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Being a follower of Jesus Christ-revisited [Mar. 3rd, 2013|05:19 pm]
Transgendered Christians

charlenaandrews
Originally posted by charlenaandrews at Being a follower of Jesus Christ-revisited
Originally posted by charlenaandrews at Being a follower of Jesus Christ-revisited
Being a follower of Jesus Christ-revisited
I March 2013
As the title implies this entry has to do with my own spiritual walk but also what I believe the Bible tells us in the 4 Gospels. If you aren't drawn to such a post then please understand upfront what to expect.
   Since the cradle I have been inundated with religious indoctrination and teachings as to what it means to be "Christian" and after my personal eperiences as well as my own journey into wmanhood  I have realized the prototype we are supposed to imitate in daily life has been misrepresented, has had countless unspoken doctrines and supposed utterings. MJost of us have beenh taught since birth that we just weren't good enough to approach the Throne of God on our own and we needed a "churched" spiritual adviser or priest to intercede for us. We were told that only through the strictest of adherance to church laws and doctrines did we even have a chance of making it to heaven, must be a really small place. We were taught He was a vengeful tyrantical God that kept deyailed records of our evry thought and action and was swift to condemn us to hell'. If you were raised protestant, from my obsevations, you just inflicted your own penance on yourself in the form of shame and self loathing til you figured your debt was paid. Most of us were taught about a thing called "dispensationalism" a long words that basically say that God doesn't do miracles through His children anymore so don't get your hopes up. They teach us we owe God 10% of our wages and yet fail to encourage us to tithe of our personal lives in times, goods and/or services. Then there is the other side that declares "name it and claim it", no context required. Manyu of us have heard the teachings on the prayer of Jabez but apparently got hung up on why we desired to be blessed, so we could be a blessing to others. Most Sunday messages revolve around the writings, several hundreds of years after their deaths from the New Testament books starting with Acts, all written by mere mortals and translated, modified and amplified countless times and usually out of the broader context of the writing. If they are looking to feel extra holy or false piety they will reach back into the writings from the Old covenant (or Testament if you wish) to find verses with which to judge others they deem unworthy of God's Love or Forgiveness. Somehow they conveniently forget the minor fact that the covenant was fulfilled, from God's side, on Calvary and is thus powerless to save or condemn anymore.They carry tracts or placards that spew hatred and bigotry and have the audacity to attach God's name and "supposed" seal of divine  approval. It  shouldn't take a blue ribbon panel of experts to figure out why their church membership rolls are dwindling and their self proclaimed robes of righteouness have been transformed into filthy rags in the eyes of the world around them.This isn't meant to be a rush to judgement, that would make me just as hypocritical as them, but it is a call to approach the Throne of God humbly and seek His Desires and His heart in these restless times.
   Daddy is calling His sons and daughters home and the 4 Gospels are a living example of how it is to be done. Show the Love, Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness that Jesus taught by example throughout His short life on earth.It worked then and will work now because it is an extension of the Father's heart to His children. In Matthew's account of the "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus gives a fairly detailed list of what actions actually glorify God and also bring blessings upon the person living in such a manner. They have been dubbed the "Be attitudes" for a reason and Jesus' life was a living  breathing example of how we need to aspire to be. In a world full of strife, greed and cynicism someone living would shine like the morning sun to all they come in contact with. Jesus said " Iam the Way, the Truth and the Life and those who come to the Father must come through Me", there is mno judgement or condemnation in those words only Hope and Life. If we are goig to be true followers then we must go back to the orignal living blueprint Jesus left us. Just like you need to use the same template each time to get correct copies there must be a realization that following a copy of the copy and etc. is never going to give you an accurate representation of the orignal, in this case Jesus our first born Brother and our living template. Much is bantered about concerning the Bible and which edition,interpetation or version is truly sacred and even which writings are Holy Scripture. Jesus said He was the Doorway,the Lifegiver the one true Pathway to the Father, He has fulfilled the Law requirements of the Old Covenant and instituted a new and better Covenant based on having faith in Him and by default living a life that is a true reflection of His life on Earth. He didn't say act like the pope, the pastor, prophet or evangelist for a reason...they are human and as such are flawed by their own life experiences and beliefs. To follow them is to follow the wide road to destrction filled with legalism, judgementalism and plain misinterpetation and undrestanding of written Scripture. This may sound like heresy but the Bible is a lot like my journal, a record of life events from the author's perspective. The reader will probably read it through the filters of his or her life experiences and may miss the intent of the author completely. What makes the Bible infallible is the Holy Spirit brings Life and the Heart of God comes alive as He speaks DIRECTLY to the reader who listens for the small whisper of God. No human can be a substitute for a living and growing relationship with God. We were called to be, like Jesus, vessels of the Father's Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and a Hope for the future. We are living Mercy Seats pouring out the Heart of our Father to a dying world. Jesus said we would do the things He did and much more. I believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the call fr us to use them like Jesus did but if we are to be true followers of Jesus Christ we need to realize that they were a small part of His total life. We desperately need to , under the guidance of the Holy Spirt, find a natural balance in our daily walk that doesn't flaunt our giftings and yet able to flow humbly in our gifting as the Holy Spirit directs. I have no denomination affiliation by personal choice and at the same time I walk under a spiritual covering of my pastor with full accountabilty and transparency even as the disciples did with Jesus. That is balanced with theunderstanding that my most important relationship is my Father- daughter relationship and everything must pass through the scrutiny of the Ligt of God. Scripture records "Christ in me, the hope of Glory" we will never fulfil our destnies in Christ Jesus apart from this precept. I am nothing and yet He within me, my heart, my spirit and my outward actions will bring Glory to Him and in that place I am fulfilled. Be Blessed and set your eyes squarely upon the prize that is Jesus and let nothing distract you or deter you. He that is within you is bigger than he who is in the world. This seems like a good place to rest my pe.
Charlena Marie Andrews-Hayes
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A Season of Transition and Reflections [Dec. 18th, 2012|11:50 am]
Transgendered Christians

charlenaandrews
A Season of Transition and Reflections
17 December 2012
Well here we are at the end of another calendar year, a few weeks into the new church year and definitely a in the midst of a season of change. My life is continuing in the desired direction and I am starting to see the results of persaonal choices over the few last years. Earlier in the year on February 4 I finally received a fully favorable decision concerning my total disability claim with Social Security followed closely, on April 12 with my name change petition being approved and finally on 29 June I underwent breast augmentation surgery which was very sucessful. On July 24 one of my closest friends and sister died at home unexpectedly while recovering from a major infection and it has deeply impacted my life. We had known each other for only a few years but the bonds of sisterhood and family were firmly entrenched in both of us. Earlier in the year in February I attended a political rally in the state capitol in support of stronger anti-bullying laws and a statewide fairness law both of which were stalled in commitee and although the bills didn't go through I did meet a young lady who was 25 years my junior and we struck up an immediate friendship. That young lady is now my fianc'ee and in early 2013 will be my wife, isn't it funny how these things happen? On November 2 we officially proposed to each other, and on November 3 I was honored to be invited to my spiritual daughter Kristen's wedding and I rejoiced over her dreams becoming reality. When you have had the privilege to watch someone go through adversity and come through it blossoming like a spring rose it is a very precious experience. The following morning I officially joined Highlands Baptist Church. In late November I turned 63 and the reality of my being a finite being actually started hitting home. I have a dear trans sister living in my home through the end of the month and it has been very painful watching her deal with the reality of her having to return to her own home. Of all the hard times this year I believe this has been the worst because it is around me day in and day out. To the good side I have been able to watch my 20+ month old grandson grow up in my home and have marvelled at how the maternal instincts deeep within me have blossomed into a Nana's love for Him. Tristan is the only grandchild left in my life since my coming out and I see him as a small gift from God to replace those I lost. Yes I still love them and miss them deeply but the reality of it is their parents won't let them see me or even be aware of who I am. Hopefully as they grow into adults they will possibly read this journal and desire to re-connect. I spoke in the title of Transitions and they have been many and each a blessing. The greatest is probably the realization that I am just a woman, no more prefixes or asteriks attached. Though all the physical changes are yet to be completed everything about me is female and I rejoice in that. At the start of the year I had pretty much assumed I would live and die as a widow so Myralee coming into my life both blindsided me and blessed me. I also came to realize that I have become very comfortable and at ease with titles like domesticated, homebody or even middle aged woman being used to describe me. I have found a very quiet joy in keeping my home in order and clean, in being there to help others and just hanging out at home. On the spiritual side after spending almost 3 years chasing after the elusive memories of being actively emersed in ministry for so many years I finally shut up in my mind long enough for Daddy to remind me that for everything there is a time and a season including ministering in certain ways or settings. He showed me the seasons and challenged me to take the spring into the summer or fall into winter. I finally understood that though such things are impossible to man we can take the memories of past seasons and remember them fondly without chasing after them possessively. After all these years you would think I would remember that lesson but I didn't. I have joyfully submitted myself to the leadership of my new church and though all the mighty miracles aren't a part of the services the Hoiy Spirit's sweet presence resides in the place continually and that is by far the most important miracle of all. As I wrote earlier I am engaged to be married soon and that in itself has been a major internal struggle with nearly 6 decades of teachings on the sanctity of marriage and more particularly that only by hetrosexual couples. Trying to reconcile all the indoctrination over the years with the fact that the Father not only brought Myralee into my life but also joined our hearts together in that very special selfless love so few of us have ever been blessed with. After months of praying, meditating and seeking God I came to the point of knowing this union wasn't of my making or any mans' but rather a precious gift from a loving Father to 2 of His children and what God has joined together I will not tear asunder. I don't know about all the hype over civil unions vs. marriage or straight versus same sex but I do know a gift from God when I see it and I guess the world may at some point realize it but regardless my heart is set on it's course and I am proud to be know as Myralee's wife and life partner. One of the major transitions this year has been my heart, it has gotten softer, gentler and more fragile. In my first marriage I got to a place where it was totally surrendered to my wife and marriage. Regardless of the kind of day I had or even what mood she was in at the end of the day when i came through the door I felt complete and whole. I was in a place where I could share my deepest thoughts, my great victories and crushing defeats in the outside world and I was still loved unconditionally. When she passed a great deal of my heart was buried with her. I found myself in a place of hiding my heart away from others out of fear of having it crushed again. I became the Hollowman I wrote of in my previous journal. I knew all the routies, and scripterd my life into a safe, but empty, pattern. Even through my early transitioning stages I managed to isolate my feelings and function on an impulse level. Looking back now I am realizing that may have had a great part in my going through my "slut phase". Not an excuse just an observation. Well I have been very cognizant recently that I am desiring and needing that same kind of relationship with Myralee and it honestly scares me. Hollowman always had one super power, he was impervious to emotional pains and hurts because he never made himself vulnerable to the outside world. The problem was that he couldn't accept or give love for fear of rejection. Looking back I am realizing that though my wife passed away to heaven there was a place in my heart that only felt rejection and abandonment even though my head knew differently. Funny how that works though we live in one body as a single individual there are so many indepent facets and functions present and working within us. Since we were made in God's image it should be no surprise that we aren't one dimensional but rather multi-faceted with an inate ability to function on several levels at the same time. For me it is a time to make the decision and tear down the walls around my heart and be whole and complete once more. If somehow through this upcoming marriage I am hurt again then I will just have to deal with it but the only other option is to become a very mechanical and safe person devoid of the feelings and emotions that makes us vibrant living people. I can actually say that even above coming out with all it's inherent rejection from friends and family this next step is probably the scariest challenge I face and I do it only because I cannot exist void of feelings and emotions plus I desperately need Myralee in my life to make both it and me complete. I wanted a woman's heart and now that it is here in full bloom I understand all the hidden pains, emotions, hopes and dreams that flow through it continually. I have no regrets but will say this is one of those unexpected prices that must be paid in my quest for womanhood. I have arrived at my destination and yet it is just a stopping point in my journey. This is a place for building a memorial altar of rememberance in my soul to return to in times of crisis to encourage myself and find a renewed strength to continue on my personal quest, to fulfil the destiny for which I was created.
    On another and final tangent I have been becoming increasingly aware of the need and calling to step outside my own personal comfort zones and reach the entire community, both of them, with the love and compassion of the Father toward a hurting and dying world. Where this conviction will lead me in the future is unclear but I will answer the call and walk out whatever He leads me to do. Finally I have recently had to watch several relationships struggle to stay together, sometimes unsucessfully, and have witnessed all the hurting victims on both sides. The sad part is that the usual cause is the useless baggage that we all carry around and seldom deal with. Maybe it is my advanced years talking but we really don't have the luxury of lugging garbage around and it always is a harsh taskmaster. Well I look around my home and it is empty and quitet so I believe I shall take a hard earned nap. Be Blessed and may your holidays be filled with joy and wonder and a spirit of expectancy for the years to come.
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Join the Tribeca Protest Over "Ticked Off Trannies" Film [Apr. 6th, 2010|04:12 pm]
Transgendered Christians

queerunity
A demonstration against the Tribeca Film Festival's choice to feature the movie "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" will take place in NYC tonight. The movie promotes transphobia and makes light of the rape and violence all too often directed at transwomen. In addition to the offensive title of the movie, the film portrays transwomen as being performers.

http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2010/04/join-tribeca-protest-over-ticked-off.html
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Remove Crossdressing from the DSM-V [Mar. 22nd, 2010|11:55 am]
Transgendered Christians

queerunity
A petition to remove cross-dressing as a mental disorder is being submitted to the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Currently the APA considers individuals who crossdress to be suffering from "transvestic disorder" http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2010/03/remove-crossdressing-from-dsm-v.html
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One More River to Cross... [Mar. 15th, 2009|04:42 pm]
Transgendered Christians

a_nony_mouse54
[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |optimisticoptimistic]
[Current Music |David Arkenstone - Quest of the Dream Warrior]

When I was growing up and the family went on vacation it always seemed that I was asking "How much further is it?". And the answer was always "Just a little further." The lesson being that a goal is always a little further away or harder to achieve than you think it would or should be. This was brought to mind today as I listened to Rev. Carol give us the news that due to changes in the real estate market that the amount of the loan we need to finish our new home for MCCGSL is more than the current appraised value of the property and that as a result it was uncertain when we would be able to move in. One more challenge on a journey that has already seen us as a church give until it seems that we can give no more. But more is needed. Can we as a church rise to this challenge?

At this point I'm going to digress just a bit - I'm going to use as an example the selection process that the military uses to pick who gets into the training courses to join the elite units - Special Forces, Delta, Seals, etc. The common factor is that they work the the prospective trainees for for days on limited food and little or no sleep. Then when they think that have reached their limits physically and mentally present them one more seemingly insurmountable challenge. Perhaps to individually march another 20, 30 or more miles or as a team move a heavy and awkward object some distance with only their own physical ability and what they can scrounge to work with. The ones who pass and go on are those that rise to the challenge, who don't know the meaning of the word quit. The relavance here is that the same attitude is needed in our situation - if we fail at raising that last bit of money/collateral it becomes uncertain when or if we will ever get to move into our new facility. We have been presented that last (I hope) challenge - are we up to it?

There was a time in our church history when we had so little in the line of resources that the bills for utilities and the like would be tacked up on the front door to be adopted and paid by members of the congregation. Somehow they made it through those times. Speaking for myself only, as Rev. Carol outlined the problem my thoughts were not about if I would rise to this challenge but rather how I would do it. As I have written previously I'm already delaying my retirement in order to contribute from my transition fund to help pay for our new home. And then it came to me, I own free and clear a small tract of land in the Ozarks where I go to camp and chill out when life gets to be more than I can handle. Since collateral is needed to secure the additional loan amount I'm going to put the deed to what has been my refuge over the years up to help secure the loan.

I'll be interested to see who else rises to the challenge - but given the history of our church I know that I am not and will not be alone.
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New transgender education resource for churches from NGLTF's Inst for Welcoming Resources [Feb. 17th, 2009|07:41 pm]
Transgendered Christians

tommytesto
New transgender education resource for churches from the Institute for Welcoming Resources

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Read more...Collapse )
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news: Openly Transgender Minister Ordained in SF Lutheran Church [Jan. 5th, 2009|09:47 pm]
Transgendered Christians

tommytesto
Openly Transgender Minister Ordained in SF Lutheran Church

http://blogout.justout.com/?p=5352
and
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=3612
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Soulfest? [Jan. 4th, 2009|12:26 am]
Transgendered Christians

tommytesto
Has anyone ever been to Soulfest?

I have been to some of the concerts, and am thinking of getting a campsite this year.
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On Transgender at MCCGSL [Nov. 30th, 2008|06:13 pm]
Transgendered Christians

a_nony_mouse54
[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]
[Current Music |Doug Smith - Guitar - Order of Magnitude]

Through the years the Transgender population at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Saint Louis has been rather small. Part of that is I suspect due to the bad rap that Transgendered folks get from many religious denominations and partly due to a lack of outreach to the Transgender community. As a part of our TDOR service for 2008 we made a point of inviting members of the St. Louis Gender Foundation to join us as we paid respect to those who died this year because they tried to live their lives as who they truly were. While their turnout was limited it would appear that the ice has been broken. A case in point. Two women who are Gender Foundation members and have recently started transition and the Real Life Test have contacted me in the last couple of weeks looking for information on MCCGSL. Both came to our 11:30 service today and I would venture to guess that they will be back - this is our modern or "contemporary" service and I suspect that they may have been a bit surprised by the sheer energy/exuberance that they found. Not to mention the warm but not I hope overpowering greeting. A comment from one was "This is nothing like the Church of England!". Welcome Stephanie and Chrissie - we hope to see much of you in the future. And if you prefer something more traditional then our 9:30 service may be to your liking.

So what comes next? I've spoken of joining the Gender Foundation and I suspect that this will be my next move. The chance to put a human face on MCCGSL and let them get to know us is something not to be missed. An email asking in effect "Can I come out and play too?" will be sent - I'll be interested in the response.
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Preparing for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2008 [Nov. 10th, 2008|07:51 pm]
Transgendered Christians

a_nony_mouse54
[Current Location |Home]
[Current Mood |calmcalm]
[Current Music |David Arkenstone - Eternal Champion]

Its been an interesting week preparing for the TDOR services that will be held at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis on this coming Sunday Nov. 16. Some people have questioned why we don't hold the service on November 20 which is the actual date - for us to get the largest turnout holding the service concurrent with our regular Sunday worship services just makes sense. Since there will also likely be other services on the 20th we also have the chance to increase awareness of the violence that claims far too many lives in the Transgender community and spread that awareness out over several days.

So what will the ceremony consist of? We will start with a few opening comments about TDOR and its significance and a prayer, then there will be a reading of the names of this years victims and the date and place of their passing. For each name read, a candle will be lit and when all the names have been read a traditional hymn "Amazing Grace" will be sung and then a closing prayer. Later in the worship service will come a special communion service in honor of both the victims and those who continue their journey in search of the chance to be at peace in their own bodies.

If you will be in or around Saint Louis, Mo. on the 16th why not join us?

Cross posted from my personal LJ
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