Grandmother God


  • Steph Chandler Burns


grandmother, God, poem, poetry, lgbtq, queer


This poem is about my grandparents, who were active in the early days of LGBTQ+ advocacy in the Mennonite Church. They and other advocates in the mid-to-late 1980s began the work of trying to make room for LGBTQ+ people in the Mennonite Church. I am deeply grateful for the previous generations of advocates and justice workers who began paving the way for the level of acceptance and welcome that I do get to experience today. My own grandparents have taught me something of God: God is a grandmother. She is fiercely loving of her grandchildren and stands up to anyone who would exclude them. More than anything, she wants her beloved grandchildren to thrive in a church that loves them as much as she does.

Author Biography

Steph Chandler Burns

Steph Chandler Burns, MTS (Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario), works as a pastor with young adults on the margins of church. Steph is bisexual, queer, non-binary, and very opinionated. Steph has published theological reflections on being queer and Mennonite and enjoys thinking about the ways that queerness reveals parts of the divine. When not engaging with church, Steph can be found playing board games or getting new tattoos. Steph lives with a partner, Greg, and their cat, Lulu, in Kitchener, Ontario, on the Haldimand Tract, the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Attawandaron First Peoples.