Friends and Followers of Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions Podcasts,
The Project: I (and others at the Open Stories Foundation) have been been planning for over a year to fully launch the Mormon Transitions project — a community effort to provide multimedia materials, events, community, research, and ultimately a book or two — targeting those transitioning away from orthodox Mormonism, and towards either unorthodox/progressive Mormonism or post-Mormonism.
The Themes: Some of the central topics of interest for this project include: healthy marriages, mixed-faith marriages, raising healthy/happy children, alternative forms of (secular) spirituality, healthy sexuality, finding community, “trading up” after leaving religious orthodoxy (in terms of identity, morality, meaning, purpose, community, etc.).
The People: Some of the people who have initially expressed interest in helping to lead this project can be found here (with more to follow).
The Progress: We have made great initial progress in 2016 on this initiative (e.g., some incredibly successful events, several podcast episodes (sincere thanks Kristy Money!), a few blog posts, etc.), but I am now prepared to make this project my central focus for 2017 (along with an emerging team of amazing co-leads).
The Deliverables: The central deliverables for the project (as currently envisioned) will be the following:
- Podcast: An expanded podcast (me as the main host) that includes three types of episodes: a) people telling their stories specifically about their Mormon transitions, b) mental health professionals hosting a “call-in show” to provide practical advice for people in a Mormon transition, and c) interviewing experts on topics around religious transitions.
- Events: We will be holding several Mormon Transitions retreats and workshops through the world this year. Some of the areas who have shown interest include Seattle, Portland, Northern California, Southern California, Houston, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C., Southern Utah, Toronto, and Utah County. Are there others? Please email us at email@example.com if you want to help us organize an event in your area.
- Research: We would love to gather, analyze, and publish research data on demographics, stories, and best practices for navigating a Mormon transition.
- Books: We plan to write (with your support) and publish 1-2 books over the coming two years to specifically address these themes. Content from these books will come (in part) from you as community members.
The Ask: Before we launch in January, 2017, we would love to do the following:
- Community: Begin forming a community of supporters to help us shape the project. If you are interested in helping out, please join this Facebook community to stay abreast of what we will be doing in the coming months. Also, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering for this effort, along with a description of the basic skills/talents that you are offering.
- Your ideas: Please send us your ideas either: a) as a voice message — click the “Send Voicemail” button at the right border of this page, leaving us your first name, city, and description of your idea – we will be selecting a few voicemails to play during our first episode of Mormon Transitions Podcast (2017 edition, b) as a comment on this blog post, or c) via email at email@example.com.
The Prize: The best idea that we hear will win a $100 prize, to be awarded a week from today – determined by yours truly. 🙂 The ideas can be about any aspect of what you read above.
The Excitement: I have not been as excited about a project this much since the founding of Mormon Stories Podcast in 2005. I can’t tell you how eager I am/we are to get this rolling in January, 2017
Tons of love and gratitude to you all.
John Dehlin and the Mormon Transitions Team