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AFR and Kevin Allen to Launch Live Call-in Show

"Ancient Faith Today With Kevin Allen," AFR's new flagship national program, is slated to launch at the end of Bright Week on April 22, 2012.

Allen, the host of the award-winning interview podcast, "The Illumined Heart," will draw on his background in Orthodox media to discuss a wide variety of issues with knowledgeable guests, all through the lens of the Orthodox faith and tradition. "Ancient Faith Today" will stream live and allow for call-ins from around the globe, twice a month on Sunday evenings at 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. asked host Kevin Allen to share his hopes and plans for this new venture.

1. Kevin, tell us about your history with Orthodox internet radio.

I hosted an interview program called “The Illumined Heart” on Ancient Faith Radio from 2007 through April 2011 with a few hiatuses in between. We logged 5, 251 minutes and 49 seconds in 176 programs with Orthodox and non-Orthodox laity, clergy, monastics, theologians, writers and Episcopal leaders on a wide range of subjects with the common theme of “spirituality” and “church life." The program began as a parish media project and Ancient Faith Radio produced it on its Talk Radio line-up as a regular program as a downloadable podcast. In addition, I have been a listener of many of the other fine podcasts on AFR myself through the years.

2.  Looking back on these years, what would you say has been the single most rewarding aspect of this work, and what has been the most challenging?

The motivating force for me in doing these interviews over the years were questions of my own about our Orthodox faith tradition, and the stories of others who made the journey. Someone once called me a “religion geek” and I thought that was a fair description! Being able to have an extended conversation with some of the brightest and most interesting people in Orthodoxy has definitely been the most rewarding aspect of the work, along with the research that goes into my preparation for each interview. The most challenging parts of it were keeping the topical material fresh and non-repetitive, finding and scheduling people to speak with, and doing the technical parts of the recording.

3. What was the genesis for this new show, and what void does it fill in Orthodox media?

Ancient Faith Today is what Ancient Faith Radio and Orthodox Internet radio have been missing -- a live interactive conversation program. Ancient Faith Today fills that void! Topics will cover all of life through the lens of Scripture and the teaching and canonical tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church. I’ll speak with knowledgeable guests about matters of faith, social issues, global events, politics, interfaith affairs, church affairs, politics as they affect matters of faith, journeys to faith and Orthodoxy, theology and apologetics, cults, atheism, the paranormal, New Age and Eastern religions! More than just “talk radio” Ancient Faith Today will hopefully become Orthodox Christianity’s platform for illumining and informative conversation about subjects that matter! There is no other live (streaming) call-in show with an Orthodox Christian perspective on television, radio or Internet radio.

4.  A practical question: how will this all work? How will people be able to talk to you and your guests via their computers?

Without getting too technical, we will use the latest professional equipment used by major networks designed to get the best possible quality from public IP networks and mobile phone data services. This new technology makes it possible for me to be in my home studio in southern California with a guest(s), in-studio or by telephone, but engineered in the AFR studios in Indiana where they will include live calls from listeners worldwide (screened by screeners). It should make for a fascinating new format, where we can begin to build a global interactive Orthodox community of listeners and callers.

5.  What do you anticipate being the most unique aspect of this new venture?

The live and listener call in aspects make this format unique for Orthodox radio. With the previous format we could do interviews that were pre-recorded and edited, and then posted on AFR for downloads. Now we will broadcast live, which is a little bit like walking on a tightrope without a net! Plus each program will be recorded and still made available for download after the fact.