Musings of the Minister, April 26th 2018

Friends,
As we prepare to gather on Sunday at the Sackville United Church for our sixth Wonder Café Conversation with Corey Hunter and Joselyn O’Connor, both transgender individuals and Elise Fougere who identifies as non-binary, I want to share with you a wonderful article from the Christian Century that was shared with me: Nonbinary Gender and the Diversise Beauty of Creation.  I was so very struck by the imagery of these words, reflecting on Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis:

30708284_10156305888974320_5088897588418052096_oThis kind of structure in scripture was something that I appreciated up until my teen years, when I began to get a sense of the way life sometimes falls outside black-and-white categories. Biologically, I learned that the world isn’t separated distinctly into land or sea; there are also marshes, estuaries, and coral reefs. Personally, I began to figure out more about my own sense of gender identity, and I wondered if all people were really divided into male and female, as Genesis 1 seemed to say they were….

United Methodist deacon M Barclay, who identifies as neither male nor female but as nonbinary, puts it this way: “This chapter talks about night and day and land and water, but we have dusk and we have marshes. These verses don’t mean ‘there’s only land and water, and there’s nowhere where these two meet.’ These binaries aren’t meant to speak to all of reality—they invite us into thinking about everything between and beyond.

Everything between and beyond…  is this not where God resides?  I found myself connecting the above thoughts with some of the reflections of Diana Butler-Bass in her book Grounded, especially where she writes of the riparian zone.

The article continues:

But charting our identities along a line in two dimensions has its limitations; namely, it doesn’t accurately reflect human diversity. We don’t see each other, or ourselves, in only two dimensions. Bisexual and nonbinary advocates are suggesting that it’s long past time to update our ideology. Perhaps, instead of insisting that each person can be charted along a line, we should be looking up and seeing that the multitude of sexualities and gender identities exist in 3-D, sprinkled through space like the stars.

In closing, I urge you to join the Sackville United Church congregation on Sunday April 29th and take part in the Wonder Café Conversation and meet these three articulate, passionate and deeply engaging individuals!  Also on Sunday you can pick up a copy of the resolution from the Sackville United Church Affirm Committee that will be considered at a congregational meeting of that congregation of June 3rd 2018.  Or, you can click here and find it on the website – but we do hope to see you soon!

‘til Sunday,
Lloyd

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