By Jessica Brodie
A group of United Methodist pastors, including two serving in South Carolina, have started a new podcast they hope will foster authentic conversations about faith and religion while helping people draw closer to God and faith.
The podcast, called Logos(ish), started in August and features four pastors who went to Candler School of Theology together and ended up being friends and eventually roommates. They are the Rev. Jon Hoin, pastor of the Elloree Charge in Elloree; the Rev. Sara Relaford, pastor of St. Paul UMC, St. Matthews; the Rev. Brian Boettcher, lead pastor of The Garden UMC, Norfolk, Virginia; and the Rev. Garrett Rocha, pastor Limona Village Chapel, Brandon, Florida.
It grew out of shared ministry during COVID-19.
“We started out helping Jon and Sara doing a radio show for their Sunday morning worship experiences due to COVID-19,” Boettcher said; the show is Holy Moments on WLRE Radio Sundays at 11 a.m. “Garrett and I made a couple of guest appearances. Then we just kind of ran with the idea of doing something like this more regularly.”
Hoin said in some ways, it was also inspired by an obituary he read a while back for a lawyer who had recently passed away.
“I was blown away at all he had done in his life. After reading it, I felt like I needed to really step up to the plate and start creating content and spaces to help people flourish,” Hoin said.
Boettcher said he hopes it helps people to engage with their faith and the faith traditions of other people in ways that are easily understood, accurate and engaging.
They also hope to grow and learn themselves as they explore new ideas, theologies and traditions.
“Our hope is to provide high quality, interesting, engaging and accessible religious education,” Hoin said.
They also want to foster a place where people can have real conversations about faith. Eventually, they hope to be able to use the podcast to fundraise for charitable work, as well.
“We’d love this project to help fund work that helps to feed, clothe and care for people,” Hoin said.
Their description on Podbean calls it “a podcast about religion for basically anyone.”
“Do Christians really think Jesus rode dinosaurs? What’s the best time for my teenager to get really into Buddhism? I like science, can I still believe in God? What’s with all the sexism in religion? Who decided what went into the Bible, and why? Yoga, stretching, spirituality, all of the above? Whether you grew up a secular humanist or spent every Sunday planted in a church pew coloring on the attendance cards, we’ve got you covered,” the description reads.
While they all agree on the purpose of their podcast, they each bring something different to the ministry, which is the point. That authentic difference helps them be both real and relatable.
As for favorite episodes, their responses vary.
Relaford said she especially loved “The Women’s Lectionary with Ashley Wilcox.”
“I believe it’s incredibly important for women’s stories to be told in faith settings, and Ashley’s work on ‘The Women’s Lectionary’ helps place infrequently told and unrepresented stories in view,” Relaford said. “Telling those stories benefits all of us, and it gives us a greater appreciation for who God is.”
Rocha loved “My Beef With The Good Place with Bryan Ellrod,” which had great chemistry and was a great topic for talking about public theology and ethics.
“Also, The Good Place is a great show, and we were able to geek out in the best way,” Rocha said.
Boettcher’s favorite episode was, “Ousia, the Incarnation, and Loving it All with Becky Copeland” because, as he said, “My own personal understanding of the faith is deeply rooted in the person of Jesus being a part of God’s creation as God seeks to heal, restore and make creation into something new.”
And Hoin loves the episode “Knowing and Wonder (And Acorn Flour) with Maruti Jaya.”
As Hoin said, “I really enjoy biology, gardening, comparative religion and talking about interfaith activities, so this episode was a perfect nexus of topics.”
People can listen to Logos(ish) on any common podcasting app, such as Podbean, Stitcher, Apple, Google Podcast and Amazon.