So much of the conversation around queer spirituality, especially in Christian circles, continues to revolve around the “is it sin?” question. Books have been written about a deeper queer theology, but many of them are still inaccessible to folks whether because they are too academic, or too expensive, or just not well enough known. Popular conversation remains at the 101 level.
While I believe that 101 level is important, I also know that many of us are longing for more. We want to be in a place where we don’t have to answer the “how do you know it’s not a sin” question. We want to be in a place where we can talk about how our queerness and/or trans*ness has deepened our spirituality. We want to talk about where we see queerness in the Bible, how our faith has changed our lives, and how we want to work for change in our communities. We want to share our stories and find community with one another.
Here’s what I know: Before I came out I was unable to have an authentic spiritual life. I was disconnected from my body and my spirituality was disconnected as well. I found God distant. Once I was able to accept myself as queer and trans* my experience of God shifted. I started to understand the power of resurrection, to experience my spirituality in bodily ways, and to feel like God wasn’t so distant. I want to be in community with other people to talk about these experiences.
Some of us have managed to find communities online to begin to have those conversations, but long for something in person. I’ve written before about my work with Camp Osiris and I want to talk about it again today.
We have just opened up registration for our May retreat. Camp this year is open to everyone ages 18 and up. We expanded our age range because so many people were asking to come who were older than our original limits. This retreat is called “Beyond 101″. We’ll spend time exploring queer stories in the Bible and seeing how the Bible speaks to queer liberation. We’ll share our stories, laugh a lot, worship together, and dream up ways to bring change to our communities. You can read more about what to expect on the camp blog. We are also accepting volunteer staff applications.
If enough people are interested, we’ll be having an ally track during the weekend so folks can better learn to work in solidarity with the queer community. This track will be especially helpful for clergy and other folks in the helping professions (although it is open to everyone). There will be combined times of fellowship as well as some separate workshop experiences.
We are relying on word of mouth, so I would love it if you would share about this experience with others. If you are interested in hanging up flyers, send me an email (anarchistreverend at gmail) and I can send you a pdf. If you are in Minneapolis and would like me to come do a workshop at your church or community, I would be happy to do that.
If your church would like to offer a scholarship or add the Camp into your mission budget, please let me know.