April 12, 2009
Easter Sunday – with host Peter Marty
He is risen. Jesus lives and resurrection hope beckons. He is not
here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he
Grace Matters staff is ever thankful for the wonderful ministry that
has touched so many lives over the years and for the dedicated,
talented staff whose sense of mission and vocation helped shape
Grace Matters into more than just a program.
Kathleen Norris – Dark Despair, Bright Hope
Peter Marty will be joined by Kathleen Norris. Ms. Norris is the award-winning poet,
writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister
Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of
Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington. Exploring the
spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in
poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence,
deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, and
March 29, 2009
Jonathan Rundman – Music Intended for the Soul
There is no venue where
hasn’t performed. Church basements, convention halls, coffee shops,
college auditoriums, and church sanctuaries have all formed the
backdrop for this talented singer and songwriter. Rundman is well
known in the Christian community for his sound theology, his
biblical depth, and his creative melodies. A brief taste of his
character and life, as this broadcast includes, explains why Rundman
is one for the faithful to know.
March 22, 2009
Sondra Wheeler – Love Down to the Bone
1 John 4
The subject of love never gets old, at least for Christian people
who want to probe the endless depths of divine love.
Wheeler, professor of Christian
Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., has
authored a book entitled What We Were Made For: Christian
Reflections on Love. She joins this broadcast to explore the staying
quality of God’s love, and the vulnerability that is required to
March 15, 2009
Tom Gjelten – Everybody Sharing Everything
National Public Radio’s broad listenership knows the name
Gjelten well. It is synonymous with
reporting that is honest, insightful, and full of integrity. For
more than 20 years Gjelten has been a foreign correspondent for NPR,
serving in many of the world’s most dangerous hot spots. To his work
he brings faith and humility. He understands his life less as a
profession and more as a calling. Truly one of radio’s greats!
March 8, 2009
Allan Tibbels – The Staying Power of Focus
Allan Tibbels does not have a
particularly memorable job description title for the important work
he does, so host Peter Marty gives him one – urban renewal
enthusiast. Tibbels and his all-White family moved into a thoroughly
African American neighborhood on Baltimore’s west side. There he
embarked with others on an ambitious effort to reverse the run-down
image of “Sandtown,” and to face the crime, poverty, and vacant
housing problems head on. Tibbels literally rolled into Sandtown two
decades ago on a wheelchair. His faith, courage, and resolve just
keep on rolling.
- March 1, 2009
Don Johnson – Loneliness
The Native American community is often lost from our immediate
consciousness. Either relegated to an American past of unjust
treatment or to an insignificant present in today’s population
base, Native peoples are not well understood or recognized.
Don Johnson has an insider’s vantage point that we need to
hear. This chaplain to Native American communities is also
executive director of the Lutheran Association of Missionaries
and Pilots U.S. He joins the program to talk about many facets
of life for Native peoples, including a spiritual loneliness.
February 22, 2009
Christine Grumm – A Hard Look at Poverty for Women
The Book of Ruth
Christine Grumm is president
and CEO of the Women's Funding Network, more than 130
organizations devoted to assisting women around the globe. She
is a change agent who goes after critical areas of need from
combating poverty to achieving advances in health care,
education and human rights. Host Peter Marty talks with
Christine about the state of women in the world today, and why
women bear the brunt of poverty in most nations.
February 15, 2009
Terence Fretheim – God’s Forever Promises to Abraham
In a world fractured by
religious wars, Abraham could be something of a unifying figure.
He is central to the world’s three major religions, a defining
player in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Twelve million Jews,
at least 1 billion Muslims, and 2 billion Christians position
the roots of their faith around his name. So who was Abraham?
What exactly constituted his relationship with God? What were
God’s promises to Abraham all about? Old Testament scholar
Terry Fretheim is special guest on this edition of Grace
February 8, 2009
Tom Stoner – Sacred Green Spaces
Tom Stoner and his wife Kitty do interesting work.
They head up a foundation that commits dollars and energy to
creating sacred green spaces. Many of these spaces take shape in
urban landscapes where vacant lots get reclaimed, drug addicts
get moved along, and plants, trees, and water replace concrete
rubble. They are spiritually driven people who feel a priority
in helping others center their lives in God. It’s quite a story
of peace, hope, and civic commitment.
February 1, 2009
Elizabeth Marquardt – Children and the Painful Consequences
It is not
uncommon to hear divorced couples speaking admirably of their
children’s resilience in coping with their own separate lives.
Whether it is over confidence, guilt, or a desire to believe
that one’s own kids are exceptional in this regard, we cannot
know the different forces that guide parents to speak like this,
Elizabeth Marquardt calls much of it “happy talk” –
talk that denies the very painful consequences that go with
every divorce. Host Peter Marty reflects on the spiritual side
of this pain.
- January 25, 2009
Wayne Messmer –
Finding Release From Hatred
Messmer has quite a story to tell. This professional singer and broadcaster was
shot at point blank range in the throat one night during a bungled robbery
attempt. His vocal cords survived, as did his life and spirit. Through an
amazing act of courage and faith, Messmer later found his way to the prison
where his assailant was doing time. What happened there is a
testimony to the dissolution of hate when one understands life
as a supreme gift of God.
January 18, 2009
Catherine Wallace – The Perplexity of Choice
Most people will admit that we live in an age when a barrage of
choices keep assaulting our lives. Bombarded by choice, we are
forced continually to reevaluate our identities. We repeatedly must
remember or figure out exactly who we are. Living in this confounded
way rarely feels good. It fragments and divides up our lives.
Catherine Wallace, a social historian and free-lance writer, joins
this edition of Grace Matters to wrestle with the perplexity
of choice in our modern world.
January 11, 2009
Jacob Needleman – Your Relationship With Money
It is a strange phenomenon to equate happiness with having money,
especially since having more money (at least beyond a certain point)
rarely makes people more happy.
Jacob Needleman has a philosopher’s
mind for thinking about the subject of money. Clearly, the pervasive
inability among Americans to take money more seriously, and to talk
about money with true honesty, distresses this San Francisco State
University professor. Here is a program that gets to the heart of
our relationship with money.
- January 4, 2009
Ralston Deffenbaugh –
A Refugee Named Jesus
Ralston (“Ralie”) Deffenbaugh
knows his way around immigration issues. He is a first-rate lawyer
who understands the intricacies of immigration law. But more
importantly, for the past 17 years, he has been president of
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a vantage point for
getting inside the hopes and heartaches of refugees and immigrants
around the world. In these times of contentious debate over how to
handle immigration reform in America, Deffenbaugh has some wise and
faith-inspired words to think about with special freshness about the