Washington's National Cathedral is about to witness another "first" this month when an openly transgender priest will give a sermon to mark LGBT month in the Capital.
The Washington Times is reporting that the Rev. Cameron Partridge will be preaching on June 22.
“We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said the Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral, about the upcoming event. "We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you.”
Partridge is currently serving as Episcopal chaplain at Boston University and serves as a lecturer and counselor for Episcopal and Anglican students at the Harvard Divinity School.
Her journey from female to male began in 1995 while she was attending the all-women's Bryn Mawr University. It was here that she "came out" as a lesbian and also decided to embrace a call to the priesthood. Over the next few years, she transitioned from female to male, married her lesbian partner and was ordained an Episcopal priest.
The ordination of transgendered persons was permitted by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 2012.
On the same day that Partridge will preach at the Cathedral, another "first" will be present - the first openly gay priest to be ordained a bishop - Gene Robinson, who recently divorced his male partner of many years.
It's no surprise that members of the Christian community are finding nothing to rejoice about in the events scheduled to take place on June 22.
Jennifer LeClaire, news editor at CharismaNews.com is calling the event "A history-making moment that will forever serve as a signpost along the road to Christianity's rapid decline in America."
She cited Rev. Hall's celebration of the event as being just as "heretical" as his comments last year when he said that Christians "must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for who they love is a sin. Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them as they fully are.”
Hall, who performs same-sex marriages at the Cathedral, is a rising star in the splintered church and is fast becoming a symbol of the wayward drift of the Episcopal congregation whose membership has been shrinking at an alarming rate in recent years. Hundreds of thousands have left the church just since 2008 with the entire diocese of South Carolina departing in November of 2012 to embrace a more traditional Anglicanism.
LeClaire is asking for people to join her in intercessory prayer for all those members of the Episcopal congregation who are "diluting the Gospel in any way."
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