There are two sides to every story, the saying goes. But what about when an unexpected third side is revealed, giving the story even more dimensionality? The ELCA’s new monthly podcast, Three Sides, offers a fresh way to tell the unique, compelling and sometimes surprising stories of this church.
Three Sides presents diverse voices from across all expressions of the ELCA. The podcast is hosted by Shanna Crawford, director for accounting with the ELCA Mission Investment Fund; Phil LaDeur, program assistant for hunger education with ELCA World Hunger; and Andrew Steele, director of ELCA Global Church Sponsorship.
Even the hosts have found themselves learning about ELCA initiatives and experiences through the stories Three Sides explores. “I had no idea that the church was at work in so many different places and in so many ways,” LaDeur said.
Crawford agreed: “I’ve been able to take a deep dive into all things Lutheran and hear the stories of some amazing people.” She enjoys “being part of lifting up these stories and issues and adding a bit of commentary along the way.”
Steele hopes Three Sides “becomes a platform for good news—something I think we all could use a bit more of. Positive stories are happening throughout our congregations, synods and churchwide ministries.”
“[I hope Three Sides] becomes a platform for good news—something I think we all could use a bit more of. Positive stories are happening throughout our congregations, synods and churchwide ministries.”
Three Sides’ first episode, released in July, offers a brief introduction to the podcast and its hosts. The second serves as the show’s first full episode, exploring “Women who lead,” featuring Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton; Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels at the Kellogg Co.; and Sylvia Sloan Black, a retired professor and executive coach.
This month’s episode will focus on the unique partnerships that exist among three distinct congregations in Rockford, Ill. Together, their pastors share the motivation behind the creation of these partnerships, the joys of being in ministry together and the challenges they’ve encountered along the way.
When Three Sides made the iTunes top 100 in the “Religion & Spirituality” podcast category in its first week of launching, the hosts were especially encouraged. “It’s amazing how much God is doing through us, and I see the podcast as being a great tool to get these stories out to the rest of the church and the world,” Steele said.
Have an idea for a podcast topic? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.