Trans flag flying

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Honouring the gospel call to love

November 14, 2023

At the heart of the gospel is the truth that we created in the image of God. In every human being, the divine is present. As we grow from children to adults, we are shaped by many factors – family, culture, geography and faith – including our discovery of how we will live into the call of the image of God we are gifted with. In every generation, cultural expectations and gender definitions interact with the image of God, sometimes affirming and sometimes undermining the unconditional love of each human being in all our diversity.

Transgender people have suffered enormously from the expectations and limits culture has in the past, and in the present, placed on their lives. The call of the gospel is to love, to desire fullness of life and joy for every human being in their relationship with God. We long for that fullness to be the experience of transgender people in our midst.

As the Transgender Day of Remembrance approaches (November 20), we offer prayers for those who are the victims of hate and transphobia for their healing, respect and dignity. We invite repentance for the words and actions of transphobia perpetuated in our society and in our churches. We long for God’s world to reflect the unconditional love of God for the rich diversity of all of creation and especially for all who bear the image of God.

Let us create communities of acceptance and welcome that all may know God’s love.

God of all creation, your wisdom and love are boundless.
You, of many names, are beyond all distinctions of gender.
We, in our selves, our souls and bodies, are created from your love
and in your love find our true selves revealed.

We give you thanks for the colourful spectrum of sexual and gender identities that live and grow within the human family by your design.
We lament the forces that cloud and manipulate the beauty of your creation,
And the divisions within your human family that we too easily reinforce by our fear and negligence.

As we come together to remember those transgender people who have been killed, taken their own lives or been injured, help us to honour them for who they were.

Help us to create a world where everyone can live with authenticity, integrity, and dignity.
Help us all to live our own lives in true fulfilment of our identities, in communion with each other and in the Love of Christ. Amen.

Adapted from “A Liturgy for Transgender Day of Remembrance”, Corrymeela Community, UK

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada

[signed] +Linda Nicholls
Archbishop Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

Download a PDF of resources for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”