As August draws to a close, we are wrapping up our summer sermon series, “The Bible is Queer and Genderful.” It has been a powerful series, with amazing guest preachers, and many folks have shared how meaningful and important this series has been for them and for our church. One of the things that has really come to light for me throughout this series is the recognition that many people today still feel that they have to choose between God and being gay, or that to be a Christian means I have to hide or deny my transgender identity. And it is no wonder. Christians have been pushing LGBTQ folks out of the church for decades, and this is a sobering reality.
But what we have been proclaiming throughout this series is that the Bible is full of stories of queer and gender non-conforming folks. And furthermore, the Bible witnesses to a God who resists the gender binary and to Jesus who broke the gender mold in terms of what was expected of him as a man in his culture! What we’ve been proclaiming is that living into your authentic identity as queer and/or transgender can in fact be an integral part of God’s calling on your life. As our Music Minister, Pax Ressler, has been lifting up through a beautiful song they wrote, “God is still creating”. And indeed, we are amazed by the power of God’s ongoing creativity. God didn’t stop creating at the end of Genesis 1! No, God continues to create us and we are co-creators with God. What I hope all of us can do in light of this, is to pause and reflect on how diverse and beautiful we are created to be, and how amazing God is to have created such diversity! It seems only right to celebrate and say, Wow God! Thank you.
So though we have finished the sermon series, we have not finished the work of proclaiming this good news and lifting up the queer and genderful stories in the Bible. We will keep telling these stories. And don’t be afraid to tell your friends (and your enemies!) that Tabernacle is a queer and genderful faith community of Jesus followers. And at Tabernacle, you don’t have to choose between being queer and loving Jesus. In fact, loving and following Jesus might just make you more queer than you already are! After all, there is nothing very status-quo about following Jesus, though we’ve come to believe that ever since Christianity became married to the American Empire. But Jesus is anything but status-quo. So come on everyone, let’s say it loud: You’re Queer? We’re Here! Come on and be a part of the work and ministry of Tabernacle United Church. And if you didn’t have a chance to hear the sermons in the series, many of them were recorded (thank you Rev. Meagan McLeod) or the text of the sermon was provided. Check out the sermon page of our website to listen: http://www.tabunited.org/sermons/
I thank God for you. I thank God for the work we are doing together, for the ways we are growing and learning to love deeper and wider.