Our newest podcast, Everything Belongs, has just launched! We’re debuting the podcast with a 5-episode mini-series featuring thoughtful conversations between Richard Rohr and CAC’s faculty and staff to serve as guideposts for living these teachings forward. Below is a reflection piece from Corey Wayne, CAC’s director of events and production, and the producer of Everything Belongs:
I try to begin most workdays by reading emails from the listeners of our podcasts. It’s a reminder to me of why we do what we do, and it helps shape my perspective when producing the shows. I share the questions with the applicable hosts, and many get used in listener question segments across the shows.
What strikes me the most as I read them is that not only is there a desire to learn about the contemplative Christian tradition — that’s a given — but also the stark undertone of uncertainty that comes with wondering how to apply these teachings in a modern landscape rife with all sorts of wounding and disruptions.
When I first joined the CAC in 2019, the idea of an evergreen Richard Rohr podcast surfaced among myself and Paul, and others on the team. My initial thought was to do the podcast under the name Everything Belongs, as that was one of Richard’s most iconic phrases. It was a phrase in which all of his work lived within, so the concept was captivating.
“There is a desire to learn about the contemplative Christian tradition but also the stark undertone of uncertainty that comes with wondering how to apply these teachings in a modern landscape.”
— Corey Wayne, producer of Everything Belongs
We also thought it might become an archival podcast, featuring recordings of Richard’s past. For whatever reason this never captured my attention, and I thought we could do something more engaging, more thoughtful. As we navigated 2020, reality brought us a global pandemic and a number of uncertainties. Our focus shifted and we ultimately shelved this project in what I refer to as Paul and I’s R&D (research and development) lab. Many projects live in this abstract imaginary place until we are ready to actively put them into production.
During 2021, we began implementing programmatic changes at the Center for Action and Contemplation to reflect our inevitable founder’s transition. We expanded the podcast network to include our entire faculty, began refining our other offerings and started asking ourselves what the future could look like beyond Richard — which admittedly can feel scary and uncertain.
Somewhere along the way, Mike Petrow started using the phrase “living the teachings forward” across meetings at the CAC and that sparked a vision in my mind. What began as a potential archival podcast became this idea: What if we help others learn how to live Richard’s teachings forward from the context of their own lived realities? Thus, the show that we have today was born; an immersive experience delving into the major books and teachings of Richard Rohr, where he is joining the circumference of a broader circle and we’re now turning to other voices for perspective to compliment the wisdom that he has passed on to us.
“Mike Petrow started using the phrase ‘living the teachings forward’ and that sparked a vision in my mind. What if we help others learn how to live Richard’s teachings forward from the context of their own realities?”
— Corey Wayne
However, creating the show was not an easy task. The pre-production journey felt like we were finding our way in the dead of night. We’d show up to meetings, ideate possible directions and scribble down thoughts, only to arrive at a place that didn’t feel right… and back to the drawing board we went.
Once we had the framework for the full seasons, we then back-pedaled to the start. We knew that before a full-scale launch we first wanted to re-introduce everyone to this new stage of life for Richard and the Center for Action and Contemplation, which is the mini-series we are airing this fall.
Lastly, I want to mention our approach to production for this show because it was a little unique. Each element of production was intentionally designed. The gear was stripped down to just a few portable recorders under the relaxed environment of Richard’s hermitage – nothing else. Minimizing the gear also minimized the felt sense of a “production” and allowed for a relaxed environment that would allow for you, the listener, to become an active participant with the sense that you were in Richard’s living room with us. We see you as the third part of the conversation, this will become more apparent with the full seasons, beginning in early 2024, so it was important for me to create a sense that you were there with us.
“Minimizing the gear also minimized the sense of ‘production’ that would allow the listener to become an active participant in Richard’s living room with us.”
— Corey Wayne
By the time you read this, the show will be out in the world. And if you’ve listened, you’ve joined right alongside us in Richard’s hermitage. I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing Richard as we know him, the Center for Action and Contemplation as we are nourishing the new edges of growth and see yourself in the full season to come. It’s now up to us to co-create a world where everyone and everything belongs, and we’ll do it together.
Listen to Everything Belongs online or subscribe on your favorite podcast player. Everything Belongs is a new podcast for living the teachings of Fr. Richard Rohr forward. Join us on a journey through Fr. Richard’s foundational teachings on contemplative Christianity with Richard Rohr, CAC staff, teachers, and guests. Discover how to embody this wisdom in our modern lives, co-creating a world where everything and everyone belongs.