining safe spaces is something I know I’m good at. I’m hardwired to create safe spaces for those around me, be it pastorally (in the classroom with my high-school students who are learning to express themselves theologically and philosophically), maternally (making sure my children feel at ease in their environments as they grow in various ways), or relationally (I’m that friend who is not afraid to sit with you in whatever condition you may be in). Human beings are remarkable and amazing creatures. Every time we come into contact with each other, it is an opportunity for that interaction to become an event-encounter, where the divine is present and experienced, and an opportunity for that space to become sacred. With presence and orientation toward the other, that space and that event-encounter are protected and safe. And there’s no better place than from there to have a really good conversation.
I want to be clear, though, about what I mean by “safe place” because, certainly, “safe place” has also become code for: I get to say and do whatever I want no matter how cruel and mean it is. I’ve seen “safe place” and “gospel freedom” used to justify therapeutic hedonism, the type of activity that only ever eventually becomes another law unto itself. In this type of “freedom” and “safe space” the only activity that is allowed is that which lacks virtue and is merely a means to do all the things you’d never do and say all the things you’d never say irl or in relation to another living, breathing, flesh and bone human beings. Here, in this type of false free and safe place, the territorial flags of “Vitriol” and “Condemnation” wave at full mast.
In the past, I’ve been face to face with such therapeutic hedonism and abuse of freedom and safety and even though it bothered me to no end, I remained silent. In the past I’ve also participated in this type of “freedom” and “safety” and, well, the only thing I have from participation is regret. Immense regret. Bearing the name of Christ, being a disciple there in and labeled a Christian, I have no right to partake in any such behavior or do I have any right to be silent in the midst of such behavior. To love Christ is to love others both when I’m face to face with them and when I’m not. (Full Stop)
Thus, this safe place is for conversation that brings life not only to those participating directly in the conversation, but also to those who choose to listen in. This freedom is for sharing pain and healing, discouragement and encouragement, anger and joy, bondage and freedom, the good and the bad, all with the goal that maybe, just maybe, someone else out there needs to hear these very words. This podcast is and these conversations are a safe place for building up and encouraging and empowering other people.
The only tearing down that will occur will be the tearing down of oppressive and abusive systems that we’ve grown all too accustomed to tolerating in our society and in our churches. Using story and experience, dialogue and conversation, vulnerability and authenticity, community and individuality, questions and answers or silence, my hope is that this podcast will expose (unto life) where we are lacking and exhort us to better activity in the world, activity based in and founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, the proclamation of the Cross.
So, with that said: Welcome to Sancta Colloquia; I’m glad you’re here.