What is OpenOut?

Open Out is a weekly podcast series, website and interactive social media to help individuals and faith communities discover the possibilities and the challenges of intentionally opening outwards to welcome a much broader group of people – including those with very different cultural backgrounds.  The Open Out “Extra” is a podcast for leaders (and other interested folk) – with a bit more detail and tips on how to use the podcasts in a group setting (study groups, workshops, retreats, etc.).During the Covid-19 crisis, when groups are not meeting – these Extra podcasts will be limited.

Open Out is a safe space to develop a sense of compassionate curiosity about the changing cultural landscape of Canada. The number of newcomers and ‘visible minority’ equally and surpassing the number of white Canadian-born people in many cities – a result of changing birth rate and immigration patterns. What does this mean for our churches? For our systems? For our own hearts and minds?

When we undergo major changes in our lives, we tend to go through stages: curious, considering, committed, commencing and then into continuing. The Open Out podcasts follow this same pattern.

Open Out podcasts are published in series – you can start at the beginning with the Curious series, or follow any theme that interests you. You can link to listen to the podcasts below (or you can subscribe to the whole series on iTunes. Spotify, etc.)



This is the introductory podcast that starts you on your journey and provides a general introduction to the Open Out program. It outlines how the series will unfold, the research behind the project, and some of my own history in intercultural ministry.

At this stage we are not seriously considering making any significant changes, but we are open to exploring ideas about why we might want to think about changing, and what it might be like if we did. This series focuses on what being intercultural open looks like, and, particularly, why we might want to think about doing this. This initial series of 3 podcasts explores what intercultural might look like, and why churches might want to considering intentionally opening outwards

Click to open the Curious Series

Here our curiosity has now led us to a place of really considering the idea of changing – trying to get help with an addiction, or, in our case, seriously consider the possibility of intentionally opening our communities to welcome folk who have a different background than us – a significant change indeed. This series will go a bit deeper, providing more specific information about how we might go about doing this. There are 4 episodes in the Considering series.

Listen to the Considering Series

Okay, let’s go for it. This is the time of preparing – we might initially have been simply curious, but after some soul-searching and serious consideration, we’ve decided to really give a try. This is a time of preparation – so this series is a bit longer (6 episodes in Year 1) – and will deeply explore important ways we can help our brains adjust (looking specifically at Unconscious Bias), and how cultural differences affect us (exploring differences like individualism-collectivism, communication patterns, etc.), intercultural worship and more.


We’re going for it… so what do we do. This series is all about providing hands- on practical tools for communities (and individuals) who are engaged in the process of intentionally opening themselves to welcome those who are somehow different, often this means those with different cultural backgrounds – and because of that have different values, thinking, decision-making patterns etc. This is also a series of 6 episodes in Year 1.


At some point, after all the chaos, confusion, beauty and excitement of commencing, there comes a time for stabilizing, for maintaining the new life of the community. That’s what this series is all about (Fall, 2020).


I am deeply grateful to the people of Knox Winnipeg for their courage and faith over the many years of exploration and adventure. Also to The United Church Foundation for sponsoring this research through the McGeachy Scholarship. Theme music is by Bruce Harding. Learn more here.

OpenOut Extra

These podcasts  are more technical in content, like an owners’ manual for a stove  – helpful if you are installing, but not as much fun as actually cooking something.  They are really designed for group leaders who are wishing to adapt the Open Out podcasts to use in study groups, workshops, retreats, etc. They will resume regular publication once the Covid-19 crisis is behind us, and groups can start meeting again.

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