Today we’re excited to feature the fourth episode of the Listening in Place Project with Cassie Carroll (Master of Divinity, ‘16), which we share monthly here on the Intersections blog. After graduating from The Seattle School, Cassie launched Listening in Place, a venture in which she is collecting stories from church planters, practitioners, pastors, social entrepreneurs, and theologians throughout the United States who are practicing new, innovative, and compelling visions of what it means to be the church.

In this episode, Cassie talks with Marvin Wadlow, Jr., filmmaker and co-founder of the Table Setters—a faith-based nonprofit committed to building awareness, sparking change, and fostering meaningful, ongoing dialogue that transforms how individuals and communities engage issues of difference and inequality.

“There’s an absence of conversation, which leads to an absence of language of how to participate culturally with each other.”

Marvin shares about how he met his Table Setters co-founder, Matthew John Schmitt, and how the two of them—a 58-year-old Black man and a 38-year-old White man—became friends, part of each other’s families, and eventually partners in leading this organization. He and Cassie talk about the need for deep, ongoing conversation around issues that our culture has ignored or whitewashed for far too long, and they reflect on the beauty—and the challenge—of engaging difference with curiosity, humility, and courage.

“If Jesus can set the table with the disciples and the kiss-of-death Judas, then we should be able to set the table with anybody and have really hard conversations.”

You can learn more about the vision behind the Listening in Place Project here, and read more from Cassie’s time with Marvin over on the Listening in Place blog. And for more from Cassie, check out the presentation of her Integrative Project, “The Pastoral Both/And: A Complicated Story.”

Music courtesy of