Welcome to Desert Voices–spiritual conversations helping us thrive in the desert.

Welcome to Desert Voices–spiritual conversations helping us thrive in the desert.


We spark curiosity and boldly explore spirituality to contribute to human flourishing.

Written By, Shaleen Kendrick

Let’s talk about Desert Voices. What are we?  We are a RESOURCE HUB to thrive in desert spirituality. We share our stories along with stories of those who walk in desert spaces.  We know what it’s like to be hot, thirsty, disoriented, and spiritually on death’s doorstep. Ten years ago I hit a breaking point and had a choice to make – turn in my Christian card and walk away, or discover a different way to express Christ within me.  Because both Holland and I need spiritual water to drink, we now curate and share resources that WATER OUR SOULS!  

Specifically, we curate resources that highlight perspectives offered by feminists, Womanists, Blacks, indigenous people, queer people, and people of color, along with white men who celebrate and support the former voices.  For far too long Euro-centric, cis-gender, straight male voices have dominated the realm of spirituality, oppressing or silencing other voices.  With that said, we are not man-haters!  We love men!  We are married and madly in love with men, we also gave birth to men.  We celebrate the men in our lives…and also, it’s time to unlock the stranglehold male voices have had through history.  We have missed out on the radiant kaleidoscope of diverse perspectives.  We stand for the liberation of humankind.  It’s time to make room at the “table” for those often seen as “other.”

We design each podcast and our writings around what SPARKS our CURIOSITY!

We find ourselves in liminal spaces – too progressive for the fundamentals, too fundamental for the progressives, too liberal for the conservatives, too conservative for the liberals..too much of this or too little of that! LIMINAL means the space between.

Desert Voices is a brave space where questions and doubts are welcome – we will BOLDLY EXPLORE spirituality by asking A LOT OF QUESTIONS and ENGAGING WITH OUR DOUBTS, not hiding from them.

We will not be providing answers!  We are not an ANSWER HUB – we are a space to ask questions, be honest about our doubts, and excavate our embedded ideologies.  If you’re looking to be given answers about what to believe – you’ll need to look elsewhere – there are many, many, many places providing answers and certainty. We are not one of those places!  We believe you are your own, fully qualified, spiritual authority. It’s time to take back your power from the pulpit; living and preaching from the pulpit of your life.

Here at Desert Voices, we live by the theological assumption that “all we need is written in our hearts.”  My professional mentor in Spiritual Direction Teresa Blythe writes, “‘It is not too high or too far away—the word is in your hearts for you to observe.’ (Deuteronomy 30: 10-20) We believe the Divine is already at work in the hearts and minds of all people, drawing them closer to love and leading them on a good path. The spiritual practice of discernment—in which people pray and seek holy guidance along their journey—is the practice of trusting that God’s desire for all is written on their hearts for them to observe. The role of a spiritual guide is to help them locate it, honor it and trust in it.”  

Instead of drawing hard conclusions that indulge addictions to doctrinal certainty, Desert Voices is a space where you can BOLDLY explore your Christian faith and your deeply embedded assumptions about the character of God.  Author, Pastor, Activist, and friend Doug Pagitt writes, in his book Flipped, “I have wondered how the provocative, powerful, beautiful message of Jesus ended up producing the kind of religious life I see in the world.”

We are wondering the same thing!  Is the expression of Christianity we see dominating America really the way of Jesus?  Doug goes on to write, “You are making your way through life and suddenly find yourself upended by an idea. It’s the kind of idea that stays with you and eventually makes a home in your thinking. Over time you can’t imagine life without it. I call this a Flip.”  Holland, Penny, and I have Flipped in our expression of what it means to be Christian.

We have joined the chorus of brave voices calling out in the desert….there is a way for all creation to flourish.  Personally, we needed to pivot from following conservative/Fundamentalist theologies to find such a way.

We are inspired by John the Baptist –– a fellow desert dweller ––who cried out in the wilderness following the way of Christ to connection, health, and wholeness (John 1:23).  John’s voice invites us to follow the way of Christ and participate in heaven on earth.  As an evangelical Christian, I believed my role in life was to be a missionary.  In my circles of faith, that meant my mission was to bring God to people and places where God’s presence was absent (separate from them).  Since I Flipped, my expression of faith has become contemplative and mystical as I follow the way of Christ. I now understand my work in the world is to participate in union with God who is already present in everyone and everywhere.

We are discovering the Christian life is not so much about bringing the Kingdom of God to earth (as if it were absent and waiting for me to bring it), nor is it about getting “saved” and escaping earth to ethereal utopia heaven. Christ in me is about discovering the Kingdom of God is already on earth.  Heaven is near, here, and now waiting for us to participate in the goodness of it. Desert Voices joins the brave voices calling out for us all to recognize and embrace the Kingdom here on earth. 

Jesus reveals the nature of God is not anger, but non-violent, radically inclusive, unconditional love for all humankind.  

Desert Voices upholds Father Richard Rohr’s understanding that “a mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else.”  We believe salvation is about experiencing connection, health, and wholeness –– here and now.  The Gospel proclaims GOOD NEWS, the kind of GOOD NEWS that celebrates the full humanity of all people and thrives in diversity.  The kind of Gospel that elevates women, BIPOC, and queer people to positions of leadership at every level in every institution. The kind of Gospel where all humankind can flourish. 

BUT, and this is the Big BUT…this expression of faith can move you out of the places you once belonged. It can leave you in a wilderness that feels like the Arizona desert: unyielding, hot as f***, lonely, thirsty, disorienting, and seemingly barren. 


Yet, when the desert is engaged, you discover it is teeming with life, resilience, and breathtaking beauty. The desert spaces in life can be wild, free, majestic, and mysterious.

Let’s discover watering holes together and push the human race forward.

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