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The Radically Inclusive Ministry of Yvette Flunder

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Release Date: 09/27/2018

Archiving the Impossible show art Archiving the Impossible

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Within the halls of academia, the exploration of paranormal activity is for the most part off-limits to serious scientific inquiry. There are a variety of reasons for this, says religious scholar Jeffrey J. Kripal: the rise of behaviorism; the belief that the brain is in essence a biological computer; and the concurrent belief in physicalism - that there is nothing over and above the physical dimension of life. Kripal here explains why he’s devoted his professional life to taking this phenomenon seriously. He’s one of a small, but increasing number of scholars who believe it’s as...

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Bridging Together Indigenous and Modern Science show art Bridging Together Indigenous and Modern Science

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

The sacred pipe, the Raven, and a peyote ritual were three touchstones of the path of Dr. Apela Colorado, traditional cultural practitioner and indigenous scientist of French and Oneida descent. In this podcast, she shares stories of how each of these elements formed an essential part of her journey, from growing up as a mixed-race child in rural western Wisconsin to founding in 1989 the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN). As she relates in this podcast and in her recently published book, Woman Between the Worlds, she as a teenager followed her grandfather’s advice and attended...

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When Spiritual Practice Gets Messy show art When Spiritual Practice Gets Messy

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Author, teacher and coach Raphael Cushnir learned from hard experience that the results of spiritual practice aren't always warm and fuzzy or particularly pleasurable. In his case, they included kriyas, or very intense involuntary movements, sometimes accompanied by rapid breathing and non-nonsensical speech. These were challenging enough to handle in private, but were especially problematic when occuring in public, such as in a meeting with colleagues. Cushnir, the author of six books and a leading voice in the world of emotional intelligence, here tells a story he previously kept private....

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"Matrix Man": An Interview with Whitley Strieber

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

In 1985, a strange incident occurred that would totally transform the life of Whitley Strieber, at the time best known as a writer of horror novels, including The Wolfen and The Hunger.   As memorialized in his book, Communion and the movie of the same name, this was his abduction by a group he calls "the visitors."  Communion and Strieber's subsequent work has gone a long way towards changing the world's perception of paranormal phenomena.  In this podcast, Strieber describes the childhood incidents that foreshadowed his later Encounters of the Third Kind; the...

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Inner Work and the Path of Leadership show art Inner Work and the Path of Leadership

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

For Robert "Bob" Dunham, leadership is as much an inner game as an outer one. It begins with the leader identifying what h/she cares about, what h/she'll do to respond to that caring, and then engaging with others about shared meaning.

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A New Look at American Spirituality show art A New Look at American Spirituality

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

According to the Fetzer Institute's recent study about  spirituality in the United States, 86% of survey respondents considered themselves spiritual; about 66% aspire to be more spiritual; and people who identify as spiritual are more liable to be civilly engaged and get involved in politics and vote. 

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Hack the Brain! show art Hack the Brain!

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Contemporary neuroscience is an essential ingredient in our understanding of human development, including our capacity for greater happiness and wisdom. In this podcast, author and educator Jim Hickman explains how our evolving understanding of the brain's functioning gives credence to the value of certain forms of spiritual practice, how spiritual practice "sculpts the brain," and how we can use what we're learning about the brain to develop enhanced cognitive, emotional and spiritual skills.

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The Mystic, the Psychic, the Paranormal show art The Mystic, the Psychic, the Paranormal

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

JeffreyJ J. Kripal mission is to extend religious scholarship into the realm of the preternatural. A professor and Associate Dean of Humanities at Rice University, he's pioneer in broadening religious studies to include things like mysticism, the paranormal and near-death experiences.

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Into the Mystic show art Into the Mystic

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Former pharmacist Paul Corson explains how his transcendental experiences fundamentally changed his way of being in the world. He shares his born-again experience, the nature of miracles and, the relationship between spiritual substance and the material world.

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The Sara Minkara Story show art The Sara Minkara Story

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Don't think of Sara Minkara as a blind person. Think of her as as person who is blind. Social activist, speaker, and a winner of multiple awards, the founder of the advocacy organization Empowerment for Integration (ETI) has never let used her absence of vision of an excuse or crutch. A Blind, Muslim, first-generation American, Sara Minkara has spent her life on a journey toward not only acceptance but also real empowerment—for herself and everyone she meets.

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It was a gradual process that led the young Yvette Flunder to question the tenets of the United Church of Christ in which she was born and raised. She couldn't reconcile her emerging beliefs with her church's patriarchal orientation and its emphasis on preparing adherents for the next world rather than addressing the injustices and inadequacies of this one. She also realized she never again could call herself a member of a church that completely rejected  same-gender-loving people such as herself.

Bishop Flunder here traces the path that led her to become a visionary religious leader with a mission of tending to the spiritual needs of marginalized people around the world, particularly those of African-American descent. She speaks of her vision of radical inclusion,which she believes requires an equally radical social ministry reaching to the furthest margins of society to serve all in need without prejudice or discrimination.

"The greatest mistake at the Christian church has ever made was to put a back cover on the book, to somehow suggest that we could make a manual out of the living word of God," she said.

Reverend Flunder is  the founder and senior pastor of the City of Refugee United Church of Christ in Oakland, California. In 2003, she was appointed Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all over the world. She’s also the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic Radical Inclusion.

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