My years in Toowoomba were both full of wonderful things and also wrestling with the need to come out publicly in my authentic gender. So it has been good to reflect again on this as I responded recently to the invitation to share in the Make Visible project developed by artist Shannon Novak with the support of QAGOMA. This aims to grow support for the LGBTQI+ community in Queensland, Australia by making visible challenges and triumphs for this community. One of the satellite sites and partners is USQ at Toowoomba, who asked me to write a short letter, headed 'Dear Toowoomba'. They also invited me to be a part of the Launch of the project 'Its' ok to be me' at USQ and to share in a panel on ways forward. I hope my contribution may be part of contributing to the further maturing of a city with so many fine features and people, but still with a little more work to do in fully celebrating and empowering all its people. It has also reminded me of the many people (and a wonderful dog!) I miss in Toowoomba and its achievements and potential...
Presiding at this weekend's nuptial communion (aka eucharist aka, for some, the mass) was particularly powerful and poignant for me. Partly this was as, for the first time since their deaths, I used my parents’ communion set (chalice photo here - so wonderful in the context yet emotional on my heart - and partly as I was doing so as the nearest those present could have to a (Roman) Catholic priest. For it is part of the little miracle of my existence these days that I can sometimes be ‘a priest for those who have no priests’ or stand occasionally in the place of those who would like to exercise their priesthood fully (for all), but who are not allowed to by their Church...
Such a great joy to preside at this wedding today (with communion too), in such a beautiful special setting - and, in this case, finally beating the pandemic (restrictions, postponements, and one of the grooms getting COVID-19 just a couple of weeks ago!) plus the wettest start to a Sydney year on record.
#lovetriumphs #loveislove #reasonstolovetheunitingchurch
A beautiful time at Pitt Street this morning, thanks to the contemplative creativity of our wonderful team today - a lovely and much needed oasis of refreshment in these times during this season of Lent. We do love the very best of our Reformed heritage - but I guess we rarely do plain ‘plain’ at Pitt Street
Loving the creative hearts beginning to appear from folks at Pitt Street - here are a few examples (my current favourite being a fellow trans person’s ‘Love’ heart - as I know that comes from a deep journey ) - part of our #returningourhearts Lenten theme, as part of ‘repairing the breach’.
Everyone needs angels in their life! I had an old friend join me this morning to share the joys and struggles of growing ‘beloved community’. Angell comes from (Angell Town) Brixton, and was born out of the world of the Brixton riots/uprisings, in the darkest days of the Thatcher years in the UK - aka my ministry formation years. They took on the name of Michael (after the death of the Brixton priest who guided and inspired me back then)- and today we added the name Arch (think bridges and rainbows) for ‘repairing the breach’ of love in our world and ‘returning our hearts’. So now they are Arch Angel Michael - albeit without a flaming sword (other than that of the Spirit), though they’d love one of the rainbow light sabres from Sydney Mardi Gras last night.
See further my Reflection here.
Should any green ordinands (aka ministry formation students) ‘fall’, where do they go? I sent thankful video greetings across the globe this weekend to my best man, at my wedding, celebrating a significant birthday landmark - cheers Chris - and it set me reflecting on what has happened to my immediate generation of would-be clergy…
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.