Dear Christ & St. Luke’s,
You may have seen in our announcements over the past few weeks that we will be hosting The Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng on Saturday, June 10 to lead us in an event we are calling Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology.
I’m really excited about this event and hope you will make an effort to join us.
I have known Fr. Patrick since our paths crossed back in Massachusetts, where he was already developing a reputation as an international leader in the field of Queer Theology.
What is Queer Theology
That term may be unfamiliar to you. “Queer Theology” refers to a sub-field of Christian theological studies which challenges the harmful and historically imposed boundaries the Church has often painfully promoted with respect to issues of human sexuality and gender identity.
Christ & St. Luke’s has long been a leader in the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ individuals into the Church and I have been blessed, time and again, to hear stories from our parishioners who have found here a long-sought-for spiritual home that fully accepts and celebrates who they are and whom they love.
My impetus for inviting Fr. Patrick to visit with us came out of those many conversations and from the hope that we could become even more than a place of refuge and acceptance. I hope that we might be empowered to reclaim some of those elements of the Christian tradition that have been weaponized against the Queer community, and to articulate a constructive, positive approach to the Christian faith regarding issues of gender and sexuality that is still rigorously rooted in scripture and theology.
Who is this Queer Theology Retreat for?
So, if you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and are seeking an even deeper knowledge of a Christianity that celebrates who you are, I certainly hope you will join us on June 10.
I also hope those of you who have family members, friends, or loved ones who identify as LGBTQIA+ will join us as well, to learn more about a theological approach that will deepen your own understanding of your faith.
And if you are someone who simply has questions about this topic and seeks greater clarity, and perhaps even greater compassion, you are welcome and encouraged to come and learn alongside us. This event is open to people of every gender identity and sexual orientation who want to learn and grow in their faith in a respectful environment.
Please know that you will be led masterfully by a scholar who is not just intellectually impressive, but also pastorally aware. You can read Fr. Patrick’s full bio here, but one of the things I appreciate most about him, is that no matter how successful his scholarship has become, or where it has taken him, he has always remained affiliated with a parish in some way. This means his teaching always considers the reality that people’s faith is played out in a diversity of settings and contexts. With that experience, I know he will create a space that is sensitive to the tenderness of this topic, intellectually stimulating, and yet still fun. Plus, we’ll feed you lunch!
What do you need to do?
So, I hope you will join us on June 10 from 9am-3pm. Please RSVP here so we can plan for your participation. Registration will close Friday, June 2. Specific details on the outline of the day will be sent to registrants in time for the retreat. And in the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to let me know.
In Christ’s sure love for us all,