AiR_E020 – Hospice – Shea Collins



There is probably no scary room in the world, then walking into a room with people who have just experienced a tragic death or into a room where death is about to happen.  The people of Hospice know this space more than anyone.  In my experience, there are no better people than those who walk families through this tender and thin space.  What ramps up the horribleness is when children or youth are involved.  This is the space that Shea Collins works in.  She has had 15 years of experience working with children, youth and their families in the Hospice setting.  She is an ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church and is now working at Hospice of Cabarrus County in North Carolina.  In our conversation, we talk about how to deal with these situations and places of grief.  She gives amazing insights and recommendations to clergy and laypeople alike.

One of the things she talks about is a week-long summer camp to help connect youth who are dealing with tragedies.  Grief can be a lonely place but here at this Grief Camp these youth learn they are not alone.  CLICK HERE for more information.

As I wrap up Season 2, I want to say a special thank you to all my guests and for the wonderful conversations we have had this season.  I am looking forward to what Season 3 might hold.  For Season 3 I would love to talk to more non-clergy people about their work to build up the kingdom of God.  If you know someone I should have a conversation with, please leave a comment below.

Until next season, enjoy your adventure and peace be with you.


AiR_E019 – Urban Revival – Donna Claycomb Sokol



Donna is the pastor of Mount Vernon Place UMC in Washington, DC.  When she arrived in 2005 it was a completely different church than it is now.  It was a dying congregation.  However, through Donna’s leadership, a ton of time, and even more prayers, they have turned this congregation around.  Along with Roger Owens, she has now authored a new book about this journey, “A New Day in the City.”  It is a powerful testimony to urban church renewal and the work God has done in and through them.Book

If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Mount Vernon Place UMC, CLICK HERE.

You can connect with Donna on Twitter, Facebook and on her Blog, Words from Washingon.

Remember to please leave a rating and review over at Apple Podcast.  Also if you have a suggestion for lay people who are doing amazing things for the kingdom of God, please let me know so I can work on Season 3.

The last episode of Season 2 will be up on the third Monday of December.

Enjoy your adventure and peace be with you.


AiR_E018 – Linguistics – Christine Burkett



ChristineToday I have a conversation with Christine Burkett, a speech-pathologist by trade and a pew sitter by profession.  She teaches guides and coaches young preachers on this art form they have been called by God to do.  She has incredible insights into language, crafting sermons and how to make them stick.  She has taught at Duke Divinity School for over 20 years, helps lead the Institute of Preaching, and is a sought-after speaker for preachers.  She is one of the teachers and professors whose voice is still in my head as I write, preach and lead worship.

If you are in the Western North Carolina or Florida conference of the United Methodist Church, please check out the Institute of Preaching.  It is a wonderful year journey through the art of preaching.

If you have laity who are doing amazing things for the Kingdom of God I can have a conversation with for season three, please let me know via a comment or email me at

On the first Monday of December, I will be sitting down with Donna Claycomb Sokol, the pastor of Mount Veron Place UMC in Washington, DC.  We will talk about her new book and the journey MVPUMC has been on since her arrival there.

Until then, enjoy your adventure and peace be with you.

AiR_017 – Campus Ministry – Steve Cheyney



SteveSteve Cheyney is the Executive Director of the Cooperative Christian Ministries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), Central Piedmont Community College and Johnson and Wales.  His main focus is as the Campus Minister at UNCC.  There, with the help of students, he runs Niners United.  We talk about his ministry with the next generation and how college years can be extremely formative.

Cooperative Christian Ministries

In two weeks, episode 18 will go live, the 8th in season 2.  I will be talking with Christine Burkett, a speech pathologist who teaches and coaches preachers at Duke Divinity School.  Christine is an example of what I hope to do more of in season 3.  If you know of non-clergy people who are doing amazing things for the Kingdom of God, please email me.

Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcast and don’t forget to subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast.



My Silence: A Response to #MeToo

sexual-assault-awareness-month-squareTo the people who posted #MeToo: From the depth of my soul, I am sorry. There are no words I can muster, pen or type to erase your pain, struggle, grief and whatever other feelings you feel. To assume I could even attempt to make sense, understand, or grapple with what you have gone through would give myself way too much credit. Instead, I promise to sit in silence.

My silence is not an attempt to ignore what you went through or to pass it off as your fault. My silence is not apathy or rejection. My silence is here to listen to your story and walk with you in your pain. My silence is here because I cannot speak for you or assume that I can. I cannot tell your story. I sit in silence because when silence happens the truth can start to come forth and your story is told and heard. If I am not silent, I will fill the void with incompetence and your story is too valuable for that. I promise to sit in silence to listen and be present.

My silence doesn’t mean I won’t speak up. I will speak up as I raise my son. I promise I will raise him to understand and to respect the word “NO!” I promise to raise him to recognize someone else’s body is his/her own. I will teach him to ask permission not ask for forgiveness. My silence doesn’t mean I won’t tell others to be quiet when they assume they understand your story and want to speak for you, instead of you, over you, or behind you.

I’m silent out of respect, grief, and in awe. I’m in awe of your bravery, your fight, your courage and your story. I am honored you are willing to share your story with me. It is out of awe, honor, and respect I am silent. I am silent so I can listen.

AiR_E016 – Reconciling Congregation – Carter Ellis


Click to listen to this Episode Carter Ellis

Carter Ellis is the lead pastor of The Walk [Faithwalk], a reconciling congregation in Gibsonville, NC.  We sit down and talk about what it means to be a reconciling congregation and the implications have on the lives of her members and community she serves in.  If you would like to know more about The Walk, CLICK HERE.

Thank you again for listening and please leave a rating and review over at Apple Podcast by CLICKING HERE.

Episode 17 will go live on November 6th and it is a conversation with Steve Cheyney, the Campus Minister at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  We will talk about what it is like to do ministry with Generation Z and other fun stuff in the life of a campus minister.

Something I would love to know more about are laity you know of who are living into God’s call for their lives and who are doing some unique and wonderful things for the Kingdom of God.  Most of my conversations have been with professional Christians, clergy, and I would love to extend my conversations to some laity or non-clergy folks.  If you know of someone I should have a conversation with, send me an email at revjimparsons[at] gmail [dot] com.

AiR_E015 – District Superintendent – Mark Andrews



In this new episode, I sit down with the District Superintendent (DS) of the Metro District of the Western North Carolina Conference, Mark Andrews.  Mark has just finished his first year as a DS and we talk about his adventure in this new appointment.  For those who don’t know a DS is someone in charge of a District within an Annual Conference.  The DS’s main job is to build up, encourage and help congregations and clergy in their district.  They are the ones called in when there is a congregational or clergy crisis.  They are also a part of the cabinet, which makes the appointments for the conference.  We talk about all these areas and more in our conversation.

Thank you again for listening and please head over to Apple Podcast and leave a rating and review.  I would love to hear what you all think about this podcast and it would go a long way to telling others about it.

In the next episode, I sit down with Carter Ellis the pastor of FaithWalk, a unique congregation just outside Greensboro, NC.