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Above The Noise

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

A podcast at the intersection of faith, race, and reconciliation. People of faith should be leaders of reconciliation however historically issues of race and culture seem to get in the way of rising above differences to find common ground through reconciliation. We discuss those challenges and sometimes we may also stray onto different topics but we'll always come back to reconciliation.

A podcast at the intersection of faith, race, and reconciliation. People of faith should be leaders of reconciliation however historically issues of race and culture seem to get in the way of rising above differences to find common ground through reconciliation. We discuss those challenges and sometimes we may also stray onto different topics but we'll always come back to reconciliation.


United States


A podcast at the intersection of faith, race, and reconciliation. People of faith should be leaders of reconciliation however historically issues of race and culture seem to get in the way of rising above differences to find common ground through reconciliation. We discuss those challenges and sometimes we may also stray onto different topics but we'll always come back to reconciliation.








Ev Tustin - Voluntary Displacement Pt. 1

Can the church truly become a valued community partner providing a place for people to serve and be ready when a crisis arises? Is it possible to break through tradition and make room for diverse voices to have a place at the table? Pastor Ev Tustin of Hillside Church in Kent, WA is leading his congregation in the transformation of becoming a community partner and an inter-cultural, inter-racial, and inter-generational body that is relevant to, and represents the community where they are...


Jerry Kester - Leading Through Crisis Pt.2

We conclude our discussion with Jerry Kester, the District Superintendent of the Washington Pacific District of the Church of the Nazarene in Washington State. Jerry discusses the impact of social media on some people of faith, and the challenge of the political entering the ecclesiastical. He discusses why people are not as afraid of change as they are afraid of loss and that fear can cause a myriad of reactions. #jerrykester #faith #race #reconciliation @abovethenoise24 @gmartelly


Jerry Kester - Leading Through Crisis

We all face crises in life and we live in a world that seems to be caught in an epidemic of crises: personal; social; racial; political; COVID. Leaders, whether in faith or business, if they are to be successful, must lead people and organizations through crises with integrity, empathy, and hope. Jerry Kester is the District Superintendent, Washington Pacific District, Church of the Nazarene and he has experienced his share of personal tragedy and leads leaders to navigate their...


Critical Race Theory 1

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become a political hot potato in recent years. But what does it mean and what does it actually teach? Many people's only orientation to CRT has been the news media and political pundits determined to scare blocks of supporters to action in relative ignorance. This episode aims to give a brief introduction to the topic and to encourage the listener to take the time to become educated and not to be afraid to become conversant on the topic. Knowledge is the enemy...


The Black Man Marie Married - Ryan Martelly, Pt 2

My son Ryan and I conclude our stimulating conversation, as he discusses the direct impact of finding out that he and his wife were no longer welcome at her grandfather's home, and the powerful emotions of seeing their story in print in the book, Still Time on Pye Pond, by Danielle Fontaine (episodes 24 and 24). He expresses his hope for reconciliation in the family and that his children may someday get to experience Pye Pond for themselves. Reconciliation comes not only from hoping for a...


The Black Man Marie Married - Ryan Martelly, Pt 1

In this episode, my son Ryan joins me to talk about his unique and multicultural life. Growing up as the son of a Barbadian father and Bengali (Bangladeshi) mother, he was surrounded by people from all walks of life, nationalities, ethnicities, and languages and was traveling to other countries at a young age. After meeting and marrying Marie, he was shocked to learn that her grandfather would not meet him because he was black and would also disown Marie, his granddaughter, as you heard from...


My Daughter Married a Black Man Part 2- Danielle Fontaine

Danielle and I complete our conversation on the emotional struggle of the racial divide created in her family when her daughter married our son. Art can illustrate life and her book, "Still Time on Pye Pond", tells her story in stunning images. Danielle also gives her suggestions for families struggling with similar situations and reminds us that there is still hope for reconciliation if we do not give up. She and her husband started the Brandon Fellowship for young artists to help you...


My Daughter Married a Black Man - Danielle Fontaine

In her book, Still Time on Pye Pond, author Danielle Fontaine tells the story of how she has dealt with the racial rift in our family that developed when her daughter married our son. The resulting inter-racial union brought out a demonstration of racism that shocked the entire family. Danielle tells how she found voice in her photographs and encaustic artworks resulting in the book that documents and expresses, in part, her emotions and...


Could the Queen Be Racist

On March 7, 2021, Oprah Winfrey televised an interview with Megan Markle and Prince Harry. Much of the world was shocked to hear the allegations of racism within the House of Windsor. This episode examines the history of British royalty and the Church of England in empire building, where the Queen is the head of both institutions. You can draw your own conclusions. We also examine why it is important to separate spiritual faith from celebrity, power, and privilege.


Who Is My Neighbor Test Pt.2

Loving our neighbor as ourselves is probably one of the most difficult tasks in life and yet it is critical to having a kind, peaceful and just world. Who does this task apply to? I believe that it applies to everyone regardless of faith, origin, ethnicity, or peculiarity. Try it out and see what happens in the places where you live, work, and worship.


The Who Is My Neighbor Test

What if the greatest test of being is a person of faith is how we live out the question "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Not just to love our neighbor but to love 'as ourselves'. These two words change it all. To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we cannot want anything for our neighbor that we do not want for others. We must broaden our definition of who is my neighbor and we must love in a...


Chitra Hanstad - Knowing Your Neighbor, Pt.2

During this unprecedented time in our history, Chitra leads World Relief Seattle through the social, political, and economic challenges to continue to welcome the world to the United States and to find innovative resources to help them navigate their way to independence and sustainability. World Relief has many ways that you can get involved and this episode presents some valuable information to use when having conversations within our homes and faith...


Chitra Hanstad - Knowing Your Neighbor, Pt.1

Chitra Hanstad is the Executive Director of World Relief Seattle, however, her journey to this place serves as a timely reminder that our neighborhood is global. From India to the United States, back to India, around the world, and again in the United States her service to humanity spans the globe and her faith is lived out wherever she goes. World Relief Seattle serves people at some of their most vulnerable places in life: relocating to a new country typically with little resources and...


King County Council member Dave Upthegrove Pt. 2

In part 2 of my interview, Dave discusses some of his successes while working across differences and keeping our focus on why we are serving others. Dave discusses successes in protecting youth in police custody, setting up programs to help in early childhood education, bridging the education gap in the transition from school to college/community college, working to give voice to the voiceless. He also gives some ideas on how to get involved in changing your local community.


Town Hall #2: Faith, Race, Education

This is the second in the series: Are We Not One? Conversations on faith, race, and reconciliation. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic helped to expose some of the disparities that people of color and black people still face in this part of the twenty-first century. Disparities in education persist: access; affordability; college preparedness; vocational training; low expectations; inadequate pay for teachers; poorly equipped schools, school to prison pipeline, and the list goes...


King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove, Part 1

Political leadership in today's environment demands more of the culturally intelligent leader than who you know. It requires an everchanging knowledge of your constituents and their needs and values especially when you lead in one of the most diverse regions in the nation. Councilman Dave Upthegrove is one of those leaders who is making a difference in his community and for the people that he serves.


Rev. Dr. France Davis - Practice What You Preach

In Part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Davis he teaches the application of living a life of faith and reconciliation. He addresses both clergy and laity on how we can demonstrate the love we speak about. He gives specific actions to get involved and stay involved. He addresses people of color and white people on current issues facing our world. He addresses the topic of black lives matter and addresses ideas to both young and old on their roles in being change-makers. Rev. Davis has written...


Rev. Dr. France Davis - Living on the front lines

Not many of us get to meet and to be mentored by a true civil rights leader. Rev. Dr. France Davis has lived his life on the front lines of the struggle for racial justice: from growing up in the segregated South of the US to meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, marching on Washington and Selma, AL, serving on the Board of Pardons and protesting the death penalty. He led and continues to be a leading voice for righteousness, justice, and equity. Rev. Davis has written 4...


An Outlaw

Some people use Romans 13 as a means to justify following unjust and immoral laws and political persuasions. I dispute that interpretation in this short episode. There are many places where strict interpretation without biblical continuity would lead to contradictions and injustice. Instagram: abovethenoise_gm Facebook: Above The Noise @abovethenoise24 abovethenoise24@gmail.com


Police Chief Rafael Padilla

Chief Rafael Padilla is the police chief of Kent, WA, the 10th most diverse city in the United States. We discuss his journey of faith and the challenges of leading a police department in the present climate of racial unrest and calls for reforms in modern policing. He discusses his efforts to establish accountability, credibility, and performance standards in his department in a city where diversity of ethnicity, faith, language, customs and cultures are present at every...