New Podcast Invites Listeners to Learn

October 23, 2020 | Church | Heidi Baumgartner

Just Us, a new podcast from Washington Conference, launched this year to model healthy and respectful conversation about race, justice and Christianity.

“Second Corinthians 7:2 gives counsel to ‘make room in your heart,’ and that is what we desire to do through this podcast,” says Bill Roberts, podcast host. “We may not always agree with each other, but we want to respect each other and move forward with understanding to bring glory to God and to help this world be a better place."

The podcast originated after a pastor’s meeting in January 2019, during which ministers learned how to have crucial conversations. “I asked the panel, ‘What can we do to keep growing?’” Roberts recalls. “The younger pastors said, ‘Do a podcast.’”

Roberts is joined in the podcast with co-hosts Hanz Jouissance, John Brunt and Mimi Weithers-Bruce. Each 45- to 60-minute episode blends history, personal experience and Scripture. The pilot episode shares how the panel became involved in racial reconciliation.

“It’s a difficult conversation in the church because we are all believers who are supposed to have a common ground,” admits Jouissance.

“There are so many people who don’t want to change their heart. They want to keep things the way they are,” acknowledges Weithers-Bruce. “We are asking people to listen and learn.”

To date, episode topics focus on the black experience, current and past, in America, including the Green Book, sundown towns, redlining and Black Wall Street.

“There is an awakening and awareness in young people that gives me hope,” Brunt says. “I remember my own awakening to racial reconciliation as a teenager in a sundown town. We need to care for each other, we need to share the gospel, we need changed hearts, and we need changed laws.”

An advisory team meets weekly by Zoom videoconferencing to pray, talk and prioritize topics for future multicultural episodes. The podcast team welcomes audience questions at www.washingtonconference.org/podcast.

Just Us is released the first of each month on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, with a video broadcast available on YouTube.

"When we listen to other people's stories, it creates empathy and understanding," says Roberts. “If our message is supposed to go to every nation, tribe and people, we need to love God and love each other better. We want to see a better world and a better community.”