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Mixed-faith marriage and the search for spiritual community: Stina Kielsmeier-Cook interviewed

by
26 November 2020

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Seven years after marrying a Christian, Stina Kielsmeier-Cook’s husband decided that he didn’t believe anymore.

On this week’s podcast, Vicky Walker interviews Stina about what happened next, and how a group of nuns helped her to navigate her own beliefs.

Stina recounts her experiences in a new book, Blessed Are The Nones (IVP, £11.99 (Church Times Bookshop £10.79)). Read an extract, and an edited summary of this interview, in this week’s Church Times.

“In the book, I tell the story of one year of my life, of continuing to reckon with this grief and trying to understand,” Stina says. “So, now what? How do I live a Christian life when my husband isn’t a Christian any more? And so this term ‘spiritual singleness’ comes to me during a walk in the woods. . . It was a really helpful term for me, because it named the experience that I was going through when I was still happily married, still very much committed and in love with my husband, and yet there was this loneliness I was experiencing.”

As she sought t make sense of her own faith in light of her husband’s deconversion, Stina “stumbled across” a group of Catholic sisters in her neighbourhood. “I wondered if there was something I shared with them because they had committed to this singleness,” she says.

But she discovered: “They don’t consider themselves spiritually single in the way that I considered myself spiritually single, and that points to this discovery: that none of us can live a Christian faith on our own; there is a body of Christ to which we all belong.”

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadSoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms.

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