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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    A unique ministry: Common Good Radio

    April 10, 2019 / By Rev. Della Ludwig

    Editor's Note: This is the first article in our series about unique ministries. If your church have a unique ministry that you would like to share, send us your story at

    “You’re listening to Common Good Radio for all God’s children,” chimes in another year of award-winning programming from Common Good Radio (CGR). This all-volunteer 24/7 digital radio station is entering into its 11th year of production as a labor of love. But CGR is not only a place to listen. It also invites participation and trains young people to lift their voices for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).

    “Because we believe we have a responsibility to empower young people to live out their faith and spirituality, Common Good Radio has created programming for children to listen to one another and the world around them, speak out, and be heard,” shared the Rev. Dr. Robin Blair, creator and executive director of CGR.

    “Common Good Radio opens the minds and hearts of children and teens to the power of media that includes their voices, so they are equipped and encouraged to contribute to the common good. It is faith formation using 21st century digital tools. In our tradition I like to remember this as a way to honor the covenant made at their baptism, too.”

    Common Good Radio stands in contrast to our current media culture where messages are often raw, unedited, or scripted for a singular purpose of profit-making often using the hearts and minds of young people without care for their well-being. If you have ever wondered why children’s programming is more violent or sexually explicit than ever, the reason is to keep your kids stimulated enough to stay glued to the screen(s)to influence consumer behavior.

    The sad spiritual void of commercial media is real; leaving a generation of people confused about the essential role they fill in this world, or distracting us all from loving one another in the peace of Christ. Simply put, CGR hopes to inform children and families to pay attention to and use media for more than the commercialization of childhood.

     “We embrace the opportunity to cultivate media literacy as a spiritual practice,” Dr. Blair said. “We are focused on how God’s truths show up in the media we consume. And if they do not, we notice that, too.”

    Common Good Radio is an alternative to today’s media because it lifts a steady message of compassion and kindness in homes, faith communities, schools, and after-school programs. We have gracious space for the sounds of diversity in story, blessing, and song. Common Good Radio provides spiritual care for families and support for families through podcasts, like Faith Parenting and Married to the Media; movie reviews by adults; and The Projects, by the youth.   

    UMAC award-winning programming includes our website and podcasts, like, the Peace Project, the Casowasco Project, Anatomy of a Lockdown, and Married to the Media. Common Good Radio has also been invited to offer a round-table discussion during this year’s NAMLE (National Association of Media Literacy in Education) Conference in Washington DC this June. All this is accomplished with volunteers and a lot of learning, patience, and love. 

    Common Good Radio is heard in 125 countries around the world. From Cambodia to Canada, Botswana to Belize, Thailand to Trinidad, Australia to Albania, and the USA people are listening to manifestations of the spirit for the Common Good.

    Common Good Radio offers workshops to faith communities, adults and youth, and schools. These workshops allow young people to learn how to use their voice in faith formation in both church and pop culture, teaching media literacy by creating digital media. Such exploration promotes love and grace because it looks for the common thread within the diversity of expression. 

    Common Good Radio invites the youth in your community to join the movement. To learn more visit CGR operates solely on donations, consider a missional partnership to help spread the good news, using the sounds of love. Conference Advance Special 3118.

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."