Nov. 8, 2023

#36 - A Mystical Vision for LGBTQ+ Discipleship with Eden Invitation

#36 - A Mystical Vision for LGBTQ+ Discipleship with Eden Invitation
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Anna Carter and Shannon Ochoa lead Eden Invitation, a Catholic Side B ministry for LGBTQ+ discipleship. TJ and David talked with them about their founding story, mystical theology, Pride Month, the opportunity and challenges of giant gray areas, theories of change, and so much more.

We love how intensely they pursue loving God and loving their communities well. Please join us for this delightful conversation. (And yes, the retreat they mention has already happened—but there’s always next year!)

About Our Guests:

As culture shifts, Eden Invitation believes the Church must be there to meet it. We are striving disciples with LGBTQ+ experiences, building community with others who desire a way of life in congruence with Christ and His Church. Through in-person events and online community, Eden Invitation creates space to receive the whole person, grow systems of mutual support, and empower for creative discipleship.

  • Anna Carter is the co-founder and President of Eden Invitation. Anna’s tenacious faith in Jesus predated her own experience of same-sex desires. Her passion for catechesis and evangelization brought her to the Franciscan University of Steubenville, NET Ministries, and the high school classroom. Now through directing the work of Eden Invitation, Anna proclaims that there is resurrected life in the midst of our longings. Anna wanted to found Eden Invitation in order to ensure there was a just pastoral response and to give light to what a “yes” to the Church’s teachings can look like.

  • Shannon Ochoa is the co-founder and Vice-President of Eden Invitation. Shannon graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Social Welfare and Gender & Women's Studies. She has fallen for men and for women, but ultimately she fell for the beauty of Christ and His Church. Prior to founding Eden Invitation, Shannon worked in college campus ministry with The Evangelical Catholic and Brew City Catholic. She felt compelled to co-found Eden Invitation because she wanted disciples to know they were good, to not be afraid of themselves, and to find dynamic, faithful community. If you're looking for her, try the shore of the nearest body of water. She’ll be in a hammock.



(2:20) Introducing Anna and Shannon

(3:40) The beginnings of Eden Invitation

(7:32) EI distinctives: Stepping into the longing together in community

(15:54) Connections for non-queer people?

(20:18) Catholic tradition on disordered desires, celibacy traditions, gift of self

(33:44) Relating to Courage and Desert Streams

(35:41) "People just assumed we were only a women's ministry”

(39:06) The language question: "We try to let the air out of it"

(44:38) Healing or change of sexual orientation: How do you respond?

(54:41) Engaging gender discordance

(1:00:13) On Pride: "We're trying to protect people from the shrapnel”

(1:03:15) Developing the future, “gigantic gray areas”

(1:06:02) Hope and barriers in the Catholic conversation

(1:13:03) How to connect with Eden Invitation


Links and References


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Creators and Hosts: David Frank, TJ Espinoza

Audio Engineer: Carl Swenson (

Podcast Manager: Elena

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