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Progressive Spirit
Spirituality ~ Social Justice
Category: Spirituality
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I am the minister of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon (Portland Metro). www.southmin.org


by John Shuck
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September 25, 2016 08:01 AM PDT

Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life. He is the author of "Onward Christian Athletes" and "The Evangelicals You Don’t Know." Formerly of Portland, he is now communications director at Yale Divinity School. He is not a believer in God or the supernatural. But he digs Jesus. In his latest book, "Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower," he talks about Jesus as a resource for those who don t have religious beliefs.

September 18, 2016 08:15 AM PDT

Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter, recording artist, performer, and educator. She has released 15 albums. She was on Progressive Spirit when it was called Religion For Life a couple of years ago when her album "A Permeable Life" and its companion book, "A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays" was released. She is with me again to talk about her latest album, "The Beautiful Not Yet," and its companion book, "The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays, and Lyrics."

September 14, 2016 01:53 PM PDT

The Beloved Community is a new 60 minute show that airs every second Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. on 90.7 KBOO/Portland.

On the Beloved Community we address the philosophical and spiritual foundations for non-violence, activism, political engagement and peace building. We also hear voices of those who are building the beloved community. The goal is to gain inspiration, solidarity, wisdom, and insight for your own activism.

On this episode I speak with Sarah Jaffe about her book, "Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt." Truthout called her book “one of the most essential books of the year.”

I speak with Jaffe about her description of a new activism that has arisen since the crash of 2008. She writes about the anger and frustration that led to the Tea Party, the Occupy Movement, Occupy Foreclosure, Student Debt Resistance, OURWalmart, Black Lives Matter, and more.

She discusses what links these movements together, the people behind them, their strategies, and announces a call for all of us to make some necessary trouble for the sake of our nation and each other.

I also speak with singer/songwriter, Carrie Newcomer about her new album "The Beautiful Not Yet" and her companion book, "The Beautiful Not Yet, Poems, Essays, and Lyrics.

Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter, recording artist, performer, and educator. She has released 15 albums. She was on Progressive Spirit when it was called Religion For Life a couple of years ago when her album A Permeable Life and its companion book, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays was released. She is with me again to talk about her latest album, The Beautiful Not Yet, and its companion book, The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays, and Lyrics.

September 11, 2016 08:51 AM PDT

Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) is a Google pioneer, award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, thought leader and philanthropist. He is Chairman of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, and Co-chair of One Billion Acts of Peace, which has been nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

But that isn’t why he is a happy guy. He was happy before he was successful. He has learned the skill of accessing joy on demand! Science can now measure what ancient wisdom discovered through centuries of practice: joy is accessible. We talk about his book, "Joy On Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within."

September 04, 2016 07:17 AM PDT

The rising population known as “nones” for its members’ lack of religious affiliation is changing American society, politics, and culture. Many nones believe in God and even visit places of worship, but they do not identify with a specific faith or belong to a spiritual community. Corinna Nicolaou is a none, and in her book, "A None’s Story: Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam," she describes what it is like for her and thousands of others to live without religion or to be spiritual without committing to a specific faith.

August 28, 2016 06:04 AM PDT

Jenna Yokoyama is a Japanese American. She co-hosts the show Pacific Underground on KBOO in Portland, Oregon. It is heard on the FOURTH Friday of every month at 11:00 a.m. It is also on podcast via Soundcloud and iTunes. According to its website,

"There are nearly 225,000 APIs in Oregon. But in one of America’s whitest states, the issues that impact us simply aren’t covered. Imagine: 225,000 stories untold.

Pacific Underground is a show by Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) taking the mic into our own hands."

Jenna covers a lot of ground in this conversation. We discuss religion, racism and the daily indignities APIs face to the social transformation underway with younger generations. She talks about the problem of the European designation “Asian” to refer to nearly half the planet as well as the necessity for APIs to unite as “Asian-Americans” for the purpose of empowerment.

August 21, 2016 10:54 AM PDT

Scott Brown is the Cofounder of the Colorado Center for Restorative Practices. Scott has been a long-time activist working for over 15 years with organizations including Greenpeace, the Idaho Conservation League, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

He is a leading advocate for consistent nonviolence and bringing the principles and practices of restorative justice to bear on the full range of social issues. He is travelling the country talking about his book, Active Peace: A Mindful Path to a Nonviolent World.

August 15, 2016 04:17 PM PDT

In his 1959 Sermon on Gandhi, Dr. King said:

“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle’s over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor….The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”

On “The Beloved Community” we address the philosophical and spiritual foundations for non-violence, activism, political engagement and peace building. We also hear voices of those who are building the beloved community right here in Portland. The goal is to gain inspiration, solidarity, wisdom, and insight for your own activism.

On this pilot edition of “The Beloved Community,” host John Shuck speaks with three activists. Each of them brings a unique voice and perspective to bringing Martin Luther King’s vision to fruition. Marianne Williamson, is a New York Times Bestselling author, lecturer, and activist. She will discuss the spiritual foundations of the Beloved Community as we discuss her latest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.

G. Scott Brown, is the Co-founder of the Colorado Center for Restorative Practices. He was formerly an activist for Greenpeace and now brings the principles of non-violence to all of his social justice work. He will be in Portland on August 16 th to discuss his latest book, Active Peace: A Mindful Path to a Non-Violent World.

We close the hour speaking with Jenna Yokoyama. Jenna is a co-host of the KBOO program, Pacific Underground that airs every FOURTH Friday of the month at 11:00 a.m. “Pacific Underground is a show by Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) taking the mic into our own hands.” She will discuss the Asian-American experience in Portland including why it is problematic to use phrases such as the “Asian-American experience.”

August 13, 2016 08:42 PM PDT

Seven of her twelve books have been New York Times bestsellers. Four have been #1 on that list. You have seen her on Oprah, Larry King Live, Bill Maher, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose. You can watch her live each Wednesday on livestream through her website Marianne.com. Her spirituality is intimately connected with social justice.

We discuss her latest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment. She takes seriously the grief of our world and the grief of individuals and how with love and courage we can transform our suffering into strength.

August 07, 2016 04:55 AM PDT

Five years ago the nation was stunned by the case of the Bergholz beard cutters. The Bergholz Amish Community in southern Ohio found itself outside the law by following its bishop, Sam Mullet, who became increasingly authoritarian. He controlled his community, doling out punishments, sexually abusing the wives of the men he punished, instructing members to forcibly cut beards and hair of other members of the Bergholz community.

The FBI became involved when Mullet ordered his followers to cut and shave beards and hair of those he considered his enemies in other Amish communities. We are going to hear the story told from the point of view of Sam Mullet’s grandson, Johnny Mast, who eventually broke away from the community. He is the author along with Shawn Smucker of Breakaway Amish: Growing up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters.

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