I have developed a strong bond with my church and to most of the people who attend, and when attendance is down I am too quick to criticize or to think those who I expect to show up wanted to stay away because of me. My strong love for my church was one of the last road block, if you like, which held me back in revealing my being trans. The one reason that I waited so long, was my fear that by revealing my true self, that would cause people to react by point fingers at me if the church were to crumble where it stood. Being the person who causes a church’s demise was the last thing I wanted on my head. That was what I was thinking this morning as I sat in the chairs hoping that there would be other who would join us in celebrating Morning Service.
Since that mild December morning of 2004, when I first stepped through the doors of our church as Sarah; Kay and I have been on the receiving end of many finger pointing. At the end of my second year of being Sarah at church, I began to realize that the cauldron of discontent was beginning to boil over, and the flame was from two different burners, (persons) (the matter of bathroom use has been explained in an earlier posting). The result of the discontent was that a few people decided to abandon our little church; dragging as many people as they could persuade. We heard that they were ecstatic because they could convince ‘so many people to leave ’ for their refusal to extend or return ‘Christ’s Peace’ to me. They joyously proclaimed victory in decimating the church for Sarah, the monster was the one who drove the people away; not their cold unchristian hearts. It was they who couldn’t see their closed mindedness in accepting me for who I was or even tried to be civil to me; they refused to change the way they called me or acknowledged me. They would only spit vicious pronouncements addressing me by my male name.
There has been several times that I have almost left ; only because of the love I have for my church and my need to be Sarah teeters between the sadness of destroying the church and my being transgender. But, I have slowly awakened to the fact that those who have left our church have been the deadwood that has clung to our ‘church tree’ arresting new growth and development. Our congregation might be small now be we all are determined to make it a thriving vital church.