Season 2. Bodywork.
The doors of the church are open, open on Sundays but closed on most others.
Closed mouth to some conversations. “No comment.”
Closed eyes to some views. “See no evil.”
Closed off to some bodies that we recreate as “other” as if a human being can be something other than that. “Hands off. Don’t touch that—not even with a ten- foot cross.”
The doors of the church are open and “All are welcome,” reads the church sign. But that’s all we really say about that. Not too specific because not all are welcome. There are a few conditions and restrictions. Don’t “come as you are” but as we expect you to be. And that’s just one sign of our hypocrisy.
We have rules for your body. Shake our hand and receive this right hand of fellowship. We have a deal and you agree that we bless and baptize bodies then bless and curse certain bodies. We turn nobodies into somebodies, celebrating ourselves instead of Christ’s body.
We point fingers and judge some but not all bodies. We cannot get rid of the dead weight of these busybodies because they give too much money. Yet, we swiftly excommunicate those who ask too many questions like, “Why aren’t they welcome here?” Because that’s nobody’s business but ours. We just need your hands and feet; keep your nose out of it and we’ll be one body.
Season two of the Raceless Gospel podcast and we are calling for all noses, all body parts to assemble here. The Apostle Paul is clear:
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (First Corinthians 12.12-13, NRSV)
One, the number is tight squeeze. We won’t be able to add our divisions. Hyper- politicized, racialized and capitalized on, the Church in North America, this body of believers, has some bodywork to do.
Season 1. Where Word Meets Flesh.
Christianity and complexion are not synonymous. Nothing taboo, no topic off limits, the Raceless Gospel Podcast is where Word meets flesh. Sharing stories of where that word, race, met our own, when its meanings were rubbed into our skin, why it gets under our skin, how current events fit in and what the Church in North America can do about it. Segregated on Sunday mornings, the Raceless Gospel Podcast is the church service I have always wanted. Modeled after a worship service and complete with the call and response of guests, it captures the liturgy of life, the hymn singing of the hum drum, the unbelievable and everything in between with testimonies of the new creation, the new kin- dom on the way. It is a conversation about words that we need to flesh out.
The Raceless Gospel podcast with Good Faith Media launched in March 2021 with five episodes, sponsored by the New Baptist Covenant and supported by Christian Citizen. Imagined as five Sundays, the podcast is presented as a church service and Starlette Thomas is your podcast pastor! The podcast aims to address that taboo trinity– race, religion and politics, which all need to be taken to task and taken to church if Christians are to better understand our human being and practice hospitable human belonging. You can follow and subscribe to the podcast all streaming platforms to include Apple and Spotify. You can read the official press release here, find the trailer here and a listening guide can be found here in “Five things to listen for in the Raceless Gospel podcast.”
Consider this, our church program or bulletin, if you will.
First Sunday| “Flesh it out” with Josina Guess
This Sunday, we aim to flesh out what race means to us and for the Church in North America, how we were introduced to it and the implications of its embodiment.
Second Sunday| “A Thorn in the Flesh” with Michael Bledsoe
This Sunday, we aim to address a thorn in the flesh, the consistent poke and prick of politics and the intersections of race and religion. We hope to address the necessity of politics, its negligence and nuances, what it means when racialized and the fine line that separates Church and State.
Third Sunday| “In the Flesh” with Jeremy Bell
This Sunday, we aim to talk about race and incarnation, how Christ is present in our many segregations, what the word has done to the Body of Christ and the ministry of reconciliation.
Fourth Sunday| “Flesh & Blood” with Thomas Bowen
This Sunday, we aim to talk about the struggle for equality and justice for all, the role of power in human being and belonging and why we fight like foes when we are all flesh and blood.
Fifth Sunday| “One Flesh” with Leslie Copeland Tune
This Sunday, we aim to talk about unity and the nouns, adjectives and verbs that divide the Body of Christ though we are supposed to be one body, one flesh.