Season 22: Episode 4 | Hope in the Midst of Collective Suffering

This week we are taking a break from our conversations with Curt and his book The Deepest Place to talk about a different aspect of suffering: the communal, unmerited suffering that comes from oppression. Friend of the Transforming Center, Leo Ayala, is back with us to discuss this important topic. Leo and Ruth talk about the suffering his community in Puerto Rico has suffered as a part of the colonization and oppression of his country. Leo shares how no one taught him how to suffer in a Christian way and the particular problem of a faith without lament. Finally, Leo gives us practices and processes that help this kind of collective suffering form durable hope.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Leo Ayala served as a family pastor for over 15 years and later as lead pastor. For four years, he has been recovering from burnout, anxiety disorder, and depression. On his journey to heal his soul and develop new life rhythms, he completed Transforming Communities 15 and 18 with the Transforming Center. He is finishing a DMin. in Spiritual Formation on the topic of spirituality during seasons of disorientation. He is a liaison pastor for the Caminando Juntos (Urban Strategies) program, where he looks to improve the holistic well-being of Latino pastors.


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Listen to other episodes from Season 22 Access past podcast seasons

Mentioned in the episode:
The Deepest Place: Suffering and the Formation of Hope  by Curt Thompson
Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong-Chan Rah
Season 19: Lent Week 6 episode with Soong-Chan Rah

We are now accepting applications for Transforming Community 20! Use the code Podcast20 to receive $50 off your application fee. Learn more and apply HERE.

This season will not follow the lectionary readings as closely as past seasons. Scripture for Lent 2024 can be found HERE. A digital version of our reflections for Lent resource, Lent: A Season of Returning is available for purchase in our bookstore.

Music Credit:
Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded from Lent Music in Solitude

Support the podcast! This season patrons will receive weekly bonus episodes entitled “The Work,” where Curt and Ruth will discuss and provide practical and applicable practices that open us up to God’s presence in our suffering so that durable hope can be formed. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self! We are now accepting applications for Transforming Community 20! Use the code Podcast20 to receive $50 off your application fee. Learn more and apply HERE.

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Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
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