Generous Space: Addressing Privilege

Generous space communities are not merely a response to the lack of inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in many churches, as significant as that is. Generous space is a framework for maturing disciples of Jesus in healthy, diverse community.  In this series of distinctives, we have considered the sufficiency of the cross as a secure foundation from which we can welcome the challenge and gift of diversity; joyful engagement with the scriptures in the humble and freeing recognition that interpretation shapes all of our biblical reflections; and the importance of making space to honor each other’s conscience as we journey together in community.

One of the gifts of experiencing community that intentionally makes space for those who have been marginalized is the opportunity to become attuned to the impact of privilege. Many of us grew up in contexts that assumed that heterosexuality was God’s creative intention and the idea that one might need to pay attention to the privilege that comes with being in the straight majority was never considered. Jesus, however, demonstrates the stripping of privilege, even the perfect privilege of divinity, as an expression of God’s strategy for reconciliation. Willingness to relinquish privilege, to identify with the other, is to participate in God’s plan of redemption.  And while this often begins at a relational level, generous space community recognizes that we must bring this attunement into our communal discernment as well.