157: Creating Loving and Affirming Communities

In this episode, we focus on ideas for building up spiritual communities that reflect unity, love, and acceptance. How might such become places in which everyone regardless of their theological positions, views about scripture or church strengths and weaknesses, or understandings and stances on today’s big social issues can all worship and enjoy community together?

We have help on this topic today from two guests from Christ Moravian Church in Calgary, Canada. The first is Jeff Pratt, who was raised a Latter-day Saint and continued to be one, along with his family, for many years before they sought and found a congregation that met their spiritual and community needs better than their Mormon ward and the wider LDS church. Our second guest is Stephen Gohdes, the wonderful and insightful pastor of the Christ Moravian church the Pratt family has become part of. 

In this conversation, we will hear about both of their stories to faith and how God has led each of them in their journeys, along with their insights about many things related to community flourishing. It’s a terrific discussion on many levels. We know you will thoroughly enjoy learning from them!


Christ Moravian Church, Calgary, Canada AB
Stream live or watch past services through links in this website

1 thought on “157: Creating Loving and Affirming Communities”

  1. I don’t necessarily support a particular version of Christianity and appreciate these individuals willingness to share. I grew up LDS in Calgary and know the Pratts. These two guests both sound like wonderful people.

    I would disagree a little bit about the balance between boundaries and accepting everything. The Jesus I read in the New Testament was definitely not safe, non-judgmental, and accepting in the way that I am hearing, perhaps erroneously, in this conversation. He was non-condemning but also a strong advocate for a certain way of living (Sermon on the mount).

    “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
    “Get behind me Satan.”
    “Narrow is the way.”

    I view the way of Jesus to be the exact opposite of safety. All of his disciples disserted him as a result. They weren’t able to fully drink the cup he drank. That is one of the reasons for Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous quote “In truth, there was only one christian and he died on the cross” which was inspired by his assessment of the nominal christianity of his time. Modern christianity is, if anything, much more nominal today.

    This conversation also brought to mind G.K. Chesterton’s Fence and being a parent. Any parent knows that true love incorporates a balance between setting proper boundaries and freedom. True flourishing only happens within boundaries. You cannot accept every behavior or you will destroy your family and your children. You teach your children to not lie, steal, and cheat etc. Growing up LDS, and as a physician, I am indeed grateful that I never smoked seeing how it has destroyed the lives of so many. Like Jesus, I try not to condemn or demean those that do smoke but I certainly still recommend that they do stop.

    It would be nice to have a follow-up conversation that balances this conversation with the importance of boundaries that grants that the ancients had very valid and often now scientifically validated reasons for certain rules and behaviors.

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