Wendy VanderWal Gritter is the Executive Director of Generous Space Ministries, a Canada-based organization that cultivates safe and radically hospitable spaces for conversation about faith, gender and sexuality. Generous Space is committed to eliminating the fear, division and hostility that so often mark the church’s engagement with these issues. She is also the author of Generous Spaciousness, a book that offers pastoral guidance to church leaders, gay Christians and gay advocates, and also chronicles her organization's journey from being an “ex-gay” ministry focused on reorientation to becoming a ministry that cultivates Christ-centered communities marked by a sense of belonging, authenticity, and diversity. In this episode of RePlacing Church, Wendy VanderWal Gritter joins me to discuss:

  • Polarity, relationship, Eugene Peterson* and the current state of the church’s views on homosexuality.
  • How her organization shifted from being an “ex-gay” ministry focused on “reorientation” to becoming a ministry that cultivates generous space for conversation about sexuality.
  • What critics say to her and Generous Space Ministries.
  • How to foster safe and radically hospitable space in conversations about faith, gender and sexuality.
  • How the incarnation shapes how we talk about sexuality.
  • What spiritual practices can sustain people called to stay and renew systems from the inside.
  • Why “queer” culture and Jesus culture actually have a lot in common.

*immiediately after this interview was recorded, Eugene Peterson retracted his comment about same-sex marriage

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SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW the RePlacing Church Podcast on iTunes, or listen on StitcherGoogle Play, or Podbean.

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Episode Song Credits: "Another Wrong to Right" and "You Won't Walk Alone" by Mercir. "Closed" by Zadok Wartes. Used with Permission.

Production Assistance by Nate Tubbs.

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Rev. Harriett Walden is the cofounder of Mothers for Police Accountability, an almost 30 year-old Seattle-based organization that advocates for the dignity and security of the whole community against injustices in law enforcement and the criminal justice system; educates young people on their legal rights and responsibilities in relationship with the police; and organizes partner organizations to hold police accountable. She is a member of Seattle’s Community Police Commission and hosts the “Mother’s Justice Show,” a radio program with the mission to increase dialogue in the community about police accountability, constitutional policing and justice.

She has been a facilitator with the Virtues Project, promoting kindness, justice and integrity in every life, worked to break the silence of black on black crime, and served as the interim pastor of multiple congregations. Rev. Walden joins me in this episode of RePlacing Church to discuss:

  • Why the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles is the result of systemic failure in the police department
  • Why deescalation training is essential for police officers encountering mental health crises
  • Sustaining practices for social justice advocates
  • Why she founded Mothers for Police Accountability
  • How a theology of absolution contributes to police brutality
  • What troubles her about the church
  • What white people need to do to fight racism

*Get your free RePlacing Church Resource Lista guide to being and becoming the church in the neighborhood.

SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW the RePlacing Church Podcast on iTunes, or listen on StitcherGoogle Play, or Podbean.

Sign up for RePlacing Church updates at www.replacingchurch.org. Like on Facebook, Follow on Instagram.

Episode Song Credits: "Another Wrong to Right" and "You Won't Walk Alone" by Mercir. "Closed" by Zadok Wartes. Used with Permission.

Production Assistance by Nate Tubbs.

00:0000:00