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Welcome to For People, a conversation with Bishop Rob Wright, spiritual leader to the more than 50,000 people in the 117 worshipping communities of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. In this podcast, Bishop Wright meets listeners at the crossroads of faith and life to explore the challenges of an ever-changing world. Listen in to find out how he expands on his For Faith devotional, drawing inspiration from the life of Jesus to answer 21st-century questions.
 
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What do fidelity and faithfulness mean to you? And how does your faithfulness to God intersect with not giving up on neighbor? In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with special guest Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II on the movements of faithfulness and neighborliness in our lives as people of faith. They speak to Howard Thurman, his teachings…
 
Why do we struggle as people of faith to talk of human sexuality? Something that is good and is a gift from God! Grab your popcorn and check out the Song of Solomon. This biblical song takes the idea of love and enfleshes it in two young playful lovers. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss why they believe this is such a difficult sub…
 
Real harm can come from the tongue. Jesus' half-brother James' argues that the tongue cannot be tamed, and it can even set things ablaze. So, how do we as people of faith deal with one another for the benefit of all of us? Because the truth of the matter is we all have a whole lot of work to do. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss th…
 
God wants us to be wealthy! Not wealthy in material things but the wealth we life riches we receive when we live close to God. In Proverbs is says " A good name is better than great riches, God's favor is better than silver and gold". But how do we get a good name? In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about what it means t…
 
In this special guest episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice on their journeys to belonging and self-love. Both bi-racial, both black in America, and both abandoned by their mothers, they share their stories of trauma, forgiveness, healing, and love. What a beautiful thing when brokenness becomes ministry. Listen …
 
It can be hard to tell someone how we are feeling. Naturally, most respond "fine" when asked. This just doesn't cut it on most days. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss the rawness and emotional honestness of the Psalms and that a real prayer life ought to be the most honest place in your life. So, how are you doing today? Before lis…
 
What fills you up on God? St. Paul reminds us to not be foolish in looking for answers or healing in the wrong places, but to be filled up on God and to do this by singing! To make melodies to the Lord in our hearts. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss the music that fills them and how a composer might even speak to a person's heart …
 
Peter was an eyewitness to the majesty of God, and it changed him. Another word for majesty is major-ness. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation of God's majorn-ness; its display in nature, peace beyond understanding, and how a big God makes big Faith. Listen in for the full conversation. Before listening, read Bishop Wrigh…
 
Redemption is an important theme in the Bible and in the world. It teaches us that people can come out of tough situations and that Good News can prevail. It can make brokenness new. In this episode, Bishop Wright continues a conversation with special guest Lawrence Bell, who served 30 years and 1 day in prison. In it, they discuss how Lawrence fou…
 
Redemption is an important theme in the Bible and in the world. It teaches us that people can come out of tough situations and that Good News can prevail. It can make brokenness new. In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with special guest Lawrence Bell, who served 30 years and 1 day in prison. He began his sentence at the age of 14. Th…
 
There is no argument that the work of justice is hard, important, and meaningful. But how do lawyers and judges improve laws, and justice? In this episode, Bishop Wright talks with newly installed Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice David E. Nahmias. Chief Justice Nahmias shares his faith story, the connections between his legal service and faith, …
 
There is a lot of power in consenting to God. It is about authority and using our agency to make the choice to follow God do God's work in our lives. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss what it means to give consent to God, the maturity it takes in this choice, and what it can mean in our lives. Listen in for the full conversation. B…
 
This week's For People is based on a prayer by Howard Thurman. “The concern which I lay bare before You today is: Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me—I would seek the root or cause of such disaffection, and with the illumination of Your mind, O God, to understand it. I give myself to Your scruti…
 
This week's For People is based on the below excerpt from Bishop Wright's sermon for the Preaching Excellence Program. Many preachers are scared of John the Baptist so they dither about with what he ate or what he wore rather than what he did. What he did was to co-create moments with God so hearts could change. What he did was refuse to placate pe…
 
Jesus But Not Jesus Clubs are groups of people that have used Jesus' name with little allegiance to his Name. This might look like churches or Christian associations that bear little resemblance to the founder of the movement but on the outside look very much like that of Jesus. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss this notion of JBNJ…
 
Have you enjoyed God in these past 15 months of exhaustion, livelihood, and knocking out the daily to-do? It can feel never-ending! When you think about it, when is the last time you slowed down to simply enjoy God? In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright discuss the ways they enjoy God including nature, music, and the learnings of the pandemic …
 
The bible names the Holy Spirit as many things: life-giver, helper, fire, teacher, wisdom, counsel, might, knowledge, power, freedom, truth, hope, belonging, fellowship increaser, healer, reconciler, forever friend, renewer, proclaimer, boldness maker, anointer, love refiner, maker of faithfulness, the resuscitator of dead things just to name a few…
 
Blessed! A word we hear often both in the church and in the world. But what does blessed mean? It isn't a magical state. It is about walking a particular path and it guides us clear from some things and towards some things. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about the psalms and what blessed means and what it doesn't mea…
 
What does faith look like for a person working in politics? And what about tough issues that divide people? In this episode, Bishop Wright and Ga State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver discuss these very questions and other relevant topics. It is a tall order in doing the tough work of reaching across the aisle to those we disagree with while re…
 
Breaking news: Jesus speaks life from the garden. That would be the headline if the Gospel read like the New York Times or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sometimes Rabbi, sometimes wonder-worker, Jesus of Nazareth convenes a small gathering of day laborers and poor people to share God’s plan for the human family. In this episode, Melissa and Bis…
 
Easter isn't over. And though we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection in our own lives, Easter isn't the absence of the valleys. By definition, valleys are "depressed areas of land-scoured and washed out by the conspiring forces of gravity, water, and ice." America feels like a valley. As Black, Brown, and poor people continue t…
 
In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, an Episcopalian in the diocese and member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, GA. They discuss being a person of faith as a public servant, how Georgia has responded to the pandemic of COVID-19, and the new voting legislation passed in Georgia just recently and …
 
What is the opposite of love? In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, Primate of the Episcopal Church, about the opposite of love, where the church has thrived and been challenged in the pandemics and what has been hard on Presiding Bishop Curry and steps to take to nourish body, mind, and spirit. P…
 
What's Easter and how does it work in the real world? In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, Primate of the Episcopal Church, about the Triduum. From the suffering of Good Friday, to the silence of Holy Saturday, to Resurrection Sunday, what does it all mean as followers of Jesus and people of a wo…
 
You have to have a Good Friday, and the silence of Holy Saturday, before you can have an Easter Sunday. We are Easter people - resurrection people, that must also remember the suffering of Good Friday. The darkness. On that day and in how we choose to live our lives today, Jesus' love makes a lonely walk in front of us. A love as people shamed him,…
 
Welcome to a breaking news special edition of For People with Bishop Rob Wright. In this episode, Bishop Wright talks with Georgia State Senator Kim Jackson, who is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Atlanta. Their conversation focuses on recently passed state legislation that made big changes to Georgia’s voting laws. Changes that drew applause…
 
If happiness is lavender, then joy has to be purple. Why purple? Because you make purple out of red and blue. Love and sorrow. Joy lives at that intersection of heartbreak and ecstasy. Joy doesn’t live alone, she has four roommates, faith, hope, wonder and gratitude. They need one another. Each leads to the other. Scripture tells us joy is: a gift,…
 
How we stand for truth has everything to do with the truth we stand for. For us, the most true thing in the universe is God! With the most true thing about God being that "God is love." We know that it’s impossible to actually love God without loving neighbor. These two ideas are inseparable and irrefutable. Our living out of these two truths is no…
 
Putting Jesus at the center of your life is learning how to love as God loves, which involves a willingness to sacrifice our preferred ways and outcomes in favor of Jesus’ way and his preferred outcomes. Spiritually, we haven’t grown up until we want God’s way more than we want our way! Life and relationships are so hard often because the love we h…
 
What to do when God is silent, goes the question. But maybe what is really being said here is, ‘God is not speaking to me in a fashion that is convenient or dramatic enough to address my anxieties and hardships.’ Being the anxious creatures that we are, we might be conflating the idea of God’s silence with God’s abandonment or God’s non-existence. …
 
Self-examination means we pause and check-in with our soul. And we ask our soul two questions: What are my patterns? And, do they increase well-being? Ultimately the practice of self-examination is a gift because it moves us from blindness to gaining new sight. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a full conversation on self-examination,…
 
It is hard to believe that Lent was just underway at the beginning of the pandemic this time a year ago. And we said "this is the lentiest lent we have ever lented". And a year later, meet lenty lent 2.0. So, here is a Lenten question. How has God drawn near to you? The church dedicates this season to examining our relationship with God and working…
 
Are we convinced that love is the way? And if so, what is love's cost to me right now? These questions are at the heart of this week's devotional based on St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians. And what St. Paul really writes is that love is of spiritual grown-ups. Those that have put away their childish ways and put love first. Spiritual grown-up l…
 
A simple question: Have you met God more than once? In thinking about our lives, people might notice they have met God in multiples locations, settings of life, and when it was least expected. These rendezvous with God happen in our failing strength, fraying faith, and God's understanding and power. This is where God breathes and turns weariness in…
 
Some people hear the words "demonic activity' and they call BS. But Jesus himself walk through darkness. He met darkness - the darkness of our hearts! Bishop Wright wrote this latest For Faith in the wake of the insurrection at the US Capitol. During the day, there were people wielding Christian flags and signs with Christian scripture. How do we g…
 
“Hello Darling Today I find myself a long way from you and the children. I am at the State Prison in Reidsville which is about 230 miles from Atlanta. They picked me up from the DeKalb jail about 4 ’0 clock this morning. I know this whole experience is very difficult for you to adjust to, especially in your condition of pregnancy, but as I said to …
 
2020 was tough, and guess what? We aren't out of the woods yet! In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about the journey ahead and the journey of the wise men as they followed a star looking for Jesus. What can we learn from these wise men? What is your star in this new year? What is your journey? In the Epiphany of Jesus, t…
 
Mary has a thing or 2 to say about God in her song/poem/rap the Magnificat. In it, Mary talks of a God that topples over conceit and pride. A God that elevates the meek. A God that says the hungry will feast and those that normally feast will learn what it means to be hungry. To some then and now these are dangerous words! In this episode, Melissa …
 
We live in a society that gives a gold star for the right answer, but what about good questions? John the Baptist and Jesus were both master question askers. And when we wrestle with tough questions, we gain clarity in living out our lives as followers of Jesus. Can you imagine the questions God asked of John the Baptist that gave him the clarity t…
 
No one wants to be labeled a fool or foolish. Who likes the feeling of being duped? But what about being a fool for Jesus? What this means is we can really only know real life if we are willing to give our lives to God. And that you can only possess if you share. Foolish, right!? In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation on foo…
 
Why do many people want to talk about spirituality but not God? In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation on this question and others generated from an excerpt, see below, of Rob Bell's book Everything is Spiritual by Rob Bell. “The form, the teaching, the truth moves you beyond the form. Like there’s an arc, or a movement, or …
 
Bishop Wright released these steps to take action in healing our nation on 11.9.20. In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright unpack these steps. 1. Pray for the nation; pray for President Trump and for President-elect Biden. 2. Be kind in speech and actions especially with those with whom you disagree. 3. Grant Jesus’ request to “ pray for enemie…
 
What is it about being a follower of Jesus that lends some to study the bible for their own agenda and others to imagine multiple frameworks? If you really think about it, we use our imagination when we read the bible. We transport ourselves in a time machine and enter into an ancient world full of stories written by people with imagination! "The o…
 
Halloween is here, so what better thing to talk about than zombies. Webster's dictionary refers to a zombie as, "someone who appears to be lifeless and unresponsive to their surroundings." Strangely enough, you don't have to look far to see people claiming their love for Jesus in one breath speak malice towards other loudly in the next. Just look a…
 
Following, proclaiming, and loving like Jesus has always evoked opposition. And especially from fellow followers of Jesus! St. Paul makes it abundantly clear in his letter to the Thessalonians. St. Paul reminds his readers that the very first thing that causes opposition is speaking in a fashion of pleasing God above pleasing people. This takes rea…
 
God is incredibly flexible. God is never limited in God's range of motion! And God has given us great motions for us to improve our own range of motion. These motions are compassion, generosity, and kindness. But what happens if we don't use the exercises given to us like prayer? We can lose our own range of motion as Christians. In this episode, M…
 
Atheists is an uncomfortable word for followers of Jesus to hear. In goes against the very belief in the one, we call God that we love and loves us without limitation! But what happens when the church chooses sides in political partnership over the love of God? Christians functionally become atheists. The Church was founded to put trust in God and …
 
Some of us have got some pretty impressive resumes: schools, organizations, companies, and boards. St. Paul had a pretty impressive resume too: right family, right location, right kind of spiritual practice. He clearly commends for the Christian is a second page for our resumes - a page 2. This page is the list of things we have lost or sacrificed …
 
If most Christians are honest, we fail to put God in the center of our lives. In many cases, people choose to themselves at the center of narratives. The old joke that God made us in God's image and we turned around and made God in our image stands true! In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright talk about centering God and when we do that we are …
 
What is the image of God we see in our minds and how do we encounter God in this new world we are living in? If we are honest, we might find that we often fit God into a box that works with the way we view the world. "What if people were invited to come tell what they already know of God instead of to learn what they are supposed to believe? What i…
 
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