What can we do to prepare?

Yep this is the way we should go.

Once we’ve explored the need, the possibilities and the challenges, considered our options, prayed and likely chatted more, we may feel committed: Yep this is the way we should go. We may not know quite how to get there, but this definitely feels/seems the right direction. This next series, ‘Committed’, addresses that how.  It’s about getting prepared. What do we need to know, learn and do to get ready for this adventure? Remembering that dealing only with the external stuff – increasing variety alone will not bring us into a truly intercultural open community, merely a diverse one – how do we deal with the internal, the mental and emotional stuff that is critical?  This series focuses on internal preparations.

What’s height got to do with it: Unconscious Bias 1.  A deeper re-boot. What’s height got to do with it? More than you might guess. Turns out that a much higher percentage of male CEOs are significantly taller than average. Why? It’s due to something called  implicit or unconscious bias.

All human brains use bias as a kind of shortcut, to save mental energy and time – but these can be changed. In this episode, we look at the vital role of implicit or unconscious bias in how we react, make decisions.  This is the first of two sessions looking at the brain, its good intentions and yet sometimes unhelpful protective role – and how that can be changed.


Mindlessness, Mindfulness & Moonwalking Bears. Unconscious Bias 2.

This is our second podcast exploring Implicit or Unconscious Bias, the stereotypes ad shortcuts that our brains create to help us. Except it’s not always such a big help. Sometimes they’re just kind of odd, and sometimes they can even be dangerous. Fortunately many are easier to change than we might expect.

In this second exploration we dig a little deeper, examine a number of biases and how they can impact our relationships. Often we try hard to get rid of all biases – sort of like abstinence in dealing with an addiction. However since they are part of how the brain operates, we explore ‘harm reduction’ as another approach to dealing with bias.

As part of this episode, the host, Bill Millar will invite you to watch a one-minute video, about, oddly, bicycle safety. [It actually will make sense!] … so if you can, before you download, try this first: Test your Awareness: Do the Test

This is also the second episode in our Committed series – where we try to get to the nittiest and grittiest of the nitty-gritty of intercultural living.


Is your ‘me’ a ‘we’? How differences affect us (Part 1)

Is your me a we? This episode is the first of two looking at key differences in the ways people from different cultures think, feel, and make decisions – how they act and react.

In Part 1 we focus on that core question: What does your ‘me’ look like? An individual? Or a group? 

Individualists include most of the people in Europe and North America, but they actually make up a small part of the world’s population. Most (over 90%) of the people on the planet are collectivists.

This means that, as our country grows, it will be growing largely through collectivists. And if our churches are to grow, they too will likely grow through collectivists – so learning about each other is vitally important.

This episode draws on the work of the late Geert Hofstede, and, once again, the insights of Damber Khadka.


(May 18th)

Umm. How many kisses are required? How differences affect us: Part 2. 

Think back, before the pandemic. Remember … we used to shake hands, hug, even kiss sometimes. But with new folk, well,  it could be a bit confusing. . . For example, for two cheek kisses, does it matter where we start?  

In  intercultural relationships, simple things can be tricky – like greeting each other: Shake hands or bow [Who first?] Or kiss [one cheek or two?] Often it’s not  boulders  we stumble over. Mostly we can see them. It’s the wee branches on the path that trip us up.  Little things. We’re expecting one thing to happen, and something else happens – this is hard for our brains. 

This episode picks up themes from part 1, but goes broader, exploring  a variety of cultural differences. It also offers a spiritual practice or mental tool called NAIL [Notice / Accept / Inquire / Learn] to help our brains relax and accept the unexpected.



How do we worship inter-culturally? This is the first of a number of podcasts (in future podcasts) that looks at some specific church practices. Drawing on experiences from intercultural churches in Canada, as well as important concepts from interracial worship in Africa  we look specifically at the experience of worship – how do we shape it so everyone feels engaged?

June 1

Opening more: Beyond cultural diversity Becoming intentionally open as a faith community is not limited to cultural differences. This episode looks beyond culture to intentionally welcoming a broad diversity of folk. We will look at intersectionality (where differences compound and impact people’s lives in society), interfaith, queer, cognitive difference and beyond. Cultivating personal openness.


Putting ideas into practice. An active practice session in which you are invited to participate through a number of ‘critical incidents’.  Someone does something or says something unexpected – coming from a different cultural perspective – and you need to come up with the most likely explanation of what is going on.

Committed Extras

The Extra podcasts are designed primarily for leaders wishing to use the Open Out podcasts in groups – but also for  anyone wishing more info on a particular theme.  More technical & less polished. During the Covid crisis, these podcasts have been put on hold – but will return, once we have a sense of what church looks like, when, eventually, we can gather again.

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