Trans-Substantiation Service

If you have any questions about the service or about Grace, you contact Pastor Megan Rohrer at pastor@gracesf.com.

The First Cycle: Creation


A lino cut print of the surgical division of Adam and Eve by Megan Rohrer


Welcome and Intention Setting

Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer


substantiate

verb

sub·​stan·​ti·​ate | \ səb-ˈstan(t)-shē-ˌāt \

substantiated; substantiating

Definition of substantiate

transitive verb

1: to give substance or form to : EMBODY

2: to establish by proof or competent evidence : VERIFY



The service begins with a brief introduction to Trans The*logy[1] Without Apology.


In this space all of you is welcome. If you have ever been told that you are anything less than a child of G*d, I am sorry. In this space you are invited to proclaim any name (in your heart or out loud) you’d like to be called.

We celebrate our many names.

Name tags are available for those who would like to share their name with others.


Like us, the Divine also knows many names. We celebrate the use of any and all names from the sacred that kindle your faith. In Genesis it is written that humans were made male AND female in the image of a multigendered G*d. In this space the words you use to express your gender are important to us.

We celebrate our preferred gender pronouns.

Pins are available for those who would like to share their pgp’s with others.


In this space, we honor bodies of all sizes, shapes and abilities. You are encouraged to care for your body by wiggling, moving, sharing your boundaries and going to the bathroom when needed. Downstairs (out the doors at the front of the sanctuary) we have two bathrooms. The first is a single-stall gender neutral bathroom. The second is labelled “ladies room” and has two stalls. All are welcome to use the restroom of their choice.


Please take a moment to become fully present in this sacred space. Settle your hearts and minds as much as you are able.


Participants breathe and center.

A singing bowl is sounded three times.



Prayer:[2]

Everchanging G*d,

Puberty is hard when it is done in the company of peers

It is even harder as a solo journey.

Provide me with the strength to love myself

as I transgress the middle spaces.

Protect me from others

who will use my vulnerabilities

as a weapon against me.

Surgery is always hard.

It is even harder when

friends and family,

political leaders

and the world at large

does not understand.

Provide me with the strength to love myself

as I heal

not only my body,

but also my heart and mind.

Help me to rest more than I think I should.

Surround me with support and care.

And help my scars to fade into the skin I have dreamed of.

You are a G*d who renames others

when they have a significant encounter with you.

Help others honor the name and pronouns

that mark our sacred journey.

When others forget, help them to apologize privately

without drawing attention to me and my journey.

G*d who knit me in my mother’s womb

and declared me

fearfully and wonderfully made,

thank you for giving me free will

to make choices about my body and hormones.

Paul imagined a world where the

powers, privileges and prejudices

that separated men and woman

would disappear forever.

May those transgressing gender

take comfort in the gender creativity

within G*d’s grace.

May those seeking a new identity or expression

find that their journey is smoother than expected.

Fill my heart with love

and surround me with everything I need

to live my life fully.

Thank You for loving me always,

even when it was hard for me to love myself.

Thank You for loving me always,

even if others chose not to.

Thank You for loving me always

and walking with me through this transition.

Provide me with a strong light at the end of the tunnel

so that I may achieve my goals,

be seen as I would like

and follow the path I have dreamed of for so long.

Amen.


The Second Cycle: The Body

A lino cut print of the transformed embodiements of Christ by Megan Rohrer

A bit more Trans The*logy Without Apology.


Children’s Message: Transgender Children of God, by Megan Rohrer


Prayers for the People and Glitter Ash: A ritual declaring that we are a beautiful mess of fabulous, sorrow, hope, wonder, fear and glitter.



An Embodied Sharing of the Peace: John Brett

This is my body.

This is my body given for you.

This is my body encouraging peace.



Offering Prayer

Risen One, as you broke bread with the disciples on the shore, meet us now in this meal. Nourish us to follow you, using our gifts to feed the hungry and tend the weary, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.



Communion:

The Sacred is within you. And also within you.


As we get ready to celebrate this holy feast we invite all our ancestors, particularly the trans individuals who have paved the way for us.


We celebrate the over 274 sacred names for gender transgressing faith leaders that existed before missionaries brutally imposed strict gender rules throughout the globe.[3]

We celebrate transgressing saints found in sacred scripture:

Adam, Dinah, Zipporah, Ebed-melech, Hathach, Harbona, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Zephaniah was the Cup Bearer to the Persian King Xerxes,; and Qinaqis the Ethiopian Eunuch.[4] Silence for those gathered to add additional names, aloud or in their hearts.


We celebrate the transgressing saints found in official saint calendars, including the female men of G*d who lived in monasteries, Thecla who travelled with Paul, Wilgefortis, the Abbot of Drimnaugh who twice changed sex on Easter, Joan of Arc and all who embodied sacred transformation. Silence for those gathered to add additional names, aloud or in their hearts.


We celebrate the transgressing saints of San Francisco:

Jose Saria, Vicki Marlane, Sylvester, Lou Sullivan, Leslie Feinberg, Daine Gray, Anthony “Bubbles” Torres, Taja De Jesus, Jovana Luna and all the drag queens, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and all the other beautiful souls who have danced in and outside of the lines of gender. Silence for those gathered to add additional names, aloud or in their hearts.


We celebrate the bodily transformations of Jesus’ life death and resurrections in particularly, remember the night in which he was betrayed. Meeting in the house of the male water carrier who walked in and out of women only spaces, Jesus took the bread and broke it. He gave it to the disciples to eat. Again after supper he took the cup, blessed it and said this cup is a promise to all people, that knits them into a holy genealogy. All who drink of it are assured their total forgiveness.


May the Holy Spirit transform this bread and wine into holy food. We ask the Holy Spirit to transform our hopelessness into hope, our fear into bravery and to fill all the spaces that cause us to feel empty and alone. Certainly, a God who can transform bread into flesh and wine into blood, can love all us no matter how our bodies, minds and hormones will transform throughout the length of our life.


Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, gives everyone a place at the welcome table.

Gluten-free wafers and grape juice will be used for today’s communion in solidarity with those who are unable to digest wheat and who are working to maintain their sobriety.

You may remain seated, communion will be brought to you.


May the body and blood of Jesus Christ bless and keep you forever. Live forgiven, claim your wholeness and go in peace.



Prayer after Communion

Living G*d, you have greeted us in our brokenness and nourished us with the body of Christ, broken for us. Risen to new life with you, send us now to bear your healing love into the wounded world. Amen.


The Third Cycle: Spirit


A lino cut print of Matthew 25:31-46 by Megan Rohrer

A bit more Trans The*logy Without Apology.


If the Christ is not queer, then the incarnation has no meaning for our sexuality. It is the particularity of Jesus the Christ, his particular identification with the sexually oppressed, that enables us to understand Christ as black, queer, female, Asian, African, a South American peasant, Jewish, [trans], and so forth. It is the scandal of particularity that is the message of Easter, the particular context of struggle where [G*d’s] solidarity is practiced. [G*d] and the struggle for sexual justice are practical correlation in a queer Christology. – Robert Goss[5]


The Silk Worm: A Poem by Rumi[6]

I stood before a silk worm one day.

And that night my heart said to me,

“I can do things like that, I can spin skies,

I can be woven into love that can bring warmth to people;

I can be soft against a crying face,

I can be the wings that lift, and I can travel on my thousand feet

throughout the earth,

my sacks filed

with the

sacred.”

And I replied to my heart,

“Dear, can you really do all those things?”

And it just nodded “Yes”

in the silence.

So we began and will never

cease.



Closing Song: G*d Be With You Through Transition

Tune: G*d Be With You William G. Tomer (ELW 536)

Lyrics Megan Rohrer

1. G*d be with you till we meet again

You naming help redefine you

Preferred gender prounouns always find you

G*d be with you till we meet again


Refrain:

Till we meet, till we meet

Your next stage of transition complete

Till we meet, till we meet

G*d be with you till we meet again


2. G*d be with you till we meet again

Hormone treatments realign you

Endrocrinologyist to guide you

G*d be with you till we meet again


Refrain


3. G*d be with you till we meet again

May your health and shape satisfy you

Full of self esteem inside you

G*d be with you till we meet again

Refrain

Dismissal

You are the body of Christ raised up for the world. Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia!

Thanks be to G*d. Alleluia!


Fellowship and Peace

Participants are invited to spend time together after the service sharing food, wisdom and support.



[1] An * will be used in words, particularly words that are spelled differently with gendered assumptions in the English language.


[2] Prayer for Transitioning, from Megan Rohrer’s Prayers From Norway: Untangling our Shame of Body, Mind and Politics.


[3] See Megan Rohrer’s Queerly Lutheran.


[4] This list is from: http://www.transchristians.org/people/trans-saints A much longer list can be found in Megan Rohrer’s Queerly Lutheran.


[5] Goss, Robert, Jesus Acted Up: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto, Harper, San Francisco, 1993, 85.


[6] Love Poems from G*d: Twelve Sacred Voices from East and West, (ed. Landinsky, Daniel), 75.


#transisbeautiful #worship #liturgy

©2019 by the Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer