I was 13 and sitting in the basement of my childhood home in the Amish-laden countryside of Pennsylvania.
The annual conference I attended last week with Reconciling Ministries Network was like other trips to annual conferences in many ways—except for one small feature. It was at the beach, Jekyll Island specifically. By recommendation of a friend, on my last night there, I went over to driftwood beach.
From April 10-13, the second-ever retreat was held of TRUUsT, Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together, in Palm Harbor, Florida.
When I first came out gay in 1999, many gay Christians and queer scholars were asking, “Who is gay/lesbian in the Bible?” Some pointed to Jonathan and David. Others to Ruth and Naomi. There were rumors of a gay Roman Centurion.
When I was a kid my grandmother would rock back and forth on her green metallic rocking chair singing old Spirituals like, “We shall overcome, someday.” I still remember her tears. My grandmother, big and yellow, a proud Christian, guarded our South Dallas porch singing songs like, “I’m a solider in the Army of the Lord. I’m a solider in the Army.”
When was the last time you heard a sermon focusing on your belovedness, with no "but" attached to it? I mean, an entire Sunday service all about taking in and feeling how much God loves you and delights in you—with no mention of, or alluding to the need for you to be better than you are, resist sin, or change anything about yourself?
Trigger warning: description of addiction and substance abuse
The Trump administration has been in power for just over two months. Many people are fearful that the social advantages won in recent times will be rolled back. Recently, the administration took gender identity and sexual orientation off of the 2020 census.