St. Alban’s in Ottawa used to house a congregation that, in 2008, aligned itself with ANiC. Negotiations with the Diocese of Ottawa resulted in the ejection of the resident congregation and the installation of a transplanted congregation, an oft repeated ACoC strategy to create the illusion that it needed the buildings. It’s the ACoC version of church planting: Potemkin Planting.
Since then, interesting things have been happening. For example, in September, a baptism service was accompanied by a Liturgy for the Re-Naming of a Transgendered Person.
Apparently, such renaming liturgies are not as uncommon as the naive might suspect. The House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, “a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice-oriented, queer-inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient / future church”, has one. When I read the article below I assumed that a re-baptism had taken place – something that was considered by the CofE – but, it seems the liturgy is merely a renaming.
In the interest of complete inclusion, the originator of the renaming liturgy – Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber – also offers an annual liturgical blessing for bicycles.
Even in the face of all the evidence, some clerics are still genuinely shocked that a common secular view of the church is that it spends much of its time plumbing the depths of the absurd.
On the occasion of a Baptism, and the Re-Naming of a Transgendered Person
Eliot, you too will be anointed today, just as you were anointed at your own baptism many years ago. You continue to bear the name of Christ, the anointed one, beloved child of God. We re-affirm that today. That has not changed. But some things do change. Often our faith journeys can take twists and turns as we live and grow into the people that God created us to be. Today you take on a new name as a testimony to the person you have become and as a testimony to the God who welcomes us as his children, loves us through all the twists and turns of our life journeys, and promises to make all things new.
The truth is, I may never be able to understand what it’s like to be a non-binary gendered trans person. I don’t even know if I said that right. But, at least in our better moments, by the grace of God, we are able to be generous by offering our support to a fellow traveller who bears the name of Christ on their faith journey.
Soon, we will turn to Davis and we will pledge to do all in our power to support him in his life in Christ.
Then not long after that we will turn to Eliot and pledge as follows:
“Eliot, we will walk with you.”