Podcast Listening and Sharing Circle

Occurred on March 13, 2024

This March, we invited you to join us to experience the second season of our podcast, Climate Changed, in community! You joined podcast hosts Nicole Diroff and Ben Yosua-Davis, along with podcast producer Peterson Toscano, to listen to some favorite moments from the most recent episode, featuring Dr. Shanon Shah, and to reflect together on some of its themes. Our gathering included activities and conversation based on our Season 2 podcast discussion guide.   

Episodes and transcripts available here

Meet Our Podcast Hosts

Rev. Nicole Diroff is ordained in the United Church of Christ and serves as Program Director at The BTS Center, where she coordinates the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Center’s programmatic offerings. She holds expertise in facilitation, data management, and strategic planning. Nicole serves on the United Church of Christ Council for Climate Justice and is training to be a Maine Master Naturalist. She lives with her family in Scarborough, Maine.

Prior to her work with The BTS Center, Nicole served as the Associate Director at Interfaith Philadelphia, where she coordinated the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia and directed the creation and expansion of the organization’s many Dare to Understand initiatives.

Nicole is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Ohio Wesleyan University. When she’s not leading programs or facilitating meetings, she can be found exploring tide pools with her son, hiking with her dogs, or reading a memoir at a local coffee shop.

Ben Yosua-Davis serves on The BTS Center staff team as Director of Applied Research. For five seasons, Ben produced and hosted a podcast called “Reports from the Spiritual Frontier” which chronicled the day-to-day lives of leaders innovating new forms of spiritual community. Previously, he lived in Haverhill, MA, where he co-planted a new church called The Vine, one of the earliest mainline missional church expressions, which gathered in homes and coffee shops; hosted Free Markets, game nights, and block parties; and worked as a community partner to make its city a better place to live.

He is also worship leader for the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, a two-year formation process in the foundations of Christian spirituality, which welcomes leading spiritual thinkers from across the ecumenical spectrum.

Ben is a Maine native and now lives on Chebeague Island, Maine with his wife, Melissa, his son Michael, and his daughters, Genevieve and Emeline; where he directs the community chorus and delivers tins of cookies to unsuspecting neighbors. When not wearing one of his myriad hats or hanging out with his children, you’ll probably find him playing Dungeons and Dragons, watching basketball, or renovating his old island farmhouse.

Meet Our Podcast Producer

After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to “de-gay” himself through conversion therapy, Peterson Toscano came out a quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights. He asks himself and his audiences unusual questions: Who are the gender outlaws in the Bible? What is a queer response to climate change?  What is the role of comedy when addressing trauma? His film, Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible explores the stories of gender non-conforming Bible characters; his Bible scholarship has been featured in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America.

Peterson has been featured in People Magazine, The Times of London, the Trya Banks Show, and NPR Morning Edition. In addition to his original performances, Peterson produces multiple podcasts including Citizens Climate Radio, Bubble&Squeak, and the Bible Bash Podcast. In much of his work, Peterson helps people see climate change from fresh angles while stirring up empathy towards those most affected. Wherever he goes, he brings stories of determination, resiliency, and a cast of comic characters. He lives in Pennsylvania with his husband, Glen Retief.