Episode 50 – Eric’s Finale with Brandon Andress

On Eric’s final episode as co-host of Revealing Voices, we invited Brandon Andress back for his second interview. In 2021, Brandon published his fourth book, “What Can’t Be Hidden.” At the beginning of the show, we discuss the writing process as he switched to fiction for the first time. Brandon shares his new sense of freedom in an allegorical writing style and unique ability to present spiritual themes through the relationships of the characters.

In the second half of the show, Eric thanks Brandon and Tony for the role they have played in his life as spiritual mentors. Brandon led a weekly Men’s Confession group for 4 years. Tony and Eric co-led a weekly Faithful Friends mental health ministry. Both of these groups were the source of many strong, enduring relationships that developed through transparent communication. Many topics are explored by the author threesome.

From Eric: “Thank you listeners for the last 4 years of listening to this podcast. This show has always been about exploring the meaning of healing and I’m grateful to have learned many perspectives, stories, and experiences. I’m thankful for Tony’s commitment to the show and I’ll continue to encourage him as a true leader of mental health ministry in our country.”

As promised in episode, here it the link to the native plant ecology work that Eric has been devoting himself to in Columbus. As spring approaches, he will be putting down the mic and picking up a shovel!

Episode 49 – Dr. Bruce and Sally Riddle in Studio E

Eric’s parents, Dr. Bruce and Sally Riddle, join us in Studio E in this penultimate episode of Eric hosting the podcast. Bruce shares his story living with bipolar disorder, discussing the struggle getting through his med school internship and residency. Sally talks through the decision not to share the diagnosis with friends and work contacts for over 40 years. After Bruce’s hospitalization in 2020, they made the decision to share the diagnosis publicly. In this episode, they talk through the experience of 5 decades of marriage and the benefits of finally being able to share with friends and their church.

Some questions explored on this episode:

When did Bruce first start experiencing bipolar symptoms?

How did he navigate the journey to becoming a doctor while struggling through depressive and manic episodes?

How have their relationships with friends changed since deciding to share his diagnosis?

How did their experience prepare them for supporting Eric when he first experienced depression in high school?

What does healing mean to them?

Episode 45 – Saints who Struggled with Diana Gruver

Diana Gruver (MA, Gordon-Conwell) writes about discipleship and spiritual formation in the every day. She is the author of Companions in the Darkness: Seven Saints Who Struggled with Depression and Doubt, and serves as a writer and communications director for Vere Institute. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.

The book highlights:

  1. Martin Luther
  2. Hannah Allen
  3. David Brainerd
  4. William Cowper
  5. Charles Spurgeon
  6. Mother Teresa
  7. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Contact Diana Gruver at www.dianagruver.com or through Twitter @dianagruver and Facebook @dianagruverwriter.

Listen for a special offer in the interview for Diana to do a Zoom call with a small group who is studying Companions in the Darkness.

Some topics include:

What does healing mean to you?

Which saint did you most identify with?

In her research, did you discover many individuals who struggled with mental health?

What lessons did you learn from the people highlighted in the book?


Redbud Writer’s Guild – Vibrant and diverse movement of Christian women who create in community and who influence culture and faith

Vere Institute – Empowers church leaders to cultivate whole life disciples of Christ for everyday Kingdom impact.

I am Greta – Documentary (2020) – The story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is told through compelling, never-before-seen footage in this intimate documentary from Swedish director Nathan Grossman

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

Episode 44 – At the Nexus with Eli Perez

Eli Perez serves as the convener of NEXUS – a collaborative group that is working to bridge gaps in mental health to support women, youth, and individuals coming into contact with the justice system. NEXUS, which stands for Neuroscience Experts and Cross-Sector Unconventional Stakeholders, aims to bring together diverse groups of people to share ideas and create new solutions in mental health. NEXUS is powered by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Eli serves as the Director of Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Management at Otsuka, focusing on mental health and other CNS conditions. Eli began working in patient advocacy in order to bring his professional work closer to the communities he serves. Eli’s vision for his work is to make new connections, drive collaboration, and create solutions that address unmet needs in “patient” advocacy and professional communities.

When he’s not at work, Eli enjoys playing golf badly and watching sci-fi movies with his family. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three kids.

Some Topics Include:

Who are some of the “unconventional” stakeholders in Nexus?

Why are Women, Youth, and Justice System the three focus areas of Nexus?

How is Nexus involved in promoting prevention?

How did Nexus pivot change its communication strategy during the pandemic?

What does healing mean to you?

Learn more at the Nexus Website

Episode 43 – Healing Highlights from Seasons 2 & 3

The animating question of Revealing Voices is “What does healing mean to you?”

Tony and Eric have explored a wide diversity of responses to this question from our guests over the last 3 years. You will hear the voices of 15 different people in this episode, ranging from a Mental health Peer Counselor to Pastor to Landscape Architect.

As Tony and i introduce each of the highlights, we will reference the episode where you can find the full interview.

If you are interested in hearing highlights from Season 1, listen to Episode 29.

Episode 42- That Healing Feeling (Part 2)

This is part 2 with Sibyl Towner. We had so much fun with her and forgot to ask her our key question, “What does healing mean to you?” This episode focuses on her response to that question.

The episode begins with my conversation with her the day after our original interview (Tony was not in studio). The second half of the episode has our reflections, since we did not share on Episode 41.


The Spring Retreat Center in Oldenburg, IN

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Writing Wild; Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See The Natural World by Kathryn Aalto

See Episode 41 for Shownotes on Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, and Henri Nouwen

Episode 41 – Retreating with Sibyl Towner (Part 1)

Sibyl Towner has a passion to help people identify the voice of God that is within them and to encourage a responsiveness to that voice. She has over 50 years of experience in extended household living as well as decades of pastoral leadership positions at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati and Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Noted for welcoming and listening across the ages and appreciating the gift of both men and women, she delights in creating a sacred and safe space to meet with God and others.

She currently serves as a co- director of The Springs Christian Retreat Center where she teaches a two-year certificate program for Spiritual Direction through the School of Sustainable Faith. She is co- founder of One Life Maps and co-author of Listen to my Life, a tool for recognizing and responding to God in your life.

Sibyl received training through The Sustainable Faith of School of Spiritual Direction and has served for ten years as a spiritual director at The Transforming Center. She is knowledgeable in the Enneagram.

Some topics include:

How does The Springs Retreat Center uniquely support pastors who are struggling with burnout?

What is the arc of her ministry that led to becoming co-director at The Springs?

How does Sibyl define spiritual mentoring and how does she practice it?

How has she used her understanding of the Enneagram in her own life?


The Springs Retreat Center – Sibyl’s retreat center near Oldenburg, IN (halfway between Cincinnati and Indianapolis)

One Life Maps – Sibyl’s personal growth and spiritual mentoring website

Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s abbey – location of important spiritual development for Sibyl

Enneagram Institute – Sibyl briefly touches on her use of Enneagram in her mentoring practice and personal development

Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

Prodigal God by Tim Keller

Episode 39 – Environmental Stewardship with Rachel Kavathe

Rachel Kavathe is an artist, landscape architect, and city planner. Her work focuses on creative placemaking and site-specific art installations. Her studio is located in Columbus, Indiana. 

Rachel has over 15 years of experience working with communities to create, enhance, and celebrate the genius loci, or spirit of a place. Her work ranges in scale from community-wide master planning and public space design, to public art installations, and environmental art.

Her business can be found at www.locicreativellc.com.

Since 2017, Rachel and Eric have been working on creating “Pollinator Parks” in Columbus, IN with a focus on Blackwell Park and Pleasant Grove.

Some topics include:

What childhood experiences helped shape her passion for environmental advocacy?

How can an individual proactively advocate for the environment and reduce negative impacts of climate change?

How has public support changed in relation to investing in parks and using native plants?

What vision does Rachel have for future work projects related to wellness?

What does healing mean to you?


Just Mercy movie

Central Park 5 documentary

Friends of Pollinator Parks Facebook Group – Rachel and Eric started this group in Columbus to encourage people to invest in parks and use native wildflowers in public and private landscapes

Rachel’s #100daysofsculpture Instagram project

Eric’s #100plantproject Instagram project

Rachel’s blog (coming soon) at www.ideasonnature.com

A Timeless MLK Eulogy from 57 years ago

From pandemic to protest. 2020 has been a difficult year. We seek spiritual leadership. During this time, Tony and I look to the healing words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This eulogy was given in 1963 following a bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. “They were discussing the eternal meaning of love”, he says, reflecting on the girls last moments within the walls of the church.

A timeline of the events leading up the event was summarized in a 2019 in a CNN article:

September 15, 1963 – A bomb blast at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, kills four African-American girls during church services. At least 14 others are injured in the explosion, including Sarah Collins, the 12-year-old sister of victim Addie Mae Collins, who loses an eye.Three former Ku Klux Klan members are eventually convicted of murder for the bombing.

Addie Mae Collins, 14
Denise McNair, 11
Carole Robertson, 14
Cynthia Wesley, 14

September 15, 1963 – 
– Riots break out, and two African-American boys, Virgil Ware, 13, and Johnny Robinson, 16, are also killed. In all, at least 20 people are injured from the initial bombing and the ensuing riots.
– Alabama Governor George Wallace sends 500 National Guardsmen and 300 state troopers to the city. The next day, they are joined by 500 police officers and 150 sheriffs’ deputies.

September 16, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy responds by saying, “If these cruel and tragic events can only awaken that city and state – if they can only awaken this entire nation to a realization of the folly of racial injustice and hatred and violence, then it is not too late for all concerned to unite in steps toward peaceful progress before more lives are lost.”

The hope embodied in this eulogy must remain in our national aspirations. We pray that we are striving to become a more just and equitable society – a core part of King’s dream. It pains us that George Floyd’s death is not an outlier, but only another death of people of color at the hands of the police.

A BBC article lists a timeline of deaths since Eric Garner’s death by choke hold in 2014. Say their names in your thoughts and prayers, but more importantly, proactively work on behalf of those most oppressed who live in a nation desperately needing healing.

Episode 35 – Spouse Takeover!

Jen Riddle and Susan Lockwood-Roberts are guest hosts on this very special episode of Revealing Voices. Be prepared to have a different side of Tony and Eric “revealed” by their beautiful wives…..