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Shaping Families November guests tackle heavyweight issues


Jonathan Larson and Almeda Wright tackle race, religion, the Taliban

Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia joint release
November 24, 2012
-MennoMedia staff

Harrisonburg, Va., and Waterloo, Ont.—A program looking at how one Christian humanitarian aid worker and his family made friends with Taliban followers in Afghanistan, and another exploring the impact of race on faith development, are two of the issues addressed in upcoming Shaping Families programs.

Almeda Wright, assistant professor of religion and youth ministry at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina, focuses on teen spiritual development and African American religion, as well as intersections of religion and public life. Wright’s research has shown that African American adolescents tend to separate their religious convictions from everyday life, something she wants to help change. The program with Wright begins airing November 3 (available online one day earlier).

Jonathan Larson, storyteller and author of the new book Making Friends among the Taliban: A Peacemaker’s Journey in Afghanistan (Herald Press, Oct. 2012), speaks on the November 17 program, telling the story of Dan Terry, a United Methodist humanitarian aid worker killed in a 2010 ambush in Afghanistan, the same shooting that claimed the life of MCC worker Glen Lapp. Larson’s storytelling can be heard beginning November 17 (online Nov. 16).

Other guests on November Shaping Families programs include:

  • November 10: “Losing a Mom to Suicide.” Stephen Akinduro lost his mother to suicide when he was still a child; he talks about the impact that had on his life and why he holds out hope to others.
  • November 24: “Child Abuse and Neglect.” Jeannette Harder, professor at the Grace Abbott School of Social Work in Omaha, Nebraska, explains why churches must be vigilant in protecting children from abuse at home, church, and elsewhere. Harder also helped found Dove’s Nest, an organization dedicated to protecting children.

Shaping Families began January 2010 and is now airing on 22 stations in Canada and the U.S. All programs can also be heard online at The program is produced by MennoMedia, an agency of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. A station listing can be found at

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