Mara Joy Norden’s Faithful Conversations project was born from a local congregation’s desire to stay together AND talk about same-sex marriage.

Bringing together threads from socio-political peacebuilding, change management, congregational studies, as well as scripture and theology, this model provides a unique and comprehensive approach that opens space for authentic conversation that builds unity, purity, and peace rather than division. Rev. Dr. Norden details the project in this chapter, which forms the basis for her dissertation work in fulfillment of the D.Min. degree, awarded by Western Theological Seminary in March, 2017.

Room for All is pleased to share her work, in the hope that it may be helpful to those congregations that want to engage in respectful conversation as they explore full LGBTQ inclusion. Please direct questions to her at

 Rev. Dr. Mara Joy Norden is a pastor at The Community in Ada, a Reformed Church in America congregation in Ada, Michigan.