BETH CARLSON-MALENA, MDIV
Director of Community- West
Beth’s life has been transformed through friendships with people on the margins. She learned hospitality growing up as the daughter of a Baptist pastor in Saskatoon, where her family would often welcome refugee friends and assorted neighbourhood kids to join their meals and celebrations. After completing her BSc in Biology, she moved to Vancouver to study theology at Regent College, where her dual call to pastor and to work alongside marginalized people became clear. She joined a community called Jacob’s Well, intentionally building reciprocal friendships with residents of the Downtown Eastside, Canada’s poorest urban neighbourhood. She was humbled by the perseverance and generosity of her friends there, many of whom faced challenges with mental health, addictions, and homelessness, and more profoundly, feeling excluded and stereotyped by society and church. Eventually she moved into that neighbourhood and broadened her work there to include church planting and chaplaincy.
During that season, Beth began to acknowledge that she had been attracted to women for a long time, though she had always tried to ignore it. She wrestled with what kind of sexual ethic to follow as a gay Christian working in full-time ministry. After years of praying, reading, and talking with friends and family, she came out, and announced her intention to marry her friend of nine years, Danice, who was also a Baptist pastor. Their marriage necessitated both of them stepping down from pastoral work in their denomination. This made her especially grateful for the opportunity to work with Generous Space Ministries, facilitating connections and understanding between LGBTQ+ Christians, their families, and their churches, and offering pastoral care to people with diverse perspectives and experiences.
After working with Generous Space in Toronto for three years, Beth and Danice returned to Vancouver in May 2017, where Beth continues her work as Director of Community with Generous Space. That winter, Beth also began co-pastoring a new Vancouver church startup called Open Way Community Church. In her spare time, she also loves to play music, take photos, and write.
To reach Beth by phone, please call 1-(855)-542-8724 ext. 701
or email her here.