FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Generous Space?
Generous Space is a posture or way of being together where we learn to love across difference. We centre ourselves around four core values of humility, hospitality, mutuality, and justice. We are committed to dialogue, honouring each other’s individual autonomy, and developing respectful relationships and a deep sense of community together. Generous Space is a place where we believe you are Beloved and you Belong.
Is Generous Space affirming?
Yes. Generous Space, as a ministry, affirms the relationships, families, gifts, and ministry contributions of LGBTQ2+ people. There may be people within the community who hold a variety of theological views, however, our commitment is to ensure that LGBTQ2+ people feel fully affirmed in our space.
Is Generous Space a church?
No. Generous Space is a faith-based ministry that cultivates community. It is not, however, an organized church. Generous Space fully welcomes and embraces people wherever they are in their journey of spirituality or belief. Regardless of your faith or lack of faith, you will encounter of a place of equitable belonging.
Where does Generous Space get its money?
Nearly all of our operating expenses are covered by the gifts and support of individual donors – 80% of whom have committed to regular monthly giving. Our retreats are run on a break-even basis with registration fees and scholarship donations covering our expenses. Generally, we receive no government funding other than a small grant to hire a summer intern. Check out our latest Annual Report here.
Can celibate people or those with traditional sexual ethics participate?
Yes. We ask people to adhere to the following commitments: Will you listen deeply to the other and resist the urge to convince others to think and believe just like you do? Will you do your best to do no harm in our community, and if harm inadvertently occurs, will you pursue reconciliation to the best of your ability? Within these commitments, we recognize that people may hold many differing beliefs and values pertaining to theology and ethics, but focus on the common ground we share, being an encouragement and support to each other regardless of our differences, and ensure that robust conversation about differences is conducted in a respectful and kind manner.
We recognize that our celibate folks and those holding traditional sexual ethics are in the minority within our community. So we particularly want to make space for them to feel that their story and journey are heard and honoured.
Does Generous Space only exist in Canada?
No. There are people using the values and framework of Generous Space all over the world. We are, however, only a registered charity in Canada. If you would like to explore launching a Generous Space group outside of Canada, we are happy to share our resources with you.
Can I work/volunteer for Generous Space?
Yes. Volunteers are absolutely vital to the community of Generous Space. Without volunteer facilitators serving our groups, without an army of volunteers at each retreat, without volunteers helping us raise support, serving at the board level, or sharing their stories at our events, Generous Space simply wouldn’t exist as it does today. If you are interested in volunteering, share with us the skills and gifts you’d like to offer and we’ll discern together about the best fit.
In terms of employment, Generous Space is a small organization with limited resources to hire paid staff. We prioritize hiring from within our Generous Space community when an open position arises.
Do you have resources/groups for parents of LGBTQ2+ children?
Yes. Though our primary focus is to cultivate community for LGBTQ2+ folks, we do offer pastoral care, have parent connections online, an in-person group in B.C, as well as resource and referral lists. If you are a parent, we encourage you to contact us!
I heard Generous Space used to be ex-gay - what's that all about?
The organization was started in 1985 and was connected to ex-gay networks until the mid-2000’s. In 2009 we began to develop and embody the values and practices of Generous Space and officially changed the name of the organization in 2017. We seek to be a living apology for the practices of the past and the ways that it brought harm and trauma to LGBTQ2+ people. For a more detailed accounting of our history please go check out Our History.
What denomination is GS affiliated with?
Generous Space is not affiliated with any specific denomination.
What can I do to get connected if there is not a GS group in my area?
I would not call myself a Christian. Is there still a place for me in the Generous Space community?
Absolutely. If you are looking for a place of connection in a community that cares about human flourishing and a vibrant spiritual life, come check us out. We are committed to listening deeply to each other while avoiding the urge to try to convince each other to think and believe the way we do. Your story, thoughts, and reflections matter and we would be honoured to engage with you.
Can I bring a friend to a Generous Space gathering so they can check it out?
Yes, with this caveat: We ask everyone who comes into a Generous Space gathering to agree to our key commitments: Will you listen deeply to the other and resist the urge to convince others to think and believe just like you do? Will you do your best to do no harm in our community, and if harm inadvertently occurs, will you pursue reconciliation to the best of your ability? We want to cultivate a safe place for everyone – and so it is important that even guests checking us out understand how we navigate difference with respect and kindness.