The Women in Leadership ministry of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is relaunching its popular podcast, “Holding It(,) Together.” Bonita Croyle of the Women in Leadership steering committee hosts the podcast, which is created by women for women. The podcast is available on the MC USA website, Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.Listen Now
“People are listening in new ways,” said Croyle, explaining why the podcast is being relaunched. “It seems that 2020 has revealed in many of us a desire for community. It’s also important for us to do this work at a time when our consciousness is raised, and we are thinking about different systems in new ways.”
Jenny Castro, former coordinator of Women in Leadership and former host of “Holding It(,) Together,” explains the meaning behind its name:
“Too often in the context of faith and lived experience, the stories we tell are stories of overcoming, of success. Our podcast is about people in process – whole people, authentic people – who need others to hold it (all that they carry) together with them, recognizing that so many of us, in our day-to-day lives, are really just barely holding it together.”
“We want to notice the beauty of the process and to hear other people’s stories,” said Croyle. “Thinking intersectionally is important to us as we relaunch the podcast and so is making space for multiple generations. Giving voice to people with different ways of living can help us learn from one another, grow and become closer to God.”
The first new episode is now available. Other new 30-minute episodes will drop approximately once a month during the podcast’s five-month season.
According to Croyle, each season will feature a central theme, but each episode will have its own style and approach.
“Some episodes will feature a panel for discussion. Other episodes will include talkback about a compelling article or essay and feature an interview with that author. Sometimes, we will have a more intimate conversation where close friends or family will interview one another to dig into their stories. In other episodes, we may invite listeners to submit a response to a question related to the series theme,” she said.
The theme for the first season is: “Bodies Holding It(,) Together.” The episodes will explore what it is for women to journey with their bodies and what it can look like to hold it together.
“In this season of pandemic, many of us may know what it is like to carry deep pain, grief, sadness and exhaustion in our bodies,” said Croyle. “Some of us may know trauma in our bodies and what it is like to bear witness to death. And some of us may know what it is like to experience deep joy and pleasure in our bodies.”
Upcoming episodes in “Bodies Holding (It) Together” are:
- September: “Bodies and Grief” with Carol Herr Steffy of James Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa.
- October: “Bodies and Lament” with Lachelle Horst of Laurel Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa.
- November: “Bodies and Healing: with Dr. Elizabeth Soto-Albrecht with Laurel Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa.
- December: “Bodies and Joy” with Erica Littlewolf of the Northern Cheyenne tribe of southeastern Montana and member of the Women in Leadership steering committee
- “Bodies and Pleasure” with Andrea de Avila, associate pastor of Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Canada
- “Bodies and Love” (guest to be determined)
Previous episodes of the podcast also are available at all podcast locations.
“We as Mennonites treasure embodied stories of faith,” said Sue Park-Hur, denominational minister of Transformative Peacemaking. “We hope this podcast will continue to amplify voices of women in the church and invite our church community to listen deeply to their beautiful and complicated stories,” she added.
Bonita Croyle (she/her/hers) is a transracial adoptee, speaker and writer. As the Founder of The Ebenezer Project, Bonita routinely engages with interfaith communities and individuals on topics regarding racial justice, transracial adoption, faith formation, liberation theology, womanism and intersectionality. As a Black transracial adoptee, Bonita also leverages her unique lived experiences to make clear the urgency to cultivate sustainable anti-racist systems and reform policies. Bonita is a graduate of Hesston College and Millersville University and has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She lives on the land of the Tohono O’odham Nation and Pasqua Yaqui Tribes (Tucson, Arizona) with her husband, Ian, and her puppy, Roar. They attend Shalom Mennonite Fellowship, Tucson, Arizona.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 58 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas. mennoniteUSA.org
By MC USA staff