LGBTQ related

Check out our entire Liturgy Library here.
All prayers should be used with printed credit to enfleshed unless otherwise noted.

Attribution for liturgies on this page may be written as: Rev. M Barclay, enfleshed

Complete Orders of Worship

(commissioned by Affirm United & Affirming Connections in Canada)

Sermon texts

  • Jonah 1 – Jonah is afraid of the calling God has placed on his life. He does everything he can to avoid it. His attempt to choose safety actually leads to just the opposite – both for him and those around him. When he finally comes around, his message is actually received…(we can never be sure our message or our true self will be received, but sometimes it is.)
  • Matthew 10:34-39, in particular the concept of having to lose your life to live it – a very queer experience.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 How we treat others is how we treat the body of Christ
  • Genesis 1:1-27 – Make sure to clarify that “male and female, he created them” does not have to mean God only created two genders. Like the rest of the creation story, the scriptures uses contrast or binaries (light/dark night/day earth/water) to highlight differences, not to name everything that exists. Lots of good angles here about how we were created to be like God as fellow creators, helping [queer] life to flourish, caring for earth and it’s creatures – this is part of our likeness with God.
  • John 1: The word made flesh – God queered the boundaries between divinity and flesh (of humanity, creatures, and the earth). OR – God transitioned to help reveal who God has always been.


Trans Day of Visibility

You perfectly-put-together(s).
You beautiful messes.
You rough-around-the-edge(s).
You gentle and wild ones.

If you worry about being enough…
Trans enough
Pretty enough
Brave enough
Strong enough
Sure enough
Hand over your questions in one final prayer
and take the open hand of your own life.
The only “right” way to be trans
is the one that preserves your soul,
he one that helps you tend to the Holy in you.

The Holy in your toes,
In your lips, in your gut.
The Holy in your scars,
in your hair, or lack thereof.
Fall in love with it.
Assure it that it is welcome.
Feed it with your hands.
Speak its real name like it never had another.
Whisper in its ear how sexy it looks.
It deserves to thrive.
It deserves safety.
It deserves somewhere to rest.
It deserves joy.
When it’s denied nonetheless,
Hold it softly, as a knowing one does.

You are not a burden or a lie or a distraction.
You are a holy encounter.
In all the ways you change,
in all the ways you stay the same,
Your flesh is a testimony
to the power and beauty
of wearing your own truth.
It looks so good on you.
When these facts finally make a home in your bones.
When you can live.
When you have begun to unload all that weight in your chest.

Don’t settle for the ease of your own exhale.
The air in your lungs is the gift of generations,
and too many are running out of breath.
Suffocated
by misogyny, and white supremacy, and hate.
By isolation and individualism.
By the state.

The only “right” way to be trans
is the one that keeps you here
so we can find each other
and love this collective body
yearning to be received
authentically
justly
entirely.


A trans prayer of divine understanding

Creative Spirit,
Holy Momentum,
Ever Transitioning One,
Do you hold the prayers of trans people close,
like the embrace of someone who understands –
a source of comfort or hope?
 
We share this joy – you and us:
Taking on new forms
that life might thrive.
Shedding what no longer fits;
or never did.
 
Struggles, we share, too:
Religious beliefs that confine being and becoming.
Enduring acts of violence
born from fear and fueled by power.
 
Though even we endure too much, too long,
how burdensome is your lot…
Centuries pass and still,
so few who claim to love you
believe you are who you say you are –
calling you an excuse for bigotry,
when you are a river of Love.
 
Do all the theologies of hate,
and songs of Sunday apathy,
land on your ears like a deadname –
something given to you
that you never asked for
and just won’t go away?
 
Do you wince
each time a prayer ascends to “Him” –
because more than anything,
you know what that means to do
is distance you from the likes of “Her” or “Them?”
 
When you stretch out your arms
as the embrace of a gentle man,
or kick out your feet
as the dance of a woman,
or run wild in open fields
through every gender-less,
or gender-abundant,
or nonbinary kiddo
loving their flesh,
do you take delight in every fit,
finding a spot of home
in every body?
 
The glory of your Multiplicity cannot be hidden away.
We may be a long way from safety yet,
but your mercies are new every morning
and with each day dawns new possibilities
of Sacred Transition
into a world more fitting for everyone.
 
May your blessing be upon all your trans beloveds.
Take pleasure in us, your stunning incarnations.
And as we care for our each other,

may the god we practice be a comfort and a strength.

 


God is queer as in…

God is queer
 
as in
strange,
surprising,
titillating,
non-conforming to norms that destroy;
 
as in
breaking open new possibilities
through flesh entangled,
and brave acts of collective courage;
 
as in
troubling certainties,
resisting assimilation,
and persisting through struggle together;
 
as in
interdependence,
chosen family,
and reaching out to isolated kin;
 
as in
always becoming;
 
as in
less “this or that”
and more “multilayered, multidimensional, and complex.”
 
as in
intimately experienced,
and beyond definition;
 
as in
the love between strangers and sheets,
the love that lasts for lifetimes,
the love that begets love;
 
as in
resists white supremacy,
and all its deadening lies,
rigid definitions,
and desire to control and confine;
 
as in
loyal to love, lovers, beloveds,
even when it’s all on the line;
 
as in
hurtful when spit from the mouth of hate,
but sometimes still also a lighthouse,
a history of holy uprising,
and a coming home from within.

God is with us when…

Trans resistance, trans resilience, trans beauty,
trans power, trans love, trans survival, trans joy:
these – gifts that come from God to the benefit of all.Though coordinated attacks against us prevail, the spirit of the risen Christ lives in us, in our flesh.Let us not cower.
Let us not turn on each other.
Let us protect one another, divesting from all white supremacy, misogyny, classism, ableism, ageism, and nonbinary erasure among us.
May we each examine – in what ways do we contribute to the struggles of our own trans siblings?
Let us bind our lives, our resources, our spirits together.
May we live into the truth that every loss of one is a loss to us all.

Let all who desire to be in solidarity come.
Let the memories of our trans ancestors sustain us.
Let us remember that all forces of dominance work against our thriving. No appealing to structures of privilege can save us.

We will not be legislated out of existence.
God is with us when we tell the truth
about our stories, our bodies, our communities.
God is with us when we fight for each other.
God is with us when we resist destructive policies, practices, theologies, and authorities.
Today. In the days ahead.
In struggle. In joy. In death. In transition.
In collective rising.
God lives in us. This will always be so.


For trans kids

Love chases flourishing.
It is not idle before violence.
It stretches and expands in company of community, wisdom, knowledge, and experience.

The love of God affirms trans kids
protects trans kids
listens to trans kids
fights for trans kids
delights in trans kids.

May it be so,
among all who profess to know God,
and to practice love.


Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans day of remembrance and resilience – an intimate and serious thing.
A necessary ritual for the ones grieving all year long
the perpetuation of unnecessary death.

May remembrance not be in vain nor in vanity,
coupled with conscious complicity in the structures that enable and encourage the destruction of life.

May participation in mourning precipitate working for change alongside the living.

Let this grief make way for resisting whiteness centering itself this day and others.

Let this ritual be a practice of collective refocusing on the roots of sexism and transmisogynoir in manifestations of anti-trans violence.

Let the visibility of this day,
the complicatedness of what it has become,
the chance to recenter its attention,
tell the entire truth
about what creates the conditions for such death:
The class realities. The prejudices and policies against sex workers.
The theologies. The misogyny.
The politics of respectability.>
The colonialization.
The transphobia in all its forms.
And the white supremacy from which so much of it is birthed.

Over these,
and all they steal,
we weep.


Scandalous God

Divine Presence,
Scandalous One,
Versatile God,
You have been called the worst of names,
tossed aside by the hands of tradition,
met with violence and neglect by stranger and kin alike.
And still, you do not conform to the expectations of power
or polite your way into halls of destruction.
You, the ultimate transgressor of norms
that harm or confine,
bear witness to the glory of Strange.
You, Queer One, reveal the gifts of falling outside the lines.
You, Wild One, break open possibilities –
within us and around us –
whispering in our ear,
“See me. Feel me. Desire me.” You help us come alive again.
Beauty is your passion.
Love is your motivation.
Courage is your center.
May your spirit be awakened in every space dull with repressed delight,
that we may choose to live into the riches
of this peculiar life together.
Embrace us, O God,
and lead us in the ways of your love,
so promiscuous,
so deviant,
so free.
Amen.


Prayers of the People

In the midst of all that keeps our spirits frantic, overwhelmed, or troubled, we pause.

We pause to remember each other as those whose precious and precarious lives
are inherently bound together.
We pause to remember the basic gifts of water, of trees, of beauty, of the land we gather upon.
We pause to remember our neighbors – distant and near.

And so to the One who is Love, we bring the prayers of our communities. Where we share in joy or concern, let us respond together, “God, hear our prayers.”

We pray…

for all the queer, trans, and intersex children and youth across the globe. For the ones who are struggling with feelings of isolation and shame. For those who have no safe place or people to retreat to. For those who must be teachers to the adults in their lives. For those who are unsafe in their communities.

God, hear our prayers.

We pray for our elders whose labor we are indebted to. For the ones who never tasted the freedom they fought for. For the ones who were forced to the fringes of their own movements. For the allies who suffered beside us, casting their lot with us in true solidarity. For the ones forgotten and betrayed.

God, hear our prayers.

We pray for all those who hunger for justice and liberation today. For the ones who lay down their lives for their friends. For the ones who tell the truth. For the ones who take risks, who dream, who feed and pray, who fight for bread and roses, both. For the ones who are eager to learn and grow and offer their gifts to the work of enfleshing your dreams.

God, hear our prayers.

We pray for all who are suffering in the church and the world at the hands of white supremacy. For those imprisoned by the state. For those whose land has been taken. For the earth that groans beneath us. For those without food or housing. For those who have yet to repent.

God, hear our prayers.

We pray in gratitude for all that nourishes and sustains us. For the gifts of beauty and friendship, shared meals, and art, and love. For laughter. For pleasure. For the friends, lovers, and comrades who lift our spirits, always by our side when the days are heavy. For the freedom we have in Christ.

God, hear our prayers.

For your presence within and around us, in our highs and lows, our hope and our despair, God, we give you thanks. Hear our prayers and deepen our willingness to show up with and for one another, sharing in each other’s burdens and working for one another’s protection and care. Amen.


A Queer Call to Worship (1)

Strange One. Fabulous One. Fluid and ever becoming One.
Do not allow us to make our ideas of you into an idol.
You are as close to us as our own breath and yet, your essence transcends all that we can imagine.
You are mother, father, and parent. You are sister, brother, and sibling. You are drag queen, and trans man, and gender-fluid – incapable of limiting your vast expressions of beauty.Embodied in us, your creation, we recognize our flesh in all its forms is made holy in You. With thanksgiving, we celebrate your manifestation in all its glorious forms.
Blessed are our bodies. Blessed is our love. Blessed are we when we celebrate that which the world turns away. Fill our hearts with a pride rooted in resistance to all that seeks to destroy.

May we delight in the ways you have created us: diverse, unique, surprising, and beautiful. Thanks be to God!


A Queer Call to Worship (2)

Listen! Listen for the voice of God, naming us all: Holy. Beloved. Cherished. Valued.
We believe you delight in us!
Make us people who recognize and proclaim your beauty and goodness in unexpected places.
Surprise us. Challenge us. Transform us.
We trust in you, Holy One, to reveal to us the sacredness of every life, of every way of being, of every physical manifestation of your Spirit.
May it be so!


A Queer Call to Worship (3)

Blessed be the Non-Conforming One.
God, who took on flesh
Of the economically oppressed,
Of an immigrant,
of an infant.
Whose family and birth was anything but traditional.
This Holy One won’t be hindered by social norms.
She defies our expectations.
She challenges our preconceptions.
She awakens us to new possibilities.
Praise be to God, the queerest of us all.


A Queer Call to Worship (4)

In the image of God, you created everything and called it good!
In abundant diversity, your likeness is found in us.
We reject all messages that belittle or degrade any among us.
And so in faithfulness to God and one another we proclaim:
Sacred are our bodies of every size and ability.
Blessed are our sexualities, drawing us towards love of many kinds.
Beloved is every gender, revealing you in different ways.
To our skin, beautiful in every shade, we say hallelujah!
Praise God, our Creator, who blesses us with this world, these bodies, and our fellow creatures, all created good, very good.


A Queer Call to Worship (5)

We, of many backgrounds and identities, personalities, and ideas, gather collectively in shared pursuit of the Sacred.
Together, we make up the body of Christ.
Wherever one of us is in pain,
our whole body aches.
Whenever one of us is cut off,
The whole body is wounded.
Whoever is kept away by discriminatory policies or practices or prejudices,
Our collective soul suffers the loss of their presence.
We need one another in order to be whole,
God make us the body of Christ as you envisioned.
May we become your presence enfleshed, in service to the world and one another.


A Queer Call to Worship (6)

God is calling us
Out of the places we hide
Out of insecurity
Out of shame
Out from under that which silences love and justice.
Come out, people of God!
Though we may be afraid
Though we will be at risk
Though the cross stands as a threat
God calls us to courage!

Our God is a god of resurrection. Of new life after devastation. Of hope in the grip of evil.
And so we dare to proclaim, with pride and faith, our truths:
We believe in the power of love.
We believe in solidarity with the suffering.
We believe we are each valuable.
We believe that our togetherness is transformative.
The world is longing for Holy truths that reveal, voices that speak real words of hope.
Come out, people of God!


A prayer to the One who is Queer

Queer One.
You are the strangest of us all.
For centuries we have tried to encapsulate you with words and ideas, and yet, you just keep spilling over every boundary we construct.
Just when we think we’ve got you figured out, you surprise us, confront us, bewilder us.
You make “strange” sacred.
Like the queer creations you delight in, you are so ordinary and everyday while simultaneously outside of the norm, the definable, the respectable.
We are so used to looking for you in the people, places, and actions that don’t challenge us.
And so, when you took on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, we called you queer.
Because of the ways you loved, the people you hung out with, the borders you transgressed, you were named: freak. abomination. godless.
When we are uncomfortable with the way others love and look and live, especially when it challenges our conceptions of you, we join our ancestors in condemning you all over again.
We struggle to learn our lesson. In all the ways you are queer, our lives are more enriched by the invitation to deepen and broaden our understanding of what is holy.
May we be summoned into the same joyful reflection when we encounter queerness wherever it manifests. To follow you, O God, is anything but a straight path.
Give us the courage to go in whatever directions we are led by love. And if we find that others begin to think us peculiar as well, remind us of the good company we share.
In the name of the One who transgresses every norm that binds, May it be so.(Download a pdf version here)


A call to worship that acknowledges violence

One: Long ago in Galilee there were many who were sick and suffering, isolated and oppressed. Wherever there was pain – you were there in solidarity and empowering liberation. We see and experience the same realities today. In the margins, in the hard, in the alone – you are there too. Confident of your commitment to wholeness and healing, we lift before you the wounds inflicted on your beloved queer and trans children. We name the rejection we have felt- from our churches, from our families and friends. We name that many of us wondered if you too had rejected us.

Jesus Christ, lover of all,

People: bring healing, bring peace.

One: We grieve the reality of a broken church that has been used as a place of harm rather than a safe harbor. So much pain has been inflicted. So many lies have been spread about God. In a church whose purpose is grounded in embrace, liberation, resistance, and community, instead it has enacted spiritual violence on children and adults alike.

Jesus Christ, lover of all,

People: bring healing, bring peace.

One: We hold in this space, those who have endured the worst of what the world has to offer. Those of every generation who have faced violence, the breaking of relationships, the fading of hope when basic needs go unmet.

Jesus Christ, lover of all,

People: bring healing, bring peace.

One: In silence we name within ourselves, the things we cannot bare to speak.

(silence)

Jesus Christ, lover of all,

People: bring healing, bring peace.


An Opening Prayer (1)

Passionate One, your love for us was so great that you queered every boundary working against our ability to perceive you. When we imagined you as beyond us, in the heavens, distant from our ordinary life, you took on flesh like ours and queered the boundaries between divinity and creation. You revealed to us that you are within us, around us, and beyond us. Open our hearts, O God, to the sacredness that knows no boundaries. In the Incarnate One we pray, Amen.


An Opening Prayer (2)

God of infinite manifestations, free us of shame that confines and judgment that destroys. Bring healing to the wounds of being told we are too big or too feminine or too young or too old or too queer. Ground us in the truth that sets us free: We are the work of a Divine hand – the holy lives in our flesh. Wherever we struggle to believe, meet us there. In Christ we pray. Amen.


An Opening Prayer (3)

God, we look for you all around us but always, you are as close as our own breath. You linger in our very flesh. Forgive us for our struggles to remember you linger, also, in the flesh of all our neighbors. The ones attacked, the ones policed, the ones condemned, the ones who are hungry, the ones turned away. In those we wound, you are wounded also, but when we honor the flesh of another, you are honored too. May it be so in us, Amen.


An Opening Prayer (4)

God, you have modeled for us time and time again what it looks like to come out. Since the beginning, you have been revealing your true self to us in different forms but we always struggle to understand. In Jesus, you took on the flesh of an infant, made yourself vulnerable, risked everything, all in hopes of deepening your relationship with us. Like our ancestors who responded to your coming out with violence and rejection, we acknowledge we too turn away from your revelation in unexpected people and places today. By your Spirit, make us the kind of community where those who come out as queer or trans, or in any vulnerable way, can find home, family, and embrace. Amen.


Communion (1)

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God who sets us free
It is our joy to give you thanks!

It is our joy, O God, to express our gratitude for your work in us. You offer to us life abundant, free from needing to conform to the pressures of our world. You wove us together with all of creation that we might be, like you, creators. You set us in the garden to plant, to grow, to help life to flourish. You set a path before us to co-create with you a world where beauty and truth and goodness might thrive.

But we have betrayed our calling. Instead of allowing life to flourish in its many forms, too often, O God, we turn away from those who don’t conform to our expectations. At times, we even become violent towards anyone who is different. Your creative hand in the formation of our queer and trans siblings is punished by both church and world. Since the beginning, we have struggled to overcome our fear of difference.

But in your love for all of us, you took on the very flesh the world despises. The flesh of one on the borders. The flesh of one who broke rules. The flesh of one who hung out with the outcasts, the weirdos, the sinners. In Christ, we are awakened to the Holiness of difference.

When the Sacredness of those on the margins is affirmed, the powers that depend on the status quo are threatened. And so, the religious and political leaders set out to end the life of Jesus.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

And so in remembrance of the One who refused to conform to values and practices that harm,

we pray that the Spirit would make us one in our vision for the Kindom, where all are free to flourish in our created forms. Pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup, that we might be the body of the queer Christ, relentless pursuer of love in all its surprising, confronting, and varied manifestations. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God, we give you thanks for this meal that nourishes us, body and soul. May it sustain us as we confront evil that keeps us or others from living freely as our true selves. Where any social norm or power imbalance limits our possibilities for thriving, may we be a witness to Christ, pursuer of justice for all your people. Amen.


Communion (2)

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God who shapes our world
For every creature and creation, we give you thanks, O God!

Indeed, we give you thanks, our Divine Creator. You declared from the beginning that we were created in your imagine, a reflection of what is holy, each, in our own way, a glimpse of you. We praise the works of your creative hand that fills our life with beauty. Every flower that blooms, every animal that delights, every body of water that sustains our life – all part of your good works.

Despite the abundance of life around us, we still turn to destruction. Each in our own ways, we have failed to embrace you by failing to embrace all your people, especially those different than us. We have, at times, sided with political and religious powers that refuse to recognize your image in all people.

And so we turn to Jesus, who showed us what it looks like to live into our true selves as people of God. He was humble yet grounded in your love for him. He sought out the despised and made them friends. He confronted every power that belittled, marginalized, and oppressed. His commitment to living out the image of God enfleshed could not be swayed, even in the face of death.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

Even in death, O God, your love prevailed. Through you Spirit, Christ was raised from the grave. No person, no institution, no force of evil could extinguish the work of your hand.

And so, by the same Spirit, bless these gifts of bread and cup that they may be the living Christ within us today; compelling us to be agents of love, uncompromising on our commitment to protecting every one of your creatures and creations.

Prayer after Communion

God of abundance, we give you thanks for the grace we experience at your Table. For forgiveness. For connection. For sustenance. For a renewed vision of who we are. Our gratitude abounds. Amen.


Communion (3)

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God who took on flesh
For your presence within us and around us, we give you thanks!

God, we give you thanks for dwelling, not at a distance, but intimately in our lives – as intimately as our own flesh.

You gifted us with bodies and through them we come to know you:

Through touch.

Through taste.

Through struggle.

Through rest.

Too often, O God, we treat the needs, longings, and desires of our own bodies as a barrier to our life in you. We dismiss the bodily needs of our neighbors. We condemn people because of their bodies or how they use their bodies in different ways than us. But you, in your love for us and for all creatures and creations, took on flesh like ours, entangling, forever, the Holy with our flesh. You showed us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we love through our bodies, we seek justice for bodies, we live out our faith in these bodies – not despite them.

Jesus, who took care and rest of his own body, revealed what God with flesh on looks like.

He fed people. He healed people. He ate with people. He met the physical and spiritual needs of bodies.

And when his own body was threatened by political and religious execution, he turned to the Table. He sought, first, in his hour of need, to share in a meal with his friends.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

The body of God was crucified.
And the the body of God was resurrected.
Not only in spirit, but in flesh.

God has shown us, these bodies are holy, precious, and full of possibility.

And so we pray to the Holy Spirit: Come, bless this bread and this cup, that we might encounter your presence as we touch, and we taste, and we feel. Make us one with the sacredness of our own flesh and blood. Make us one with the flesh of all who suffer. Make us one with the flesh of the earth. At this Table, may we become one body. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Enfleshed One, we give you thanks for this meal that nourishes our hunger for justice, for connection, for a world that is whole. We long for so much more than a taste. May we be relentless pursuers of your Kindom, until ever body has its needs met, every body is recognized as beloved, and every body is treated with dignity and care. Amen.


Communion (4)

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God who takes risks for love
For the courage of the Holy that lives in us, we give thanks

Throughout history, O God, we have struggled to remember who we are. When forces of evil work to shape our understanding of you, ourselves, and one another, we get lost. We hide parts of ourselves. We keep the things that make us vulnerable buried deep. We cling to security and safety. We turn from meaningful connection with one another.  We take cover under the patterns of our culture.

But you have created us for so much more.

In Jesus we saw a life lived in all its potential.

Life that is abundant, life that is collective, life that is tender and full.

But we saw, also, in him, what can happen to a life when power and norms are exchanged for truth, collective justice, and integrity. And so we wonder.

If we live true to our authentic selves, will we be condemned?

In proclaiming truths that confront unjust power, do we stand a chance of survival?

How will it go for us, if we are willing to risk everything for love?

You have never promised us safety, but you have shown us what is possible.
The Spirit brings new life even to places of death.

Jesus, knowing the dangers ahead, kept proclaiming his truth.

There was nothing worth his silence, not even his life.

And so he turned to community for companionship in the struggle.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

In Jesus, God came out to the world, challenging systems and norms. And though great violence was done and unfathomable loss was felt, Love presses on still today, transforming life after life.

And so we pray, pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup. Through these gifts, fill our hearts with courage to live boldly for one another, proclaiming the truths that set us free.

Blessed be this meal of hope. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God, we give you thanks for the invitation to your Table. No matter who we are, no matter our struggles or regrets, we are never turned away. Like all the gifts you give us, may we never be content to keeping them to ourselves. May this meal compel us to invite others – especially those who are turned away from the tables of their families, their churches, their communities – to our own tables, overflowing with love and nourishment abundant. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication (1)

God, in so many ways we are taught that we must be self-reliant, independent, in need of no one. But you, our Creator, fashioned us as one creation with many parts, connected intimately. Bless these gifts that they might be put to work for justice until we heal everything that breaches our connection with one another – until isolation is no longer and our sacred interconnection is restored. Amen.


Prayer of Dedication (2)

God, we know there are bodies aching with hunger today. There are bodies bearing scars of discrimination. There are bodies living in social isolation. We long to be a part of your healing work wherever there is pain or brokenness. Receive these offerings and bless them and our lives to the service of all your people. Amen.


Prayer of Dedication (3)

Spirit of Justice, we offer to you our resources in all their forms that you might put this community to work in enfleshing your love in this aching world. Amen.


Prayer of Dedication (4)

To be whole; to be safe; to be fully alive  – this is our prayer for all your people. Receive our offerings and bless them to this work. Amen.

 


Sending (1)

Go in the companionship of the Spirit and be a light to the world and all who are yearning to be free. Embrace your own difference, celebrate the difference of others, and proclaim the Good News: God’s love does not conform to the standards of our culture. It is without boundary. It extends to all.


Sending (2)

As you go from here remember that everyone you encounter is made in the image of God. The ones who try your patience. The ones the church rejects. The ones you share a life with. They are each a glimpse of God and so it is also with you. Go in peace.


Sending (3)

God is not lingering at a distance. God dwells in the world around us.
God is enfleshed in queer love.
God is made manifest in trans bodies.
God is present in every body that suffers from prejudice, discrimination, or broken relationships.

If you want to experience God, look around, listen, embrace, and care for her body in the flesh of your neighbor. Go in peace.


Sending (4)

Friends, we are not called to be reckless with our lives but we are sent into a world that requires risk-taking. As followers of Christ, may you go in a Spirit of Courage to bear witness to life in God. Disrupt oppression. Tell your story. Be vulnerable. Choose love.


Thank you prayer for National Coming Out Day

Thank you to the queer and trans ancestors who left us histories to hold on to.
Thank you to every kid who is the first in their class or their school or their town or their family, who made it a little easier for the next one.
Thank you to the elders who fought for yourselves and for us.
Thank you to the ones who let your freak flag fly.
Thank you to the ones who do “queer” in your own way.
Thank you to the ones who take each other in.
Thank you for kissing in public and holding hands in the street.
Thank you to the ones who share their scars.
Thank you to the ones who hold space – no pressure.
Thank you, loud ones.
Thank you, quiet ones.
Thank you to the ones who helped us learn to love our desire. No more shame.
Thank you to the ones who help us love our trans bodies.
Thank you to you who are doing what you need to do to survive. We need you.
Thank you for persisting.
Thank you for proclaiming.
Thank you for being.

To you who have shouldered the losses,
and taken the bullets,
and been fired, betrayed, beaten, bullied or isolated.
Your pain is honored.
Your contribution is not forgotten.
You deserve(d) so much better.
Thank you.

Once upon a time,
They could say they didn’t know us.
But not anymore.
Here we are.
Bringing our sacred strange into their pews and pulpits,
to their dinner tables,
and beside them in waiting rooms and check-out lines.
No apologies.
They are so lucky to have us here.

Thank you to you who are yet to come,
who will expand our understanding
and help us love more deeply
– ourselves and each other.
Thank you to every queer beloved and trans love who keeps choosing to live.
And choosing to love.
And choosing to support each other.

Untidy God

What of a God who doesn’t believe in having it all figured out?
In this idea of a single, tidy story.
But instead a God who changes with the day
and never stops asking you to learn how to love every messy, complicated, seemingly contradictory side of Themselves?
What of a God who has been so many different things. And ways.
One that has always been transitioning.
Taking on new flesh.
Shedding what hurts.
Claiming what frees.
Finding a fresh way to show us the Divine that we’ve been.
And everything that’s kept us from living it out.
What of a God that is tired of being misgendered?
Isn’t interested in excuses any longer.
Gets a little rude about it.
Doesn’t mind asking you to try a bit harder.
To let go of everything you’re more loyal to than love.
What of a God who spends more time dancing with strangers at 2am,
cooking a hot meal for the turned-away youth,
or protesting to abolish prisons and police
then attending any worship on Sunday mornings?
What of a God whose inclusion is radical?
One who calls from the fringes
to the halls of power
and the places of comfort
saying, “come! There’s a place for you here.
If you just lay down your life,
your power,
your privilege.
You can be family.
You will become alive again.”
What of a God who is queer?
As in politically.
As in strange and proud of it.
As in about the things of love and bodies and liberation and solidarity.
What of a God who is found in the flesh of everyone you have denied a kind word,
a safe bathroom,
a marriage ceremony,
a friendly smile,
access to health care,
a home,
a faith community,
asylum,
or even just respect?
Listen for this God today,
you will find them in selfies and stories,
coming out again and again
in testimonies and silence,
in gracious invitation,
and fierce and radical calls to a different kind of living,
a different kind of family,
a different kind of love.
Bring your offerings.
Lend your hands.
Whisper your prayers
And wail your laments
before all that is Holy and Gay.
Holy and Lesbian.
Holy and Queer.
Holy and Bi.
Holy and Trans.
Holy and Asexual.
Holy and Intersex.
Holy and Still Finding Their Way.


Read “A love poem to queers” 


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