Star Trek Merrymaking; An iTunes Best of 2014 Podcast; The Courage to be Touched; A Redemptive Society; Winter’s Truths; A Video on Just Being

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Star Trek Merrymaking; An iTunes Best of 2014 Podcast; The Courage to be Touched; A Redemptive Society; Winter’s Truths; A Video on Just Being

I’ve been made aware that we here at On Being are sometimes perceived as being overly earnest. I’m here to dispel that myth…

In one of our overly geeky interoffice email moments, we had a good chuckle watching this whimsical mix of Jean-Luc Picard “singing” a holiday classic. Comic gold.

We also received some fantastic news this week — iTunes selected On Being as a Best of 2014 Podcast. We’re sandwiched between two of my favorites: The Moth and WTF with Marc Maron. Also on the list is the TED Radio Hour (bonus: Krista’s talk will be featured in their next show). Very cool to be in such good company.

If you enjoy Krista’s conversations, I’d make one request: share our podcast with five people you know. In this next year, we’d like to grow our audience base and we believe the best way to do that is by asking our devoted listeners to help us do so. Tell your besties about one conversation that’s impacted your life and ask them to listen, to connect.

A young woman is anointed with chrism oil. (John Ragai / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).)

But, in a culture of curated sharing, the intimacy of human touch can be daunting — even for a pastor. An essay on the uncomfortable courage to be touched and how the practice of laying on of hands is a quiet and necessary rite that ought to become part of our story again.

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.)

Omid Safi has written a powerful column this week that tasks the faithful and non-believers alike to “make of this whole world a new world”:

“Yes, our lives, our societies, our policies, our politics are all in need of redemption and transformation. It’s not merely a sin-sick soul that is in need of profound redemption, it is also our society and structural institutions that call out for being redeemed and transformed.”

(Greenpeace Switzerland / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).)

For the introvert in us, Parker Palmer writes, winter can be a time of reflection to assess and remember our own inner truths… with a poem by David Whyte:

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

“The number one rule of The Dinner Party is that no two stories are ever the same.

Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez are creating a national movement of dinner parties for 20-30 year olds who are humanizing grief and creating new communities after loss. Courtney Martin on breaking bread and healing hearts one dinner party at a time.

In last week’s issue, I invited you to contribute to our blog. I received an overwhelming number of submissions, including this magical vignette pondering time by Michael Graziano.

I’ll be posting more of your work in the coming weeks. And, the invitation still stands for you to contribute to our blog. I’m looking for people to write commentaries, informative pieces, or photo essays about many subjects: the season of Advent, work and vocation, little-known traditions, popular culture… the list goes on. Submit your work via a web form or send your work to me directly. My email address is My Twitter handle: @trentgilliss.

May the wind be at your back.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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