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VickySGV

A Transgender Lent

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VickySGV

On Tuesday night, I am going to be helping out at my church by getting our social hall's sound system up to playing some New Orleans Jazz, and then by helping cook up pancakes and other fat involved cooked items. It will be a party with gaiety and festivity, but when it ends, things will change for nearly two months. The next morning begins the season of Lent with its customary self denial and personal introspection of our relationship to God and Christ. Lent will be ended at last in the celebration of Easter, the most joyful time of the Christian year.

This year, I have decided that I am going to use my Transition as a take off for my own meditations in this time. Perhaps the one thing I need to work on and look at is my own personal path to take not only as a church member of one congregation, but as a transgendered Christian. I hear us talk here about our own churches, and some of us have good places and relations, but others are struggling in churches that are also struggling with us. What path do we take to help them in their struggle without letting our struggle overcome us??

Where this has lead me is to the part I actually play in my church accepting me. Even though I have a pastor, does she/he have to be the one in the lead of my acceptance? Do other people in my parish have to greet me with open arms, or can and should I be the one to reach out and touch them and offer my peace to them?

I have selected two prayers or assertions of faith that I will be using this year. One is simply the Prayer of St. Francis :

"LORD, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

DIVINE MASTER, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that I receive, it is in pardoning that I am pardoned and it is in dying that I am born to eternal life." St Francis Of Asissi

I want very much to be able to take my responsibility for my actions, and these are things I must wish for if I am to do them in regard to the Cis members of my church I deal with. I am responsible, and a leader, not just pardon the phrase, a single sheep. I must not give up myself, but I have things to do.

The other devotion I will be using is called The Breastplate, an assetion by St. Patrick of what was needed in his life of faith. It is a fairly long recitation that I will not put out in full here, but Patrick invokes the Holy Trinity as a "Breastplate" of protection for proclaiming the faith, and then binds on other parts of creation, and the church tradition. It includes images from all creation, and not only people, but their contributions to the church. Wikipedia has a listing under St Patricks Breastplate that is a translation of the oldest version, and while grand, it is a bit hard to understand. It is also listed elsewhere in musical settings and can be sung.

Both ancient standards of the larger Church have very definite applicability to what needs to be done on our personal side of things. Both Francis and Patrick were leaders, and their words call us to do it too.

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gennee

Please tell us how everything went, Vicky. We begin Lent tomorrow night at church, also.

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VickySGV

The Tuesday party is over, and went very well. I had volunteered to set up our music system, and threw in some party lights from my own supply and a good selection of jazz music. There were about double the number of people expected, and I was just one of them, but still among them on a special day and time of fellowship. In one way it was my old self, since that is who had done the same thing last year and the set up of the sound system is a boy thing I am not getting rid of. I was called by my name though and introduced as she to new people who had not known me before. Fun, but calm.

Today begins the questions and thoughts to consider for the next 40 days.

Today; What is an Instrument of God's Peace? What has changed about my being now that I am out and open that will affect my being an Instrument Of Peace? To whom do I give my peace?

How do I bind the Holy Trinity to the now whole and real self that I show to my congregation, and how do I help them to know and see what I have really done? What can I do change their lives so the whole spirit of The Trinity is welcome and known?

Its a start, I don't know quite where tomorrow goes, but I encourage each of you to make your own journey to knowing yourself so you can be part of your own Congregations and spiritual communities.

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Guest Karen K

My sister in Christ,

Thank you so very much for posting this. You and others here are familiar with my current stuggle with my church. Only the pastor and the three in charge of the music ministry know of my transition (I still present as male for church services). While I have been reflecting on this Lental season and deciding what to surrender for the sake of our Lord, I cannot forget or dismiss my struggles with the church.

I will be using the prayers you posted as well as looking up "the Breastplate". I am keeping the Lord with me in my transition, as I cannot journey thru this with out Him. The things we give up or change should bring us closer to God, and I pray this will be the case this year, more so than the previous years.

Laura Jane

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Guest Gregg Jameson

Hi Vicky,

You are a leader, indeed.

Thank you for sharing on this topic.

You have touched my heart.

In Gratitude,

Brad

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Guest Father Ford

Vicky,

God bless you! First of all, I've been a professional sound engineer for nearly 13 years, and I can tell you this -- it is not a 'boy's job'... I used to work for a 10,000 member megachurch, and one of my fellow engineers was perhaps the most feminine girls you would ever meet... hair, nails, make-up, 'girltalk', and yet she was a very talented and respected sound engineer. When the Lord gives you a gift, USE IT. :)

As I myself contemplate my relationship with our Savior this Lenten season, I can't help be brought back over and over again to the realization that HE created me, that I am HIS above all else, and that we are all children of the same gracious, compassionate God. I am taking up saying the Divine Office as well as praying the Rosary daily. There isn't much I can give up as I don't have a lot, but I can give up my time and my heart to the Lord in a way far deeper than I ever have. My Lenten message this year is that it's not completely necessary to give of material things to the Lord, for what He wants above all else is our hearts. Your recitation of St. Patrick's prayer is a wonderful way to devote your heart ever stronger to the Lord. Christ be with you all on your Lenten journeys this year as we await the life-giving Resurrection!

Dominus Vobiscum,

Fr. Ford

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Guest rikkicd64

I want to thank all of you who have posed above me,I have been needing to deal with the situation of me being out of the church for 5 years.I pulled into the parking lot of my church last week,sat in the car for 15 minutes,then drove away.I was going to visit a nun whom I used to be close to,but I didn't know what to say,I guess I was scared or maybe embarassed.

I was very active in the church,worked with the RCIA program for several years,was devoted to perpetual adoration for several years also.

Do any of have any suggestions on how I could resolve my situation?As I consider myself a transexual and love this part of my life,I also miss the church.

Rikki...... :dunno:

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Guest ValerieM

Hey Rikki

I feel for you. I have not talked to my pastor yet but have been going to worship with painted toenails, shaved legs and painted fingernails for some time now. When he asked why, I just told him I like it. He was ok with that. Last week a family next to me noticed and talked to him about it. He simply said I am a solid man of God who likes to paint his nails and shave his legs. I am sure he knows why but has seen no reason to probe further I guess. At some point I may tell him more but I will not stop going or loving God. If people are upset I see that as their issue not mine. I hope this helps a little sweetie. God bless.

Valerie

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VickySGV

Sorry I have been missing this Rikki. It is very rough if your main church body (you don't say, but it sounds like you are Roman Catholic) has an "official" stand that denies or marginalizes transgendered people in their full participation in the Body Of Christ. The nice thing is that I know of people in the churches who let their official leaders make all the noise they want but the individual lay members look at things differently. There is a big difference between you, who they know, and to whom you are a real living and loving person, and transgender people in general who the clergy can point fingers at without being involved in the individuals lives. Even clergy, once they realize a person's humanity will at least treat you as a human being. If you come out to your parish, the chance is fair to good that you will be welcome. If your own parish has a problem though, then a neighboring one may accept you. Very worst case, and its not all bad, is that there are small churches that are not affiliated with Rome, but who carry on the traditions that you crave spiritually. One of the other poster's here is a newly ordained priest in one of those churches. I was actually hoping he would see this and respond to you, but it did not happen.

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