By Caroline Triscik and Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Starting a Revolution: An Interview with Sandra Maria Van Opstal

“[The global church] it’s not just nice, it’s necessary. We’re in need of the theology that comes from places of suffering and marginalization. We’re in need of songs that are written from those spaces, we’re in need of theological understanding from those spaces, because there’s an aspect of their experience with God and the truth of God that they understand in better ways than we do.” — Sandra Maria Van Opstal

What does it look like to explore the intersection of justice and worship in everyday life? Listen in as WAP associate Caroline Triscik interviews preacher, liturgist, and activist Sandra Maria Van Opstal.

"My earliest recollection of Sandra Maria Van Opstal is of her holding a Spanish-English Sesame Street Ernie doll while speaking to my new staff orientation class for InterVarsity and sharing about some of the complexities and gifts of her bi-cultural upbringing. Later, I would have the privilege to get to know Sandra as we served together in campus ministry in the Chicagoland area for about half a dozen years. I got to know Sandra especially well during our time together in Mexico City for an urban ministry conference, including convincing her to travel with me to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during our free time, relying on and trusting her voice in a multitude of ways.

"Since I last saw Sandra in person, she has received her MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is now a pastor at Grace and Peace Church in Chicago. Sandra’s persistence in her pursuit of justice and speaking out prophetically compels me to consider where God might be calling me to use my voice and seek justice. Listen in on our recent conversation as Sandra offers her thoughts on justice and its relationship to corporate worship, as well as her vision for mutuality in the Church, her experience as a woman in seminary, and her strategies for managing life as a busy working mother."

— Caroline Triscik

You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Links mentioned in this interview:

About the Author

Caroline served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is a clinical mental health counselor and a former associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Church and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra currently serves as Contact Director for the Justice Conference, is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.

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