“Gender-ous” God

“Gender-ous” God
Long ago, in the middle years of the PC(USA)’s legislative attempt to exclude, (read vilify) Queer people – I remember a friend and leader, Rev Don Stroud, saying that this whole disagreement was really about gender, but we were unready and unable to have that conversation. Ready or not, this is the time. Fortunately, there are many resources within and without the church to bring ourselves and our congregations into the light about gender: identity, fluidity and sacredness of being. If you need help finding these resources, please let me know or ask on this site. And, in as loving a way as I can, I need to say that “if you are in a leadership position in the church and you avoid these conversations you are doing much more harm than you can imagine”. I pray that if you are such a person, you will open your heart and your mind to the Spirit – even if it scares you half to death. We’re really not that scary, at all.
For many decades, the LGBTQ+ community in the PC(USA) and its allies and supporters have educated and changed the church. The work for inclusion in the church has been a selfless and generous act, especially when one considers that most of those who took a leadership position never benefited from their sacrifices. It was always about the church; being the church we were meant to be vs. those who insisted on keeping the church they knew, even if it disfigured who they were theologically. Fear does that. Love changes that. So we keep loving.
As our Trans Community continues these sacred traditions of education and change in our church and community, I often think of Don’s comments and something that I have learned. Something I have come to believe deeply. It is that another word for “God” is “Gender”.
In the midst of coming to know so many wonderful courageous people on their journey of becoming who they are; to love who they love; and to help us learn more about ourselves and one another – all I see is God’s amazing and mysterious creation, the embodiment of Love and Word (the same thing, really). As I write and preach and meditate on these mysteries of gender and identity, a beauty emerges that gives me another way to know the person before me and a God that I never imagined, because I was never taught to revel in a God of such Wonder.
Finding the courage and prophetic heart to enter more deeply into our shared mystery of God’s creation is a continuance of God’s call. And, an invitation to revel in an amazing and “Gender-ous God”, indeed!
At least I think so…
Ray Bagnuolo, Minister of Word and Sacrament
That All May Freely Serve, Chaplain
Validated Ministry of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley
02.28.2020; ray@nulltamfs.org; 631-827-8611
Currently serving as pastor of
Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ
Sayville, New York