Troubling the Waters Consulting

We are Troubling the Waters, reimagining congregational life for a more just and equitable world

We work with churches, and other faith organizations, to reimagine, rework, or revision their community offerings with a focus on greater equity and inclusion. Lead consultant, David Tremaine, is available for sermon preparation, program auditing, and/or community-wide listening projects with the hope of creating a more just and empowering church.

How do I know if Troubling the Waters is right for me?

In this moment in the history of the world and of the church, we are being asked to examine how the way we do things is pushing back against a dominant culture of scarcity and oppression or simply replicating that culture in our communities of faith. For this reason we must ask whether our community structures, offerings, and ways of being are dismantling or reinforcing the ongoing realities of colonialism and racism.

Some core values of our work are:


Deep Listening


Emotional Conection

Relational Depth

Individual and Communal Empowerment

In our work we partner with faith communities to ask these important questions, among others:

How are our communal offerings (e.g. discipleship, formation, worship, committees, etc.) excluding people based on particular aspects of their identity rather than being reimagined with everyone in mind?

How are our communities consciously or unconsciously propagating destructive characteristics of white supremacy?

How is our common life driven more by conforming to cultural standards than by curiosity and openness to God’s newness?

If you are also asking these questions, then we’re here to talk.


Sermon Preparation

Available for both clergy and lay persons, this is a one-on-one session with lead consultant David Tremaine to prepare for: 1) an upcoming sermon or 2) an upcoming sermon series.  Through contemplative reading practices and open-ended wondering, new insights and possibilities will emerge from the text.  For those clergy looking for something new in their preaching, this is a great way to imagine those unexplored possibilities.  For any congregation wanting to hear more sermons from their lay membership, this is a way to support their sermon preparation.  Three sessions included (one initial conversation and two follow-ups) as well as resources for structuring a sermon, scripture reading, and reflection. 


Program Auditing

Similar to the congregation-wide listening (see below), this is a smaller, more focused listening project, using interviews and focus group conversations to help transform or reimagine a specific part of the congregation’s life.  This could include children and family ministry, music ministry, worship life, evangelism, outreach, etc.


Community-Wide Listening

Are you interested in a complete revisioning of the structures and offerings of your community with the hope of cultivating greater equity and inclusion for all? Starting with a season of community-wide, we will locate problem areas and work with community leaders to bring about a more equitable and inclusive community.


From the Blog

Following the Spirit of Truth in an Age of Distrust

Today it feels harder than ever to wrap our minds around “the truth.” With the constant barrage of “alternative facts,” claims of “fake news,” and a seemingly endless feed of Twitter and Facebook bots filling our screens with misleading claims about both politics and pandemics, its hard to decipher what is true and what is…

Keep reading


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About us

We are Troubling the Waters, reimagining the structures and offerings of our faith communities for a more just and equitable world.

We equip leaders and faith communities to delink from colonial narratives of dominance and superiority to reimagine what it means to be a disciple in the 21st century.



Phone: 352-871-2664