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
Bishop Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada
Archbishop Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada