Spoken and Podcasting

What you see below is my first recording on the service known as Spoken; I have also included a transcript of the audio. Enjoy.

There is a service known as Spoken. This is my first recording on that service.

As I have interacted with the service, I have realized the virtue of it for someone like me, who really doesn’t have time to sit down to record an hour long podcast, but might have a few moments each week to record a quick thought on a specific subject.

I thought I would go meta for this first recording and discuss podcasting. I think the thing that makes me interested in podcasting as a medium is just how personal it can be. Not only is the subject matter generally very personal to the hosts because they inherently know a lot about the given discussion topic, but the listener is allowing the podcasters themselves into their ears, into their mind. From podcast to podcast, the listener can therefore like or dislike an entire show, regardless of subject matter, based on the podcaster’s cadence, even based on their voice alone.

It seems wrong (or possibly trivial) to judge an entire podcast (and decide not to listen to it, then) based on the fact that you don’t like someone’s voice, but it does make sense. The success of a podcaster in the medium is dependent on such qualities. You are potentially giving hours of your time to this person’s voice in your ear. You have to trust that they know what they are talking about and… you have to like their voice.

Spoken, on the other hand, is quite a different beast. Listeners will (and should be) just as discerning about who they are willing to listen to, but being a service that only allow recordings of three minutes or less provides for more flexibility from the perspective of the listener and the speaker. It is built for quick thoughts, for short-form audio clips. Voice memos, if you will. There is the possibility that editing would allow for deeper perspectives, but three minutes is three minutes and it is not a long enough time for simple meanderings or long pauses.

This is a platform that I feel I could use successfully, as I have used Twitter in the past, given the fact that I can produce three minutes of audio, much more readily week to week than I could an hour long podcast.

That’s all I have for now. Thanks for listening and I hope you hear me when I speak again soon.


Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.