Neither snow nor cold kept transgender adults of several faiths–Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Nazarene, Evangelical–from gathering in a warm cabin with good food, rich conversation and deep reflection over this past weekend on our Transgender Spiritual Retreat. Our goals were to simple: to take time away from busy lives to reconnect with the God of our individual understanding, and to reclaim God and healthy religion as sources of self-esteem, spiritual renewal and discernment of one’s personal spiritual path forward in our journey throughout life.
Our very willing and gracious group of transmen and women (had gender-fluid folks wanted to come they would have found themselves most welcome!) allowed me the honor of teaching how to read Biblical texts through a ‘queer’ lens that shows how trans* people are indeed esteemed by God. Those gathered learned that gender variant people have long had roles in Scripture as heroes and holy people. For transgender people of faith, our weekend was a blessing combined of relaxation, group spiritual companioning, experiencing Centering Prayer, the devotional use of Scripture called Lectio Divina, and learning a method of spiritual discernment I devised during my doctoral work in pastoral psychotherapy.
One of the joys of our weekend was having Sister Clarice with us, a Catholic nun who discerned that her ministry at this point in her life is to work for the good of transgender people. She came to learn, and in turn taught us much.
Everyone wants to meet again next year! Our next retreat will be in the Midwest in Spring, and we hope to repeat one in the Rockies next Fall, 2015. Do you feel called to take time for your “God relationship” in a safe, lovely and relaxed setting? I look forward to meeting with you to talk about it!