This past weekend I participated in DignityUSA’s biannual convention where I presented on how to create trans* theological narratives and spoke on a panel with two of my inspirations in la lucha, Patrick Cheng and Rebecca Voelkel. I also had the opportunity to help organize a prayer service where people were invited in a sacred circle to share their stories of coming out with its joys and struggles—stories that helped us draw the circle wider as we live into inclusive solidarity. The prayers below were taken from the book “Courage To Love” and slightly delfinized. The song played is by Mark Miller.
May we all share our stories of drawing and rippling circles to be more welcoming and celebratory of all.
Opening Prayer: As Eve came out of Adam, as the people of Israel came out of slavery into freedom, as the exiled Israelites came out of Babylon back to their home, as Lazarus came out of the tomb to continue his life, as Jesus came out of death into new life, we all come out—out of our deserts into the garden, out of the darkness into the light, out of exile into the homes of ourselves and of community, out of lies into truth, out of denial into affirmation and celebration. In this space we proudly share our stories, our joys, our struggles…blessed be the God who has made us.
Reading: We embrace the notion that all people are embodied, sexual creatures. And in this embodiment, we rejoice. We proclaim our faith that there is a divine welcoming for all people into spiritual community. And we profess our belief in the roles the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally communities play in the divine community.
We proclaim our faith that there is a divine calling for all of us to be in spiritual community. And we profess our belief that all of us—transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, asexual, heterosexual, queer, questioning, all identities within our acronym and its variations—are all called to help create that divine community.
As a people of faith, hope, and love we rejoice in the spiritual community gathered here today. And we pray we may continue to profess our belief in the radical inclusiveness of divine love.
Song: Draw the Circle Wide
Song: Draw the Circle Wide
Closing Prayer: O God, of all the vast varieties of humankind, help us to move beyond the exclusiveness of an “either/or” mentality to the inclusiveness of a “both/and” way of thinking and being which moves beyond boxed-in definitions to sacred mystery, beyond over-simplifications to the complexity of your all embracing reality.
Let us go forth from this sacred place filled with support for one another. When times are tough, and they will be, let us remember the testimonies spoken and unspoken that remind us and encourage us that we are not alone.
Let us go forth from this sacred place committed to working to create a world where justice, equality, and the celebration of all of who we are ripples from us.
Let us go forth from this sacred place remembering we are like drops of water … rippling, splashing, and flowing our prophetic call to draw the circle wide.
We pray for this in the many names of the holy. Amen