Debbie Bledsoe

I am a recent seminary graduate and a relatively new pastor. I have pastored in three Mennonite congregations in the United States before being called to Edmonton, and I find great joy in having connections across the continent. I am a "convinced" Mennonite, having only discovered Anabaptism in 2017, and I have found a home in Mennonite spaces due to my love for some of our core tenets: pacifism, priesthood of all believers, communal discernment of scripture, and a less hierarchical power structure. I'd be remiss if I didn't add that potlucks and four-part-harmony hymn singing are a major bonus to being Mennonite! 


As an openly Queer Mennonite Pastor, I care deeply about making sure there is room at the table of Christ for those who are often left out. I am driven by my passion around inclusion for marginalized peoples, particularly those who are at multiple "crossroads" of marginalization. I am particularly interested in Queer Theology and in helping people unpack and unlearn the harmful things they have been taught about God, faith, themselves, and the church. I am open to conversation with people who want to understand more about Queerness, about who God is to me, and how the church can become a place of welcome for all, and through this I have been able to connect deeply with people who haven't felt welcome before or who aren't sure they're welcome anymore. I have walked with a number of churches through their process of becoming affirming and welcoming, have served on the LGBTQ+ advisory board at my Mennonite Seminary, have engaged in activism work through community organizing, and have participated in training to support our most vulnerable members of society. As a neuro-divergent person with ADHD who is married to an autistic person, I am very aware how much work everyday life can be, so I care deeply about making space for people who are also neuro-divergent. As someone who lives on the "edge" of disability, I work hard to notice ways that church can be more welcoming to those that are disabled. 


My wife and I have been together for 18 years and we greatly enjoy games and music. Our home usually has some kind of music playing (we listen to a very wide variety of music) and we are often playing video games, board games, tabletop role playing games, or card games. Our favorite game is Japanese-style Richii Mahjong! We adore animals, especially sighthounds, have had many wonderful pets over the years, and we consider ourselves amateur bird watchers. We enjoy spending time with others as much as possible, and I love feeding my friends and adopted family.