one year recaps :: bonus episode

Adrien's first birthday candle

over the last few episodes, stewart, thomas and jonathan have shared some of their favorite moments from the something beautiful podcast.

we’ve complied them together into a bonus episode for your listening enjoyment.

thanks again for listening and we look forward to sharing another full year with you!

related ::
kevin hendricks on the sbpodcast
ron buford on the sbpodcast
andrew jones on the sbpodcast
trucker frank on the sbpodcast
tribes discussion on the sbpodcast
mark horvath on the sbpodcast
adele sakler on the sbpodcast
lindsay cofield on the sbpodcast
max fincher on the sbpodcast
micah davis on the sbpodcast

music ::
great lake swimmers – i am part of a large family
spiritualized – shine a light
castanets – sway
tripp fuller – in your people

photo from koalie

ron buford :: 2.6


this week we talk with Ron Buford, the man who envisioned the controversial United Church of Christ’s God is Still Speaking campaign.

Ron talks about his own journey back to church, some of the things he has discovered along the way and what he’s doing in the UK working with the United Reformed Church.

Ron’s identity-building project at the UCC married progressive theology with old-fashioned business savvy – walking proof that faith and enterprise can co-exist in a healthy, fruitful tension. Ron’s work also demonstrates ways that other non-profit organizations can employ out-of-the box approaches to get more than their often-limited dollars can buy when they overcome what noted author; Edwin Friedman called “a failure of nerve.”

Ron brings public relations and marketing experience from such companies as CIGNA, AT&T and Blue Cross. He also has worked with several large hospitals across the US.

Ron loves to try his hand at new things and tough challenges. He had his own start-up dot com company that was covered by Business Week, Newsweek, and hundreds of publications. Business Week called his invention of the electronic safe-deposit box “a development to watch.” Although operating on a shoestring budget and a small staff, the start-up managed to acquire clients in all 50 states, Canada, Europe and Japan and formed alliances with some large companies. It was an idea well ahead of its time.

Ron devised the blueprint for the UCC’s “God is still speaking,” campaign in collaboration with Randy Varcho, graphic designer. Buford had been a member of the UCC for more than a decade when he came back to his native hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, to work at the church’s national offices. Laboring “under the radar,” he saw that the denomination had an identity problem: the church’s rich progressive history – its defense of the Amistad slave-ship rebels in the 1830s, its leadership in the abolitionist and civil rights movements, its groundbreaking decisions to ordain African Americans, Native Americans, women, LGBT persons and so many others was too often unknown to UCC members and by the general public. The Stillspeaking Initiative launched a movement within the UCC to claim its history, heritage, and core values, walking boldly toward the future, with the assurance . . . God is still speaking,

“As a church that often speaks to the head,” says Buford, “we needed to use more of our emotional intelligence and also speaks to the heart. People needed to fall in love with their church again.”

as usual we’d love to hear your thoughts on what Ron says so get in touch or leave a comment!

United Church of Christ (USA)
United Church of Christ on Twitter
United Reformed Church (UK)

gundonark – Faith
gundonark – Hope