EquipCast

Archdiocese of Omaha

Sharing your Catholic faith with family and friends can sometimes feel daunting. Where do I start? How do I make an impact? Welcome to EquipCast, a weekly podcast from the Archdiocese of Omaha. We want to support your faith journey and equip you with the tools to express your faith authentically in your everyday life. Each week, we’ll discuss practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world. Each episode is filled with encouragement and inspiration so you can make an impact and make disciples in your own faith community. For more information and to stay connected with us, head to equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Episode 151: How to Effectively Share the Gospel of Life With Women
Today
Episode 151: How to Effectively Share the Gospel of Life With Women
As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the repeal of Roe v. Wade, the debate about abortion continues to divide us. Have you noticed, maybe even in your own conversations, that traditional pro-life messaging about the baby just isn't hitting home? What if I told you that by understanding the deep emotional and psychological needs of women considering abortion, we could revolutionize our approach and truly help women make life-affirming choices? Today, I chat with Megan Drapa, a researcher and education specialist for the Vitae Foundation, about what really influences women contemplating abortion. Megan shares that their research dives into the deep emotional drives behind these decisions, challenging what many of us think. She highlights that many women already see abortion as morally significant but feel driven by fear and a need to protect their identity. Our conversation sheds light on why we need more nuanced, compassionate communication to better support women facing unplanned pregnancies. Tune in to hear about: Emotional and Identity Factors: The decision-making process around abortion is deeply influenced by women's emotions and sense of identity. Many see carrying to term as a huge personal sacrifice or "death to self," and consider abortion the least harmful option despite knowing its moral implications. Effective Messaging: How we frame abortion-related messages greatly affects how they're received. For instance, presenting a 15-week ban as a way to give women enough time and information to make an informed choice can gain more support than strictly labeling it as a pro-life measure. Trust and Support: Building trust and offering support early in women's reproductive lives, before they face an unplanned pregnancy, is essential. Pregnancy centers and healthcare providers need to be seen as trusted resources for women’s health and reproductive needs, avoiding judgmental approaches that can push women away when they most need support. To see the research, check out the Vitae Research Institute (https://vitaeresearchinstitute.org/) or email Megan Drapa (mailto:megan.drapa@vitaefoundation.org). Also mentioned in this episode: The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole (https://www.lumenpress.org/product/the-happy-girls-guide-to-being-whole/). For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 150: How to Reach One More: Equipping Disciples for Mission Alongside Our Protestant Brothers
1w ago
Episode 150: How to Reach One More: Equipping Disciples for Mission Alongside Our Protestant Brothers
Is it hard to talk about Jesus with the people in your life? As Christians, we believe that spreading the good news of Jesus is essential to our faith, but sometimes, finding the courage or freedom to do so feels insurmountable. But guess what? There is an awesome program created by Christ Community Church, called Reach One More, and it turns big barriers into little speedbumps. In today’s episode, I chat with Pastor Mark Ashton from Christ Community Church and Jenny Wiswell, the Director of Evangelization and Discipleship for St. Gerald's Catholic Church. We div into how Reach One More works wonders for disciples stepping into the mission field. They share personal stories of individuals transformed by the program, emphasizing the importance of conviction, training, and ongoing support in equipping believers for mission. Our conversation highlights the unity between Catholic and Protestant churches in fulfilling the shared mission of spreading the Gospel. Tune in and hear: [07:49] How Reach One More Adapts Evangelism to Modern Challenges [11:00] The Reach One More Training Experience: Insights and Impact [13:26] Deep Dive into Evangelism Skills and Mindset Shifts [24:18] Sharing Success Stories: Real-Life Transformations [28:16] Cross-Denominational Collaboration: A New Era of Unity [37:15] Implementing 'Reach One More': Practical Steps for Parishes To see the Reach One More program in action, check out St. Gerald's Parish (https://stgerald.org/adult-ff/330-reach-1-more) or contact Jenny Wiswell (mailto:jwiswell@stgerald.org). Download (https://equip.archomaha.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/OneDrive_1_5-13-2024.zip) the Reach One More training content. For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 149: Find Jesus Among the Marginalized: A Conversation with Jill Lynch
May 7 2024
Episode 149: Find Jesus Among the Marginalized: A Conversation with Jill Lynch
Why do you help the poor? In a culture where lending a hand to those in need is often seen as a noble thing to do, it's crucial for us as Christians to understand the deeper motivation behind our actions. As believers, we serve the poor out of love—a love that sees Jesus in the faces of those in need. To delve into this profound aspect of service, I invite you to listen to my recent conversation with Jill Lynch, Executive Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Omaha. In this enlightening discussion, Jill shares her insights on recognizing the humanity and inherent worth of homeless individuals, challenging stereotypes and emphasizing the importance of empathy and dignity. Jill sheds light on the obstacles faced by the homeless, from securing identification to accessing transportation, and discusses proactive measures to prevent homelessness among the working poor. Through personal anecdotes, she illustrates the holistic approach of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, offering targeted assistance to those on the brink of homelessness. Above all, Jill emphasizes the profound truth that serving the poor is not just an act of charity, but a way to encounter Christ Himself. By treating each individual with respect and compassion, we fulfill the mission of seeing the face of Jesus in the marginalized. In this episode: [10:43] The Mission and Impact of Holy Family Community Center [13:20] Understanding Homelessness and Addiction [18:47] Personal Stories of Transformation and Hope [29:37] Understanding the Economic Divide and Its Impact [32:03] Building Relationships: Neighbors, Not Clients [36:06] Volunteerism and the Power of Personal Engagement [37:19] Addressing Homelessness: Beyond Immediate Needs [49:22] Faith in Action: Seeing Jesus in Every Face Find out more about Jill's work at SSVPOmaha.org (https://www.ssvpomaha.org/) and HolyFamilyOmaha.org (http://www.holyfamilyomaha.org/). For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Phase 5: Alignment - How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
Apr 23 2024
Phase 5: Alignment - How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
What do you do with ministries that existed before the clear path? By the time you see the fruit of changed lives in your parish, it’s likely that you will ask how you can help your non-clear path ministries serve the community’s mission and goal to make disciples. In this fifth episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship (https://equip.archomaha.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Clear-Path-Explained-w-Graphics-Mar-2024.pdf), Nicole Cook and Kristi Preisman from St. Columbkille describe the process of alignment. They began by talking with their ministry leaders to understand roles, strengths, and areas in need of improvement. They determined how each ministry aligned with the overall mission of the parish and identified areas where ministries needed to adjust. Their goal was to ensure that each ministry at St. Columbkille plays a meaningful role in helping people connect with God and take their next steps in their faith journey. Here’s what to expect from this episode: [14:49] Challenges and Innovations in Aligning Parish Ministries [20:49] Exploring the Parish Pathway and Mission Alignment Tool [21:07] The Role of Volunteers in Parish Ministry Evaluation [21:43] Understanding and Appreciating Ministry Contributions [24:47] The Importance of Data in Shaping Parish Decisions For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Phase 2: Discernment – How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
Apr 9 2024
Phase 2: Discernment – How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
What does the Lord say about the plans you have for your parish? As you seek renewal for your parish community, are you intentionally asking for the Lord’s input? While many of us are prayerful individuals, praying collectively with a team about the strategy for becoming mission-oriented probably feels like uncharted territory. However, if we want to succeed, we must invite the Lord to be part of the process. In this second episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship (https://equip.archomaha.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Clear-Path-Explained-w-Graphics-Mar-2024.pdf), Fr. Damian Zuerlein, Dcn. Doug Lenz, and Ann Lenz from St. Frances Cabrini discuss how as they brough change to their community, they remained open to God's direction and surrendered to His will, even when faced with challenges and uncertainties. Their experiences reflect a deep sense of faith and openness to the Holy Spirit's guidance in their parish life. Here’s what to expect from this episode: [06:37] How St. Frances Cabrini embraced Discernment and Renewal [14:35] The Power of Community and Creativity in Faith [18:30] Taking Leaps of Faith: Stories of Discernment and Action [27:04] Navigating Change and Finding Purpose [29:30] The Role of the Holy Spirit in Guiding the Community [38:43] Reflections and Advice for Faith Communities For more on the Clear Path, read the book, A Clear Path to Discipleship (https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Path-Missionary-Disciples-Parish/dp/B0CHL7DB58): How to Make Missionary Disciples in Your Parish For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Phase 1: Assessment – How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
Apr 9 2024
Phase 1: Assessment – How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship
Does your parish’s current list of ministries help your people evangelize? It’s likely the answer is no. Most parish ministries were built during a time where people flocked to church. But the culture has changed, and our ministries need to as well. So today, I bring you the first episode in the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship (https://equip.archomaha.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Clear-Path-Explained-w-Graphics-Mar-2024.pdf). Rachel Gifford, Director of Catechesis & Evangelization at St. Mary’s Parish, highlights her parish's journey through the phase of assessment. She shares how they examined existing programs to identify gaps in reaching newcomers and building up disciples for the work of mission. Challenges included resistance to change and feeling overwhelmed, but the parish found support in prayer, coaching, and revisiting their mission. Despite the difficulties, they saw positive outcomes, with new families registering and a renewed sense of faith in the community. Here’s what to expect from this episode: [03:50] The Initial Steps: Vision, Mission, and the Assessment Phase [07:41] Navigating Challenges and Building Unity Through Assessment [12:13] The Power of Shared Vision and Language in Transformation [17:31] Practical Steps and Realizations in the Assessment Phase [28:59] Detailed Breakdown of the Clear Path Stages [38:45] Looking Ahead: Next Steps and Advice for Others For more on the Clear Path, read the book, A Clear Path to Discipleship (https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Path-Missionary-Disciples-Parish/dp/B0CHL7DB58): How to Make Missionary Disciples in Your Parish For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 141: Unity & Mission: Exploring Catholic and Protestant Perspectives
Mar 12 2024
Episode 141: Unity & Mission: Exploring Catholic and Protestant Perspectives
Is unity between Catholics and Protestants really possible? Just imagine the incredible things we could accomplish if we could learn to collaborate. We could address social issues, promote justice, and serve those in need, all while spreading the message of God's love through evangelization. It's an exciting thought, isn't it? But, of course, in order for this dream to become a reality, we need to confront our fears and misunderstandings head-on. We need to foster unity within the body of Christ, embracing humility and openness along the way. That's why I'm thrilled to share an episode of unComfortable with you, a podcast from Christ Community Church in Omaha. I had the honor of joining them for a discussion on ecumenism, and let me tell you, it was eye-opening. In this episode, you'll discover: * Why unity and collaboration between Catholics and Protestants are so important to our faith journey. * Practical tips on how to engage in meaningful conversations and find common ground across different faith traditions. * The power of approaching these discussions with humility, leading to genuine relationships and deeper understanding. To hear more from our Christian brothers and sisters, check out unCOMFORTABLE Conversations About Culture & Christianity (https://www.cccomaha.org/uncomfortable?sapurl=LythNWE4L2xiL21zLyt0cjd0c2t3P2VtYmVkPXRydWUmcmVjZW50Um91dGU9YXBwLndlYi1hcHAubGlicmFyeS5tZWRpYS1zZXJpZXMmcmVjZW50Um91dGVTbHVnPSUyQnRyN3Rza3c=). For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 140: Neighbors In Need: How to Leverage the Resources and Compassion Within Your Local Community
Mar 5 2024
Episode 140: Neighbors In Need: How to Leverage the Resources and Compassion Within Your Local Community
Did you know that only 8% of the people in our church pews can claim that they know the names of their 8 closest neighbors? As Christians, we aught to be on the front lines of the fight against what the Surgeon General calls and “epidemic of loneliness”. Omaha itself, with all its strengths, grapples with mental health issues, people feeling isolated, and disparities in education and opportunities. So, in today's podcast, I sit down with Jed Mullenix, the CEO of Within Reach. He works to unify our local church communities around these issues. Together we can address community needs and spread the love of Jesus. He highlights the significance of pursuing proximity with neighbors, cultivating empathy, and committing to long-term relationships built on genuine care and compassion. As he puts it, "The world needs to know. They need to hear, they need to see, they need to feel and experience the love or the kindness of Jesus. And so, we call the church back to that place of rugged, beautiful, persistent kindness in their lives and in Jesus’ name.” In this episode, you'll learn: The primary concerns of neighbors and how the local church can address them. Inspiring examples of churches actively engaging with their communities. Strategies for cultivating empathy and building long-term relationships with neighbors. The importance of activating Christians to share the story of Jesus through acts of kindness and service. Don't forget to check out Within Reach (https://withinreach.com/)! Jed also recommends The Art of Neighboring (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Neighboring-Building-Genuine-Relationships/dp/080101459X/ref=sr_1_1?hvadid=580750215260&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9024585&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11296911781463010006&hvtargid=kwd-304064976896&hydadcr=22567_13493270&keywords=the+art+of+neighboring+book&qid=1707333448&sr=8-1) and The Power of the Cross (https://www.amazon.com/Power-Cross-Friday-Sermons-Preacher/dp/1685780032/ref=sr_1_1?hvadid=648041675020&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9024585&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=6575013877800400065&hvtargid=kwd-1988249758964&hydadcr=18053_13467033&keywords=the+power+of+the+cross+raniero&qid=1707333497&sr=8-1). For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 139: Fruitful Evangelization: How Love Leads to Conversion
Feb 20 2024
Episode 139: Fruitful Evangelization: How Love Leads to Conversion
*Love builds a bridge over which truth can pass *How well do you love your neighbor? Love has this amazing power to change hearts and bring people closer to Jesus. Genuine love, expressed through compassionate actions and selfless service, has the ability to break down barriers, dissolve fear, and inspire individuals to open their hearts to the message of the Gospel. Today, I have the privilege of talking with Dan Burke, the founder and President of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation (http://avila-institute.org/). He shares with me some incredible stories about how people showing him profound love opened him up to encounter Jesus and eventually led to his conversion to Catholicism. For Dan, loving others isn't just an option—it's integral to living out his faith and following Jesus' teachings. He sees love as more than just a feeling or an idea; it's a fundamental part of being a Christian. Dan believes that when we love others with compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness, we're not only reflecting God's love but also inspiring others to open their hearts to the message of the Gospel. I can't wait for you to hear Dan's insights on how love can transform lives and lead people closer to Jesus. Join me to learn: * How powerful love can be when trying to bring people closer to Christ and the Church. * How to emulate Christ's love by embracing authenticity and vulnerability. * How to overcome fear and intimidation when sharing the love of Christ with others. * How to live a life centered on love, peace, and service to others. Also, check out his work at https://spiritualdirection.com/. For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 138: Pathways to Renewal: Strategies for Effective Faith Formation with Fr. Tim Donovan
Feb 13 2024
Episode 138: Pathways to Renewal: Strategies for Effective Faith Formation with Fr. Tim Donovan
Do you feel like your religious education efforts are stuck in a rut, merely churning out sacramental milestones? Do you wish your families would experience true conversion and stop disappearing after confirmation? I know how difficult it can be to transform our most institutionalize programs, so I sat down with Fr. Tim Donovan, a priest who’s vision is reshaping the landscape of catechesis and cultivating thriving, fruit-bearing communities. Join me for a discussion with Fr. Tim, founder of Faith and Family Life Catholic Ministries (https://www.fflcm.org/), and you will: Learn the importance of integrating adult, children, and teen programs within a parish, fostering a unified approach to catechesis. Understand the significance of identifying and leveraging different gifts within the parish community, such as galvanizers, enablers, and prayer warriors. Explore the process of managing change effectively within a parish, avoiding pitfalls and fostering a culture of open communication and relational building. Gain insights into successful strategies for transforming faith formation structures, rooted in the principles of communal responsibility and trust in the Spirit's guidance. For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode 137: Making Missionary Disciples in a Parish - A Clear Path
Feb 6 2024
Episode 137: Making Missionary Disciples in a Parish - A Clear Path
Many of you listen to the EquipCast because you want to feel confident sharing your faith. We try to provide practical tools for this, and so we talk a lot about small groups, prayer, evangelizing adults, etc. But these are just tools, parts of a larger strategy to build flourishing parish communities. So, what does it take to actually transform the culture of a parish, to begin witnessing lives changed and to see more people in the pews? A Clear Path to Discipleship. Today, I bring you an episode from the Huntley Leadership Podcast. Ron Huntley, a man who coaches bishops, priests, and ministry leaders all over the world, asked me to be a guest on his podcast to talk about my book: A Clear Path. I want to share this episode with you in order to draw back the veil on some of the big picture work my team and I get to do with your parishes. In today’s episode, you will: * Understand the challenges associated with creating a clear path of discipleship in a parish or diocese. * Explore success stories from parishes that successfully implemented clear paths of discipleship. * Access practical insights and guidance on building a clear path through Jim's book, including success stories and actionable steps. To hear more from Ron Huntley, check out the Huntley Leadership Podcast (https://www.ronhuntley.com/podcast)! And if you want mor information on the book, A Clear Path: How to Make Missionary Disciples in Your Parish, go to https://clearpathbook.com/. For more practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world, go to https://equip.archomaha.org/podcast/. A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com) Special Guest: Ron Huntley.