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Living Presence Podcast

Religion & Spirituality








Now or Never: We Gotta Make a Change

Bri-anne is on her (pretty terrible) mobile set up while hanging out in rural Manitoba. Jesus calls his first disciples. Announcing Resistance Church! What are the now or never moments we are faced with? Music by Agency and Des'ree. Resistance Church: website instagram facebook


Jesus Was a Refugee

SHOWNOTES The Magi. The flight to Egypt. Baby Jesus in a cage and tragedy at the U.S./Mexico border. Reflections by Michiko Bown-Kai of East End United, Rev. Alexa Gilmour of Windemere United Church and Jenn McIntyre of Romero House. Music by The Nields. FEATURED MUSICIANS The Nields – “Jesus Was a Refugee” "Mary Had a Baby" "In the Bleak Midwinter" "Away in a Manger" website iTunes Spotify READING NO. 1 Matthew 2:1-12 The Visit of the Wise Men Read by Rev. Anne Hoganson from...


Stacking Wood: Lessons in Asking the Right Questions

The Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Parable of the Pharisee & the Tax Collector. Bri-anne spent a lot of time stacking wood in the fall...and arguing with her brothers. What are the questions we should be asking? Where does God'd favour fall? We all get hot chocolate in the end. Music by Regina Spektor and Sufjan Stevens. Luke 18:1-16. Readings by Tina Conlon (Toronto, Ontario) and Catherine Stuart (Bedeque, Prince Edward Island).


Let Me Tell You About Sheep: a Promise of Reconciliation

Bri-anne is experiencing ennui as the Canadian election has been called. A dude loses his sheep. A woman loses her coin. Bri-anne loses her kid. At our deepest level, we are seeking reconciliation with God. Reading by the Rev. Joy Cowan. Music by David Ford and Calexico.


Do You Have What it Takes?

Jesus, his parents and siblings may need some family therapy. "Whoever does not hate father or mother...cannot follow me." People who read Koine Greek are awesome. There is a cost to following this Jesus guy. Music by Kirsten Jones and Of Sea and Stone. Reading by Denise Bourchier, Mary Miller and Sarah Miller in Toronto. Luke 14:25-33 14:25 Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 14:26 "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and...


Jesus Never Rode a School Bus

Bri-anne was never the cool kid in school. Jesus is the worst dinner guest ever and calls out the Pharisees with a lesson about humility. God does not value what the world values. You are loved and beloved. Music by Claire Schofield and LILI. Words by Kahlil Gibran.


This is the Story of a Call

God calls Jeremiah. God calls Bri-anne. God calls the Church. Things that are true—that are authentic—are rarely comfortable. Readings: Jeremiah 4:1-10, Isaiah 58, a selection from A Song of Faith (2006). Music: Fleetfoxes and Yusuf.


Mini Episode: He Is Risen: Not an Idle Tale

A brief mini episode. Easter is here. The women discover Jesus has risen, but nobody believes them. Music by Dawn Landes.


Special Episode: Catch the Bird of Heaven - The Passion According to Luke

A special Good Friday Episode. The Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Luke, set against popular music. SCRIPTURE Luke 22:1-23:49 MUSIC BY Sydney Carter Saint Saviour The Sun Harmonic A Fine Frenzy Kate Rusby Rufus Wainwright Taps Mugadza Frida Hyvönen Living Presence Ministry website Living Presence Ministry on Instagram Living Presence Ministry on Facebook Bri-anne on Twitter


Just Kiss Her Better: Toddler Wisdom on Death & Love

It's Holy Week, kids. Palm into Passion. My son meets a dead raccoon on the side of the road and learns Mama can't fix everything. Jesus dies a scandalous death and we spend the next 2000 years wondering why. Music by Kate Rusby and Stan Rogers. Reading by Isaiah (my Isaiah). READING NO. 1 Jesus Enters Jerusalem from The Action Bible Read by Isaiah in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. READING NO. 2 Luke 23:13-49 from the Common English Bible Jesus’ Sentencing and Execution Living Presence...


Said Judas to Mary: a Lavish Love

Mary anoints Jesus for burial. Judas becomes annoyed, but Jesus is on to him. A health benefits company tests the waters and things blow up. A lavish and extravagant demonstration of love and devotion. Once again, it's a woman who truly gets what's going on. Reading by Martha Wood. Words by Kahlil Gibran. Music by Sam Phillips and Sydney Carter.


Embracing the Celebration

SCOTUS prevents an execution and the key player is...surprising. The Prodigal Son. Who does Bri-anne need to work harder to open her heart to (because she is TOTALLY the older brother). Music by Ainsley McNeaney and Ry Cooder. Reading by the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott. Poetry by A Sanctified Art.


Welcome, Brother: A Reflection on Dysfunctional Siblings

50 Worshippers killed in Christchurch and there is much to mourn. Abram asks for an heir, and he gets two...with two different destinies. The Pharisees are not the real enemy. Christians. Muslims. Jews. We are a very dysfunctional familiy. Music by Sami Yusuf and Bri-anne Swan. Words by Sarah Ayre ( and Imam Muhammed Bemat.


Lessons in the Wilderness

Welcome to Lent. The SNC Lavelin affair is big news right now. Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Earthly authority is not God's authority. Music by Sam Larkin and Good Harvest. Poetry by Rumi. Gospel Reading: strong text Luke 4:1-13 Jesus in the Wilderness Second Reading: The Agony & Ecstasy by Rumi Featured Musicians: Murmurings by Sam Larkin Woodstock by Good Harvest (written by Joni Mitchell) "Cultivating & Letting Go" theme created by A Sanctified Art.


024: The Blessings and the Woes

Jesus comes down from the mountain to talk. Teenage Bri-anne gets snarky with Jesus when he says poverty is, in any way, a blessing. Poverty is never the fault of the poor. Music by Sigrid Aase and Louis Puggaard-Müller.


023: Bird on a Wire: The Love Songs of Leonard Cohen

A live concert and service, recorded February 10, 2019 at Ravenshoe United Church in Georgina, Ontario. The music of Leonard Cohen paired with readings from "Son of Man" by Kahlil Gibran exploring different aspects and expressions of Love. A special pre-Valentine's Day special episode. THE SONGS: Tower of Song Suzanne Bird on the Wire Famous Blue Raincoat Hallelujah If it Be Your Will Come Healing Show Me the Place Anthem Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye Band Members: Jessica...


022: Let Healing Swiftly Come (Part 2)

We start off with amazement, but then the community tries to throw Jesus off a cliff. Well, that escalated quickly. Bri-anne got a new dog! God calls Jeremiah to a hard life. Living Presence is hosting a Leonard Cohen event on February 10th. Readings by Jason Meyers and Rev. Andrea Allen. Music by Cat Stevens and Jaypee Jaypar. Maybe thanks to DIBS Rescue for all the work they do rescuing dogs from around Central America. We love the new addition to our family.


021: Let Healing Swiftly Come (Part 1)

Bri-anne works though her childhood Christological baggage. Do we really want to set the prisoners free? Baby, it's cold outside! Music by Drew Pierce, Buddy Greene, Bri-anne Swan and Zoë Fromer. Reading by Rev. Miriam Bowlby of Cochrane Street United Church in St. John's Newfoundland.


020: In Defence of Abundance

Even Jesus has to listen to his mama. Sometimes the best thing I can do is hold my tongue because...the raging can wait. Living with a philosophy of abundance is radical, but it may just be the thing. Music by Ava Wild, the Constantines and Jackson Weatherbee. Words by Kahlil Gibran.


019: Bringing the Gifts

The wise men show up bringing their gifts, but what are they for? Just because something didn't historically happen doesn't mean it's not true. What are we taking from our stories? Poetry by Rumi. Music by The Great Wilderness and Daughter. Reading by Rev. Anne Hoganson (St. Paul's United Church, Halifax) from the Standfield International Airport. Matthew 2:1-12