In June 2020, in and amongst the shut-downs and strife, I began to feel a whisper from the Holy Spirit.
I shared those feelings with my friend, Dennis.
Dennis responded with a very distinct, “I don’t have ANY MORE TIME!!”
But that didn’t stop the whispers I was hearing. In fact, not only did they persist, I was informed by the Spirit, to listen very closely to October 2020 General Conference for instruction and for further lighte and knowledge.
Dennis and I watched General Conference in October from our respective homes in opposite sides of our country.
We both listened to Elder Garrett Gong’s talk and felt the same revelation: We needed to share our studies with the world, lest there be any strangers.
The name for the YouTube show, that I was impressed should be simulcast as a podcast, should be “Strangers No More.” But I also felt it needed to be bigger than just Dennis and myself.
To top it off, I had almost zero experience in YouTube and podcast production, and was looking for any help I could get.
During that same period of time, I found that one of the people involved in producing The Cultural Hall, a show in podcast form that I was enjoying, shared a sense of humor that I loved, and I wondered if he would be interested in being involved with yet another show. When I dropped into Andrew’s DMs, he didn’t know what to think, but as he mentioned in this first episode of Strangers No More, he was intrigued by the concept for the show.
After asking a couple of other people if they’d be interested and being summarily rejected, I happen to spy a tweet from Bradley Talbot discussing how he would like to be able to study “Come Follow Me,” absent of the land mines that made him not feel welcome in church as a young gay man.
Well, just like the GenXer with confused intimacy that I am, I slid into Bradley’s DMs and asked him if he would be interested in being a part of a “Come Follow Me” based program with another gay man, an asexual woman and an ally.
He surprised and elated me by consenting to be our fourth host!
It hasn’t been the easiest of beginnings to produce this show. What I know about video production was largely taught to me in the early 2000s using equipment that I don’t currently have access to.
But Strangers No More is not a fancy show, it is sharing what we each are learning while we are following the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Producing Strangers No More has been one of the biggest thrills of my life. There have been several times when we’ve had to postpone recording (with four Latter-day Saints coming from four different time zones, coordinating recording times is a major challenge), but I feel like I’m missing a part of my family when we delay.
In the Spring of 2021, Strangers No More was invited to be a part of the Dialogue Podcast Network, and I couldn’t be more happy.
When personal schedules overtook any opportunity to record, we faded away within the heat of the summer. When we decided to regroup, we decided as a group to start in the fall with a second season. It was the opportunity Andrew needed to take a step away to focus on his recent change in profession.
However, Andrew’s exit gave us an opportunity to invite Kate Mower, a PhD candidate in Romanian History to join the cast. Thier addition has brought yet another spiritual friend into my life and I couldn’t be more happy.
Feel free to take a look for yourself to see what there is to see or if you prefer podcast, we are there as well! Check out the links on our website:
Please join us at Strangers No More!