Holding it(,) Together

Stories of authentic and whole people doing their best, one day at a time to love God and neighbor, co-creating new ways of being in the world.

About the show

Mennonite Church USA’s Women in Leadership Project has teamed up with The Mennonite, Inc., to produce Holding it(,) Together, a podcast that will delve into lives and experiences of people across Mennonite Church USA. We’ll connect with folks from all over the country: people living into the fullness of who God created them to be, people stepping out in faith and standing in their conviction, individuals who are doing their best, one day at a time, to love God and neighbor, midwifing new systems and new ways of being in the world.
Our stories and interviews are with people like you and me, those of us who daily encounter mundane responsibility, joy and struggle, imperfection in the midst high aspirations, accomplishment and disappointment. Too often in the context of faith and lived experience, the stories we tell are stories of overcoming, of success, of all that is waiting on the other side. On this podcast, we want to notice the beauty of the process, to paint pictures of authentic and whole people. Here, we recognize that to live out our convictions and co-create new ways of being in the world, we need one another. We need each other to hold together with us all that we carry in our journey of becoming. We need each other to bear witness to the process, because yes, some days we do shine, we are successful beyond our wildest imaginings. But most days, we’re just holding it together.

Holding it(,) Together on social media


  • Episode 10: Breaking Silences: Infertility, Miscarriage and Infant Loss

    December 21st, 2018  |  39 mins 39 secs
    despair, faith, god, hope, infant loss, infertility, kaethe weingarten, miscarriage, rachel epp miller, sarah bixler, theology

    In the last episode of 2018 (and this series), Rachel Epp Miller and Sarah Bixler break silences and talk frankly about infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. They tenderly share their individual journeys with one another and open space for honest questions as they struggle to find hope, support, healing and God through it all.

  • Yvette Blair

    October 11th, 2018  |  18 mins 8 secs
    angelina weld grimke, elizabeth turner, gardening, ida b. wells, inspiration, irie lynne session, kamilah hall sharp, margins, mariah blair, matilda blair, nariana sands, nella larsen, ruth and naomi, social justice, the gathering, vahisha hasan, who are your people, yvette blair, zora neale hurston

    This is the last of our Women Doing Theology shorts featuring our main-stage presenters at the upcoming #WDT18 conference in November. At the conference we’ll get to know our presenters’ thoughts and ideas, but we wanted to offer an opportunity to get to know a bit about each of them on a human level. In our last WDT episode, we'll meet Yvette.

  • Malinda Elizabeth Berry

    October 1st, 2018  |  16 mins 47 secs
    anabaptist mennonite biblical seminary, bethany christian schools, community, delores williams, dr. malinda elizabeth berry, gary dorrien, goshen college, hope, james cone, power, revelation as revolution, theology, tracy chapman, union theological seminary

    This is the second of three Women Doing Theology shorts featuring our main-stage presenters at the upcoming #WDT18 conference in November. At the conference we’ll get to know our presenters’ thoughts and ideas, but we wanted to offer an opportunity to get to know a bit about each of them on a human level. In this episode we get to know Malinda.

  • Episode 9: Breaking Silences: Mental Illness

    September 17th, 2018  |  24 mins 47 secs
    community, community mennonite church, depression, mental illness, prayer beads, rock, safe, self-injury, vulnerability

    If you live with mental illness, it can be too easy to believe you are all alone. We believe we must pretend that "everything's fine," because sharing our reality with others is just too terrifying. Jill Stemple helps us to break silence around mental illness as she reads, "Learning to be known and loved: The movement from hiding mental illness to sharing it with the church," an article she wrote for The Mennonite magazine in July of 2016.

  • Episode 8: Breaking Silences: Wholeness

    August 27th, 2018  |  34 mins 41 secs
    adoption, adultery, alaska, all you need is love, birth, claire deberg, darkness, defining moments, life's story, love, perennials, wholeness, young

    As we seek to make meaning of the darkness in our life's story, how do we take back power from the events that we've allowed to define us and embrace wholeness? In this episode, we break silences with Claire DeBerg, as she reads her essay, "Choosing Love: Adultery, Adoption, Abundance."

  • Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

    August 13th, 2018  |  18 mins 46 secs
    abuela, carolina hinojosa-cisneros, feminist, la mala mujer, labels, latinx, life, mujerista, poetry, san antonio, selena, southside high school, stories, tejana, theology

    In three Women Doing Theology shorts, we're introducing our main-stage presenters at the upcoming #WDT18 conference in November. At the conference we'll get to know our presenters' thoughts and ideas, but we wanted to offer an opportunity to get to know a bit about each of them on a human level. First we'll meet Carolina.

  • Episode 7: Breaking Silences: Failure

    July 16th, 2018  |  40 mins 38 secs
    amy poehler, brené brown, elizabeth soto albrecht, emotion, failure, lancaster theological seminary, linda gehman peachey, marathana prothro, mc usa, mennonite disaster service, moderator, self-care, self-forgiveness, shame, workshops

    Why is it so difficult to talk about our failure? In the second episode of our “Breaking Silences” series, Jenny talks with three women: Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, Linda Gehman Peachey and Marathana Prothro, to explore failure — how it shapes who we are and who we become, and all it has to teach us when we face it.

  • Episode 6: Breaking Silences: Singleness

    June 25th, 2018  |  27 mins 57 secs
    hope for the future, mcc, men, mennonites, morality, patriarchy, roles, sexism, singleness

    This summer we’re focusing on “Breaking Silences” and talking about things we’ve typically avoided. We’re choosing to release shame, fear and discomfort as we courageously face conversations that have been put off for too long. In this episode, Erica Littlewolf reads her essay “On Singleness and the Church” published on the Menno Snapshots blog in August 2016. In the conversation that follows, Jenny and Erica explore the pressure single women face in the church, touching on sexism, purity culture and belonging.

  • Episode 5: Women in Leadership: Nancy, Sue, Janet, Emily and Shirley

    June 4th, 2018  |  24 mins 15 secs
    1st woman, call, childhood, communications, emily kauffman, goshen college, hesston college, janet stauffer, korean peninsula, los angeles uprising, marathana prothro, mentors, myf, nancy kauffmann, north korea, pastors, shirley hershey showalter, study service term, sue park-hur, sunday school

    We conclude our series “Women in Leadership” with a talkback episode. We’ve invited five women from across the country to consider one event, experience or interaction that significantly shaped their leadership. Their stories are as unique as the women themselves and get to the heart of challenges and triumphs we’ve attempted to capture throughout this series. At the same time, their stories are universal, touching themes that continue to bubble up when we talk about women in leadership.

  • Episode 4: Women in Leadership: Melissa

    May 7th, 2018  |  31 mins 22 secs
    audre lorde, beth graybill, beyond respectability, brittney c. cooper, chelsea summers, gloria anzaldúa, leymah gbowee, melissa florer-bixler, pockets, racked, sexual assault. bodies, theresa s. thames

    How do we as women in leadership navigate through expectations about our bodies imposed upon us by the white patriarchy that is embedded within our faith communities? What do we have to strip away? What do we have to let go of? We continue our series “Women in Leadership” with Melissa Florer-Bixler, pastor of Raleigh (North Carolina) Mennonite Church.

  • Episode 3: Women in Leadership: Gayle, Malinda and Alison

    April 16th, 2018  |  25 mins 43 secs
    #metoo, alison brookins, gayle gerber koontz, generations, imagination, malinda berry, mentors, patriarchy, power, resistance, systemic change

    What is imagination’s role in resistance? How does personal transformation influence systemic change? How do we hold the tension of all that we’re working for together with finding joy in our journey? Jenny talks with three women – connected through Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana – whose life and work has spanned three generations. They gather together for the first time to explore their overlapping yet distinct stories.

  • Episode 2: Women in Leadership: Chris

    March 26th, 2018  |  23 mins 12 secs
    chris hoover seidel, feminine divine, mary, massage therapy, reiki, the body of christ, trauma

    In October of 2016, Chris Hoover Seidel wrote, For the Body Tells Me So, an article exploring the disconnection and trauma inside her physical body as metaphor for the church, and our collective trauma and disconnection. What could it look like to stand in solidarity with the ourselves, to be present our collective pain, to become faith communities that embrace God's divine presence embodied through us all?

  • Episode 1: Women in Leadership: Iris and Michelle

    March 9th, 2018  |  40 mins 11 secs
    africa, archbishop oscar romero, culture, family, frienship, iris de león-hartshorn, mcc, michelle armster, women in leadership

    Privilege and opportunity, growth into leadership, spiritual journey, culture, encountering joy. Iris de León-Hartshorn and Michelle Armster have been friends for over 30 years. In this first ever episode of Holding it(,) Together, find stories, wisdom and inspiration as we listen in to an honest conversation between friends.