Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transgender Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance
St Peter’s Episcopal Church
November 19,2014

Crimes against the LGBTQ community are still more commonplace than they should be. On November 19, 2014 we gathered t at St Peter's Episcopal Church in Salem MA and took time to remember more than 250 transgender folks who have been brutally tortured and killed in just this last year. 

We Episcopalians know something of the hate and brutality against us. Matthew Sheppard was brutally beaten, tortured and left to die tied to a barbed wire fence in Laramie, Wyoming on October 12, 1998.

When V. Gene Robinson was consecrated our first openly gay Bishop on November 2, 2003 he had to wear a bullet proof vest because of all the serious death threats he had received in preparation for this sacred moment in his life and in the life of the church.

As we prepared for the Transgender Remembrance ceremony, I was asked to give the blessing...and honor among the greatest honors I have received in my life.  Offered the following prayer. A number of people have asked me for a copy.

One young person has indicated a desire to speak to me because of her family's rejection. Her dad was an Episcopal priest and now has gone to the Roman Catholic priesthood. There is no place for her family's love now and she is struggling with her rejection. I offered the words that follow

A Prayer of Blessing
Transgender Remembrance Day, 2014
Salem MA

We give thanks this night for this organization and all those who provide advocacy for the LGBTQ community.

We will not be silent. Nor will we closet ourselves away from public view.
We are each in our own way precious in the sight of God and one another.
We will not be afraid.

Matthew Shepard, one of our number was left to die on a barbed wire fence in Laramie Wyoming on a cold winter’s night.
Gene Robinson, our first openly gay Bishop and tireless advocate of of the LGBTQ community was consecrated bishop wearing a bullet proof vest.

Tonight we remember all who have faced the sting of hatred and violence for being true to themselves. And we give thanks for them.
We give thanks for each of you.

You are a blessing to one another.  And you are a blessing in the eyes of God.  As we begin our time together tonight, I thank you for the blessing of being with you in solidarity of hope that one day every church of God will become a “House of Prayer for ALL People” like this one seeks to be. And likewise that every organization on earth will be fully inclusive of all.

In the meantime may God bless you all!

Fr Paul

1 comment:

Monica and Preslee said...

When humanity embraces all sacred humans, we will witness the ascension to a higher consciousness, arriving in the new era-"The Golden Age" spoken of by the ancients. Part of the suffering for LGBTQ people is that they are missing from their place in society. Therefore sacred human find your place again, serve your community give back-and join with the millions who will rebuild paradise, not just for the few but for all. I really love you and need you to be apart of the new world thats coming. Nancy Oakes