this post is a bit different from my normal posts. it’s not specifically about transgender theology issues, but it is about faith. specifically about the church.
the other night i visited a local church for the first time. it was a church in the emergent church movement. one of the ones that has done well and attracted quite a following. i decided that i wanted to check it out.
part of this experience were very cool. i loved worshipping in the round while sitting on couches. i loved the original artwork around the space and the ways in which the children ran in and out of worship. i liked reading the scripture as a group and the exegetical style of the preaching.
but there were also elements that were alienating. the music was good but incredibly hard to sing along to (and not a lot of people sang in general), there were no women visible present in the leading worship roles, the communion elements were hard to get to, and i felt incredibly isolated during the communion time as everyone gathered with people they knew. not to mention the bloody imagery of the communion liturgy doesn’t do it for me.
also, after the service when i asked the minister if this was a queer friendly church he gave me the worst non-answer i’ve ever been given; “well, there are a lot of queers around and we’re friendly.” he knew i had an m.div. so to think that this would have answered my question is an insult to my intelligence. as well as simply a crappy answer.
i left feeling sad. sad for the loss of what i was hoping would be a meaningful spiritual experience. sad that the potential of this amazing space wasn’t being utilized fully. sad that this pastor felt he had to double talk about queerness just to avoid alienating people. i won’t be going back.
but it has left me thinking a lot about what i want/need from a church home or a spiritual community.
i need meaningful ritual that is steeped in beauty and the arts. i need good music that i can also sing along to and enter in to.
i need shared meals with the eucharist (or other communion symbols) as a part of the meal.
i need community and shared experience. a way to talk about the scripture (not just the bible but other scriptures as well) in a meaningful way.
those are just some of the things i desire. it seems hard to find them.