Seminary Ordains Non-Binary Trans Clergy
What’s going on at Virginia Theological Seminary, one of the country’s largest Episcopal seminaries? Well, there’s this advice on how to start with gender-inclusive children’s ministry:
Gender, like so many other aspects of human identity, exists on a spectrum. I’m a non-binary trans Episcopal clergy person, and thankfully, at this stage in my life, I’m not often told I need to do things like “sit boy-girl-boy-girl crisscross applesauce around the rug so class can get started.” Where would I go? The middle? Outside the circle entirely?
I’m old enough and secure enough in who I am to joke about this, but many of the children who we are blessed to have as a part of the Body of Christ, are not yet. Children who are questioning their own gender, or who already identify as something other than the sex they were assigned at birth, may have to smoosh an important part of themselves down into a little box and outwardly identify as someone they’re not or often (sadly) face ridicule and bullying for being brave enough to live their truths.
The author, Rowan Larson (they/them), goes on to explain how “the gender binary hurts all of us,” and then offers six ideas for starting “a more inclusive children’s ministry” . . .
Read it all. Go ahead.
What kind of seminary teaches this stuff?! This is perverse poison. Rowan Larson is going to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts this Saturday. Things are going very badly for TEC in that diocese, as the church’s data show. . .
That is, a 36 percent decline in average Sunday attendance in just nine years — with a 15 percent decline in a single year, which might indicate Covid skewing the numbers.
“The overall picture is dire – not one of decline as much as demise within the next generation unless trends change significantly,” said the Rev. Dwight Zscheile, an expert in denominational decline and renewal. An Episcopal priest, Zscheile is vice president of innovation and associate professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“At this rate, there will be no one in worship by around 2050 in the entire denomination,” Zscheile told Episcopal News Service.
That’s only 28 years from now. . . .
I am wondering if there are signs that a church/denomination has gone into terminal decline. I’m talking about numerical signs (e.g., population drop below a certain number), but also cultural signs within the denomination. I’m thinking about Charles Featherstone, a white man who read and commented in this blog some years back, who was refused ordination in 2014 after graduating from a Lutheran (ELCA) seminary . . .
I bring his case up here because he did tell me that though he wasn’t a conservative, he was the only seminarian there from the working class, and boy, did it show. Everything was about advanced cultural progressivism (what we now call wokeism), but nobody had the slightest interest in class, except to think of him as problematic for not speaking their language. If his description of his ELCA seminary is accurate, then a church that is producing seminary graduates that are radically alienated in their beliefs, language, and habits of mind from the people they will be ordained to serve is not a church with a future.
(Excerpt from The American Conservative.
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