Community Radio, Podcasts, Religion, and Money (Yowza)

I have been trying to figure out the direction for Progressive Spirit in terms of making it sustainable and connected with the two entities that make it possible, my congregation and the radio station where it is produced. The content of the show is mine. It serves a niche. Progressive, sometimes radical, politics, values, education and activism.  The tagline is spirituality and social justice.

There are a number of interesting complications to all of this. My congregation and I are working out a “memorandum of understanding” between my show and the church. In essence, the show is supported by the church but is distinct. We are working out the details of that and I am exploring the option of a non-profit board to support the program.

On one hand, the show is part of my job as a minister. I fund books, equipment, websites from my professional expense, a budget item for the show from the church, and my own personal expenses.  At this point, to run the show takes probably $2000 a year. I want to add transcripts and other things to make it more accessible.

But, I have studio time at KBOO to interview guests, produce the podcast and my monthly show, Beloved Community, that airs every second Friday at 9 am. In addition to my own website, KBOO posts my podcast on its website.  I do have a home studio, and I do a lot of production from it, but it isn’t at all as cool as the radio station is for recording interviews. The radio station is an important part of this. I am indebted to it and happy to be so.

I also support the radio station with volunteer time and membership and I serve on the KBOO board until my term expires September 2018.  For the next few weeks, I will be working on getting restaurants to supply food for the station for the volunteers during the upcoming fund drive.

I really love the vision, work and mission of KBOO and want to do my part to make sure it is running and healthy and providing access to many diverse voices. I also love the work and mission of my congregation and I think it is great to connect these communities.

But it can be tricky. We have a religious institution, a community radio station, and me.  And not just one community station. Progressive Spirit currently airs on six stations weekly and others sporadically. It is a podcast and radio show. When we bring money into the equation, it gets way more tricky.

I was exploring at the suggestion of a friend, Patreon.  Out of curiosity, I set it up. So far I have one patron, my beloved wife who pledged a dollar an episode.  She hasn’t paid. Obviously, I haven’t done much with that. It seems complicated. I think it would be fun to set up Patreon and have the money go to KBOO. Would that work?

Even if that were possible, I still need to fund the show.  Frankly, I don’t like asking for money. I have a service that is worth something to others. It is cleaner on one level to sell advertising. Since my podcast is on Podomatic, they have some kind of offshoot thing called Advertisecast. So, I set it up to see how it works.

I sold one ad. It was an app for Simply Zen. The ad was for $5. Advertisecast took $1. Then I went and purchased the app for $2. It is pretty cool, actually.  I made a $2 profit. I will donate it to KBOO.  I was curious how it all worked and how podcasts get monetized. I went and talked to some folks at KBOO about this and then decided to put the Patreon and Advertisecast accounts on the shelf.

I don’t know how to do all of this and do it correctly and legally and with love and peace and justice for all parties.  I would love to share the wealth of my vast media empire with my two favorite non-profits, KBOO and Southminster as well as fund and improve the show. My guess is that a separate non-profit entity to fund the show is the way to go, perhaps similar to the way New Dimensions works it out.

Anyone else traversed these murky waters?

(Cross-posted at Shuck and Jive)

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Danny Goldberg, In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea

During one year, 1967, it seemed possible that the world could be transformed by peace, love, and meditation. The assassinations, violence, and polarization of 1968 hadn’t yet  happened, and the hippies were exploring spirituality and social justice.
Danny Goldberg takes us back to 1967, to the music, the acid, Jefferson Airplane, Allen Ginsburg, Black Power, and Muhammad Ali.  He is the author of How the Left Lost Teen Spirit and Bumping into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business. Danny Goldberg is president of Gold Village entertainment and author of the book we will discuss today: In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea.

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Bureaucrat or Commodity? Becoming Human Again

Sean Kerrigan, author of Bureaucratic Insanity:  The American Bureaucrat’s Descent into Madnesssays that civilization is about the concentration of power. We are at a point now in which bureaucracy has stripped our lives of meaning.  We will talk about bureaucracy, collapse, and finding ways to resist.

I also speak with Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history and African and African Diaspora Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is the author of The Price for Their Pound of Flesh:  The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building Of A Nation.

The overarching theme this week is the commodification of human beings and how we can reclaim and assert our humanity and the humanity of others.

Progressive Spirit thanks this week’s sponsor, Simply Zen.  Mindfulness practice on your smart phone.

Sponsor Progressive Spirit through Advertisecast.com/progressivespirit.

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Jesus Was A Communist

Were the early Christians communists? Roman Montero makes the case that they were and backs it up with his book All Things In Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians.  Roman A. Montero spends a lot of time studying early Christianity, Koine Greek, early Christian texts, and the historical context of second temple Judaism.

Roman explains his use of the word “communism” in this short essay from Dandelion Salad:

“The actual classical meaning of the word, the meaning that actually represents something in reality, is basically nothing more than any social-relationship or structure where the principle of “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” is the primary moral framework of the social relationship or structure. Instead of replacing the term with something else, I went through the trouble of breaking down what communism actually means and contrasting it with other principles of social-relationships like hierarchy or exchange. The reason I stuck with the term “communism” was simple: that term is simply the most fitting term for the economic practices of the early Christians that differentiated them from the larger Roman world; the more I studied the issue the more I became convinced of that.”

 

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The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse

The Walking Dead. The Night of the Living Dead. Sean of the Dead. Z Nation. We can’t seem to get enough of the zombies. So what is that about?
Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University, where he teaches classes in fiction and screenwriting, literature, film and popular culture, and theology. The author or coauthor of twenty books on fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, Garrett (according to the BBC) is one of Americas leading voices on religion and culture.
Professor Garrett says that we love killing zombies for a number of reasons. When societies face looming catastrophes and fears, zombies rise. His book is Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Matthew Fox: A Creation Spirituality Journey ENCORE

This is an encore podcast of my conversation with Matthew Fox that I previously released in November 2016.

Matthew Fox. Silenced by the Vatican for his views, left the Catholic priesthood in the early 1980s. Matthew Fox is a theologian and activist who has written over 30 books. He has introduced millions of people to Creation Spirituality. His latest book, published in 2016 is called A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey. According to Fox, Merton was assassinated by the CIA. We will talk more about that as well as have a candid conversation about ecology, human rights, capitalism, and resistance.

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Always with us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor

Politicians like to misquote Jesus to slash programs for the poor. Republican congressman, Roger Marshall of Kansas misused a quote from Jesus to support his program to reduce healthcare benefits for the poor. This is from the article on Stat from March 3rd, 2017:

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” he said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

Did Jesus really say, “The poor will always be with us?” What is the exact quote? What is the context? What did Jesus really mean? How do we respond to politicians who use the Bible and Jesus to cut aid to those most in need?

Liz Theoharis is fighting back. She is the founder and co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and coordinator of the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Theoharis has spent the last two decades organizing among the poor in the United States and worldwide. She is the author of Always with us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor.

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