Missio Alliance is pleased to share our platform with podcasters who share our vision of A Church Reimagined for a World Recreated. Our newest podcast is Betwixt from documentary filmmaker Deb Gregory.Announcing the Newest Missio Alliance Podcast: @BetwixtPodcast featuring Deb Gregory. Click To Tweet
In upcoming episodes, you’ll Deb will bring you thought provoking conversations with Church Historian Dr. Hannah Hunt, theologian Dr. Megan DeFranza, philosopher Dr. Rachel Douchant and others.
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode featuring Old Testament theologian Walter Bruggeman.
Here’s how Deb would describe herself and the podcast.
Betwixt and between: these are the words that describe me best. I love to walk labyrinths and often think of the complex winding path of a labyrinth as a metaphor for life. My story, as do most stories, takes shape in the twists and turns of the in-between spaces.
My labyrinth started in Japan. I was born in a Japanese mountain town and spent my formative years playing in temple gardens and frolicking under cherry blossoms. My parents strove to model our home after Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri, a shelter for spiritual seekers. One August more than 100 youth slept on our futon covered floors. These were the Japanese nonconformists: the artists, the lost and alone, the weary refuge seekers. Our home was a haven between life and death for many people.
When I was nine we moved to America. Failed attempts to trade my seaweed for a fruit roll-up in the school lunchroom signaled the beginning of many impending cultural clashes ahead. Although my parents were fundamentalists, they enrolled me in a Charismatic Christian school where I struggled to hold the tension between these viewpoints. But holding the tension between things would mark my life. I later attended a conservative dispensationalist Bible college and then a Reformed-leaning seminary. I would yet be shaped by Southern Baptists, Messianic Jews, and most profoundly by the Rwandan Anglican Church as I lived and traveled throughout the world.
My first steps toward my inner labyrinth came with a move from South Korea to Colorado and a turn toward a career in documentary filmmaking. While slinging my camera through far-off places like a war-torn Angolan orphanage, a Cambodian brothel, and an Ecuadorian prison for drug mules, I encountered the suffering and goodness of those betwixt death and life, darkness and light, ashes and beauty.
But it wasn’t until 2015, after crossing fifty national borders that I came to my labyrinth center. My husband was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and so we packed up our kids and moved to Israel. For five months, we lived as “cultural ambassadors” in the midst of an Orthodox Jewish community. Newly forged relationships with these women and immersion into their embodied rituals of renewal, transformed the way I read Scripture and viewed my body. I asked provocative questions about femininity and sacred space as I held the often-painful geographical tension of fertility and infertility–womb and tomb–mapped within my body. That season thrust me into a ravenous biblical investigating of liminal space–the threshold experiences serving as the tomb of the old ways and womb of new life.
Today, my eyes are fixed on the margins as I continue back through my life-labyrinth. My vocation has shifted into the ministry of spiritual formation and spiritual direction. Familiar with the betwixt and between, I feel a sense of belonging as I companion others through their own spiritual labyrinths.
This is the heart of the Betwixt Podcast. Together with fascinating guests, I engage conversation at the intersection of faith and culture with an eye to the betwixing margins. You are welcome to join the conversations and hold liminal space with me there!