GATHERING SONG – “Welcome”
Bethany First UMC, Boston MA
Words: Laurie Zelman & Mark Miller, Music: Mark Miller
CALL TO WORSHIP
Good afternoon to all those who are able to join us for Chapel on this day, here at Drew. We welcome all of our siblings, whether they be trans, cisgender, or somewhere else on the spectrum. We welcome you if you are gay, bi, straight, asexual, or however you would define yourself. Whether you’re sure of who you are, or questioning everything about yourself, you are welcome in this space.
Beloveds. Today’s chapel service may be difficult to hear for some of our siblings of the Divine. As we move forward in our time of worship together, know that we hold you in our hearts and in loving embrace.
SONG – “We Are The Body”
Words: Al Carmines & Mark Miller, Music: Mark Miller
SCRIPTURE READING – Colossians 3:12-14
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Song – “Who You Are”
Jacob Thompson, solo
Words: Lindy Thompson, Music: Mark Miller
Rev. Debra J. Hopkins, preacher
READING OF THE NAMES
Readers: Rebekah Keazer, Chris Page, Sarah Williams, Carolina Glauster, Pauline Nijander
The following is a list of the transgender and gender non-conforming individuals that were killed over the past twelve months because of their trans and gender non-conforming identities. Every name on this list is a light extinguished too early.
Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín
Bianca “Muffin” Bankz
Jeffrey “JJ” Bright
Diamond Kyree Sanders
Whispering Wind Bear Spirit
Danika “Danny” Henson
Oliver “Ollie” Taylor
Kier Lapri Kartier
Royal Poetical Starz
Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez
Jenny De Leon
Gracious God, who throughout human history has intervened on behalf of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed; who loves those the world despises, and who has commanded us to love one another. You made your trans children fearfully and wonderfully, and we bring to you today our laments and pleas.
As the prophet Habakkuk once begged you, so do we, “How long, oh Lord, how long shall we cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry ‘Violence’ and you will not save?”
You promised you would never leave us, that we would be sent a holy comforter. But we feel little comfort. Instead, we feel fear and frustration and helplessness.
You said you would tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days, and instead, all around us we see the decades-old bricks of our oppression ever more fortified with the recent mortar of a very lucrative structural transphobia.
And we come to you annually, Father of all Mercies, to remember those of us who have been murdered over the previous year, who have been added to that gruesome tally. And we come to you to ask for healing, for peace, and for comfort.
But today, Lord, we ask you to make good on the promise you gave to Jeremiah, that your wrath may go forth like fire and burn, with no one to quench it.
Kindle your fire in the forest of our oppressors, gracious God. Let it devour their message boards, news networks and newspapers, their gender-critical academic polemics and their comedy shows. Burn their hot takes on our existence right out of them like a refiner’s fire and let us live in peace.
Oh God who has known us since before you formed us in the womb, we ask all this in your name.
CLOSING SONG – “Sacred the Body”
Mark Miller, solo
Words: Ruth Duck, Music: Mark Miller