Pilgrim Theological College has started a new lectionary-based podcast for preachers designed to bring the latest biblical scholarship to the proverbial pews. By the Well is a weekly podcast co-hosted by Rev Dr Robyn Whitaker and Rev Fran Barber. It is the first Australian podcast of its kind. Each week, Fran and Robyn deliver conversational style commentary on one or more of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary, exploring the preaching themes that emerge from the text. They’ll be joined by scholars and preachers from around the UD and beyond.
Fran and Robyn met studying theology over 20 years ago in what was then the United Faculty of Theology (MCD). While their ministries have taken them in different directions over the years, they are both passionate about preaching and biblical interpretation. Fran believes that, “post Christendom is a challenging and ripe time to be a preacher. More than ever communities (and the wider world!) need to be reminded to whom they belong and what it means to be made in the image of God. In a world of quick sound bites and flippant opinion, preaching is strange, but in its strangeness -pointing to the one who embraces the world but rejects the world’s limits and categorisations – has power to transform and make us anew.”
The name, By the Well, is a tribute to the Samaritan woman in John 4 who encounters Jesus when drawing water at the well and leaves transformed by their conversation. She becomes a witness who in turn invites others to encounter the good news of Jesus. “We hope to inspire deep conversations about preaching and teaching the biblical text in the context of contemporary Australia,” said Robyn Whitaker, “We have so many fabulous scholars in the UD whose research is not known by the wider church. This is one attempt to address that by highlighting our colleagues’ work.”
Recently launched just in time for Advent, the first three episodes of By the Well are now available wherever you listen to podcasts or through their website. A special pre-season episode features Professor Emeritus Bill Loader unpacking the theology of Matthew’s Gospel for Year A. Other upcoming guests include Sean Winter (Pilgrim), Kylie Crabbe (ACU), Geoff Thompson (Pilgrim), and Dorothy Lee (Trinity).By the Well - listen to the latest episode
There is also a By the Well Facebook group for those who wish to continue the discussion and share preaching ideas.
By the Well Podcast Trailer
Pilgrim Theological College is an ecumenical college of the University of Divinity, operated by the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. Pilgrim’s courses offer a community of learning, formation and discipleship, inspired by the richness and strength of theological education across the traditions of the Uniting Church and the commitment to ecumenical theology and formation from the United Faculty of Theology.