Advent Podcast Explores Embodiment of Christ in Diverse Bodies

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, OR
Posted Dec 12, 2022

The Rev. Shana McCauley, Canon for Cathedral Life at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Ore., has had bodies on her mind.

Every day of Advent, Trinity has been releasing reflections as part of their second annual Advent podcast – their version of an aural Advent calendar. These short meditations are meant to be an opportunity to rest and reflect, helping listeners to refocus on this season of quiet expectation in the midst of the hectic secular holiday season.

The theme of this year’s podcast is Advent for Every Body, centering on the incarnation in the messy and real-human body sense, rather than the abstract & heady.

“When we were considering this year’s theme, we started to wonder what it means that Jesus came as a vulnerable baby, especially at a time when infant and maternal mortality were so high,” says McCauley.  “How can we deepen our understanding of God as we celebrate the diversity of our human bodies, many of which have been held up for generations as incomplete or less than – both in the church and in society at large?”

“After the last few years, I think we’re more aware of bodies in our world,” adds Trinity Dean Nathan LeRud. “We’re considering more closely what bodies that have been in power, bodies that haven’t been, bodies that are vulnerable in particular kinds of ways.

“What does it mean that God chooses to come as an infant born to refugee parents in a country under occupation – a baby who seems to have all the cards stacked against him, and how can this inform how we understand and celebrate our own bodies and those of the people around us?”

This season’s guests are a diverse group of clergy and laypeople, ecumenical and nonreligious people representing many genders and embodied experiences. Their 5-6 minute reflections explore what it means to navigate the world in bodies that are considered “other” or even shameful; what it means to love one’s body while experiencing terminal illness or body dysmorphia or the loss of an infant.

Contributors comprise authors, sex educators, fat activists, midwives, hospice chaplains, and others from across the country, including the Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles (Forward Movement), the Rev. Heidi Havercamp (author), the Rev. Hope Benko (VP of Enrollment Management and Student Services at Seminary of the Southwest), the Very Rev. Nathan LeRud(Dean of Trinity Cathedral Portland), and the Rev. Dr. Maria McDowell (scholar, blogger), among many others.

Advent for Every Body can be found on the Sermons from Trinity Cathedral Portland podcast feed or in any major podcast app, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music. Episodes drop daily at 7:30 am Pacific.


Watch Canon McCauley and Cathedral Dean Nathan LeRud introduce Advent for Every Body: An Advent Calendar Podcast on YouTube.