Transgender Day of Remembrance

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

     John 1:1-5

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held annually on November 20th. At St. Mark United Methodist Church, we have a worship service of remembrance the Sunday before. We were honored to have Dr. Erin Swenson deliver our sermon this morning. She “broke new ground within mainstream Christian Protestant faith groups on October 22, 1996, when the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, by a vote of 186 to 161, sustained her ordination as a Presbyterian minister. Erin had transitioned from male to female in 1995/96 after 23 years of ordained service, and with the Presbytery’s vote in 1996 she became the first mainstream minister to make a gender transition while remaining in ordained office.”

My struggle wasn’t with relating. My struggle was with being.”

– Erin Swenson

Dr. Swenson spoke about shining our light, no matter who we are. As the scripture above says, God made everything – even you. And God is cool with you and loves you even when you’re afraid and ashamed of who you are. God made you to be EXACTLY who you are. God made you to BE. Let your light shine. Don’t hide it. You are loved. You are beautiful! You are amazing!

But sadly, revealing oneself as a transgender person is dangerous. 200 beautiful trangender men and women, beloved people created in God’s image, were murdered last year. Many, many others committed suicide because they could see no hope for acceptance in this world. But there is hope.

Shine. Shine on. Be brave. Be safe. Find your community of believers and supporters. Be an ally. Use your voice. Do the right thing.

Even one brave child of God can change a piece of the world.

Shine your light…

The darkness WILL NOT overcome it!

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In Atlanta, Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed Thursday, November 20th, at 7 PM, at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA, 30307.
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What Does Transgender Mean?

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Remembering the Murdered (Look at how many in just one year.)

Reconciling Ministries Network of the UMC

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

Today’s Service (I’ll post the sermon later this week.)

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