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Writer. Queer Theologian -- Published in "When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience" -- Pronouns: She/Her/Hers -- @queeringcaitlin

Rachel Held-Evans and her public faith lit a way for me during a difficult season in my life. Her book Searching For Sunday helped bring me back to the roots of my faith. After walking away from the path of ministry because I could not reconcile the God presented by Evangelical Christianity with my identity as a queer, trans woman, I swore off religion.

I had an agnostic faith in God and no faith in Christianity. The hypocrisy of a church that would deny a seeking queer or trans person admittance to the building much less the eucharist, yet helped…

As a young woman, my great-grandmother, Buda, joined the Renewalist church, which was part of the early Pentecostal movement in Minnesota. The Pentecostal denomination emphasized the restoration of the spiritual gifts (prophecy, miracles, healing, discernment, tongues) to the contemporary church. Specifically, they focused on speaking in tongues. Buda explained to us, her great-grandchildren, that being able to speak in tongues was proof those who joined the church had been baptized in the Spirit, saved. She joined the church on a frigid Sunday in February. She was called to the front of the rented room, just in front of the altar…

Trans Theology

Singing Authenticity into Creation

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirt rejoices in God the Preserver, who has been mindful of my humbleness as handmaid.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done remarkable things by me, and holy is The Name. And the Lord’s mercy is for those who revere the Divine from generation to generation.

God has shown strength; God has scattered the proud in the schemes of their hearts; the Lord has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the marginalized.

God has filled the famished…

woman pastor in collar and cross

To be great, be whole;
Exclude nothing, exaggerate nothing that is not you.
Be whole in everything. Put all you are
Into the smallest thing you do.

Fernando Pessoa, Poems of Fernando Pessoa

It was early Sunday morning and it was raining, which seemed appropriate. Rain is a Jungian Archetype, a universal symbol connected to life, death, and their mingling: resurrection. I was sitting in a church parking lot, rain washing over the windshield, and struggling with these concepts. Going to church, at that time in my life, required I amputate part of who I was whenever I crossed the…

Woman Pastor in collar

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4.18, 19

It is 1989. I am 12 years old. My family sits with other families in the church basement. I notice it is just families and wonder if there is significance to that — I never found out. All the lights are out. I see…

White, able bodied, cishet Americans have been turning away from police violence, racism, and abuse for so long.The way white people are talking about this as a surprise and not American haven't been paying attention.

Abuse and inequality are the tools white people (especially white cishet men) have used to build their success atop everyone else's backs. Our country is founded on the abuse of BIPOC.

I don't know how to begin fixing a country that has white supremacy and violence baked right into its founding. I used to believe that being aware of it and pushing back on it…

Woman Pastor in Collar and Cross

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43.19

Journey is a rich word capturing both the movement of discernment and importance of our path. My journey into God’s Kin-dom is like a father-daughter canoe trip I took as a teen. We set off at 4 AM in early May and traveled North on I-35 toward the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, an expanse of wilderness, rivers, and lakes on the boarder of Minnesota and Canada so vast that…

This hour I tell things in confidence
I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

There are elements of who we are that we keep in our hearts, perhaps to treasure, to hide, or to forget. We are created beings who wish to keep parts of ourselves to ourselves. Perhaps this is a holdover from one of our oldest narratives. When Eve and Adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they felt humiliation at their nakedness, both their being and their actions. This is what makes being human difficult: we fear…

Jennifer Caitlín Eller

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