Soon be three years since the virus was creeping its way into the country, Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down in a street in Brunswick, Georgia, and I was launching a radio show on two FM stations in that same county.
I have had a long-standing vocation to join the public conversation about religion in America, about the impact of religion on both our public affairs and our personal lives; to raise a voice—a sane, sensible voice, pushing back against the cacophony of craziness that fills the airways on one religious station after another; to be a progressive voice amidst the conservative crowd; to issue a call for inclusion, collaboration and common sense as opposed to the demand for conformity, conflict, and exclusion.
From the beautiful coastal paradise of Glynn County, Georgia, I raised my blue Baptist voice in this region of right-wing red. I launched The Meetinghouse: Conversations on Religion and American Life.
At the time, I did not know about the virus or the murder. Nor did I know of the protests for racial justice that would fill the streets of our cities last summer or the wild and crazy campaign for the White House that would result in the sacking of Congress on January 6. I didn’t know about all that, but what I know now is this: What a year that was! What a year to be on the radio! What a year to be seventy years old!!
Now, I am 72 years old, and ready to launch a new chapter in the interesting 24-year-history of TheMeetingHouse. I have joined forces with Dove Broadcasting, WGGS 16 of Taylors, South Carolina, just northeast of Greenville. This change was prompted by an inquiry from PBS-NC; and that inquiry pushed me to improve the production values of the broadcast. For the last six months, I have consulted with broadcast professionals, secured this new home base, and relaunched everything: the web site, the newsletter, and the broadcast. We look forward to new opportunities in 2023 for distributing our show through commercial, institutional, or non-profit platforms (in addition to our current social media: YouTube, Facebook, and this website).
We are now recording the show on Thursdays and broadcasting the show on Saturdays, 6 pm EST, on YouTube and this website.
As you might imagine, I’ve had to generate financial help to make this happen.
Working with the six-person board at The Meetinghouse Inc, a non-profit business in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I have raised more than $50,000 in cash and pledges this year (2022). I thank you for this support, and I encourage you to keep it up!!
In honor of the 70th year of my life during which I embraced a new adventure and during which you have joined me in this adventure, I created a Circle of Seventy! Seventy people who join with me to take The Meetinghouse to the next level, who will invest in this ministry of public advocacy of what is right and true and good.
You can be one of the Seventy!
Visit the SUPPORT page of this newsletter and website. Make your gift to The Meetinghouse. Find your place in that Circle of Seventy!!