Advent done differently

Date: December 16, 2022

As it happens, I have been in New York over the last two Thursday evenings. As I result I was invited to attend “Queer Advent” in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

The design is both simple and thoughtful. It is an opportunity to reflect on the experience and journey of persons who are LGBT+ within the context of worship. Flourish Klink, a seminarian here at GTS, gave a rich and thoughtful homily. And I found the suffrages, written by Jay Hulme, very moving. They were (R representing the congregational response):

Blessed are the outcasts;
the ostracised, the outsiders.
Blessed are the scared;
the scarred, the silent
Blessed are the broken;
R for they are not broken.
Blessed are the hated;
R for they are not worthy of hate.
Blessed are those who try;
R those who transform, who transition.
Blessed are the closeted;
R God sees you shine anyway.
Blessed are the queers;
R who love creation enough to live the truth of it, despite a world that tells them they cannot.
And blessed are those who believe themselves unworthy of blessing;
R what inconceivable wonders you hold.

Liturgy is a strange animal. And I confess that I found the saying of these suffrages really moving. Thank you GTS.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of General Theological Seminary

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