"At the Threshold" is a podcast for ministry leaders during this new, unsettled season in the life of the Church.
Join hosts the Revs. Ashlee Alley Crawford and Shelly Petz as they host conversation with and for clergy in order to describe what’s happening, ask questions to help us get “unstuck," and encourage the heart of pastors and leaders in this liminal time in which we find ourselves.
Liminal may be a new word. But a new season calls for a new word. Liminal means a threshold from what we’ve always know to … well, we don’t know just yet what life and ministry is becoming. The hosts' goal is to find a little light at the threshold.
Most of us have a somewhat complicated relationship with death, but as Wesleyans, we’ve got an important heritage and witness in our founder, John Wesley’s relationship with death. He explored the depth of the realities and the art of dying throughout his life, to ultimately proclaim in his own death, “The best of all, God is with us.” God is indeed with us in our living and in our dying. This episode explores three different perspective on death during this COVID-19 season of our collective lives. Dr. Steve Short, a Manhattan, KS pulmonary specialist who went to Brooklyn, NY during the heart of the outbreak, shares about his experiences with patients and medical teams and shares how he’s leaning on his faith in this time. Rev. Shelly McNaughton-Lawrence was navigating being a pastor and a daughter in the first weeks of the pandemic as she grieved the loss of her mother’s life to COVID-19 and shares how she’s processing her own grief as well as grief within her community. Hospital Chaplain, Rev. Becky Johnson, shares some practical ways that churches and pastors can minister to the sick and dying and emphasizes the important ministry of prayer.
This episode debuted July 2, 2020.
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Also, here are some resources that were mentioned or shared by our panelists.
The uncertainty and opportunity in this season invites us to look to our spiritual leaders for a sense of how to navigate it’s challenges and embrace what is emerging. Bishop Saenz is joined by retired bishops Ann Shearer Simpson and Bruce Blake to share how they themselves are navigating this season and offer their perspectives on Spiritual Leadership during this new and challenging season.
This episode debuted June 19, 2020.
Several Great Plains pastors join Ashlee and Shelly to identify some of the questions — and opportunities — during this new season! (Above, from left) Pastors Maria Campbell, Craig Finnestad, Jeff Gannon and Berniece Ludlum share about some of their challenges in the first months of shifting ministry as well as ways that they’re experiencing being a part of the Church differently in this season and hope to continue to experience in the season ahead.
This episode debuted June 2, 2020.
Seanne Larson Emmerton, a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed independent mental health provider who comes from a long line of United Methodists, including circuit riders has a special interest in spirituality and health. Her specialties are relationships, trauma and resilience using positive psychology and a strength-based model. This episode debuted May 21, 2020.
Seanne shared some resources that might be helpful in this season in the life of the church. They are listed below:
This first episode is a Zoom conversation that Ashlee and Shelly hosted with nearly 30 clergy from the Great Plains Conference. They asked four pastors to serve as a panel, sharing from their experiences leading churches in these first two months after the COVID-19 crisis. The Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede (above, left) serves as the senior pastor of St. Paul UMC in the Historic Benson Neighborhood in Omaha. The Rev. Isaac Chua (second from left) is the pastor of two churches, Laurel and Logan Center UMCs in Nebraska. The Rev. Cindi Stewart (second from right) serves as the lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Nebraska. And the Rev. Jeff Clinger (right) serves as the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church in Topeka, Kansas. The topic of this discussion was "Creativity, Comparing, and Coping" — three responses that we’ve seen in ourselves and in other pastoral leaders during this new time. Download the episode.
This episode debuted May 7, 2020.