By the Well is a weekly lectionary-based podcast for preachers. Each week we’ll take a deep dive into some of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary, exploring their ancient setting and how we might preach them today.

Preaching has always been difficult but as we enter 2021 and beyond, the task is getting harder. As Australians, we are conscious that we preach into a culture that is secular and often unfamiliar with the biblical narrative that has shaped our Western worldview. This presents new challenges and exciting possibilities. We aim to take the Bible seriously, but not literally, bringing the best biblical scholarship into conversation with lived experience, pastoral need, and theology. We hope that our conversations will feed yours, wherever you find yourself preaching and discussing the Word of God.

Our name, By the Well, is a nod to the Samaritan woman in John 4. In many ways she is an ordinary woman, perhaps on the margins of her community. When she encounters Jesus during her daily task of drawing water at the well, it transforms her and her faith. In discovering the “living water” that is Christ, she becomes a preacher and evangelist for her community, bringing them to encounter the good news of God for themselves.

- Fran and Robyn

Fran Barber

Rev Fran Barber (B.A (Hons); B.D. (Hons); Dip. Ed

Fran is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church of Australia where she has served in congregational and chaplaincy ministry for over 19 years. In her current capacity as Coordinator of Continuing Education for Ministers, Fran supports and resources colleagues in the joys and challenges of ministry in the 21st century. A wide reader, Fran loves to explore the art and practice of preaching, engagement in public theology, and discover more about church history.

Robyn Whitaker

Rev Dr Robyn Whitaker BSc, BD (Hons), MTheol, PhD

Robyn is Senior Lecturer, New Testament, at Pilgrim Theological College within the University of Divinity. She specialises in the Book of Revelation with particular attention to the visual culture in which the text emerged and the visual rhetoric of biblical literature. She has published on Revelation, Luke, and Mark’s gospel.

Robyn frequently writes on issues relating to gender, sexuality, politics, and the Bible in popular and mainstream media outlets. You can find some of her articles here.