This past Saturday, we were blessed with the opportunity to ordain Lindsey Mosher Trozzo into the ministry of the Good News. One of our congregation, Courtney Cox Wakefield, was asked to read our usual welcome and say a few words about what it means to her and what Lindsey’s ordination meant to her. It is a beautiful summary of what Church in the Cliff is all about. In reading this, it is important for you to remember that it is the people that make the church and not the church that makes the people. We are who we are only because people like Courtney and Lindsey (and so many more!) continue to show up. Our only job is to create an environment in which they can become most fully who they are in God. I’m glad that Courtney and Lindsey (and so many more!) have found it to be that place for them.
Our Words of Welcome:
Welcome to Church in the Cliff! Welcome to all who have no church home, need strength, have doubts, or do not believe. Welcome to those who want to follow in the Way of Christ and the Wisdom of Sophia. Welcome to new visitors and to old friends. Welcome to grandparents, to mothers, fathers, single and partnered people. Welcome to people of all colors, cultures, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions, to old and young, to believers and questioners—and welcome to questioning believers. Welcome to everyone! Today all are invited to live into God’s love, peace, and justice.
When I came out of the closet in 2004, I had never heard of an open and affirming church. Less than 15 years later, many Dallas congregations have slapped on the label. These communities celebrate themselves as beacons of progressivism for as little as allowing gay membership.
As queer people, we’re supposed to be grateful to our straight saviors for “allowing” us to be a part of their communities. Never mind the conspicuous absence of queer leadership or the humiliation of participating in a “deliberation” about whether to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
I have chosen to be a part of this congregation because the people that make up Church in the Cliff have abandoned the impulse to save the queer community and humbly acknowledge that rather, God has chosen the queer community to save The Church.
We are here today to ordain Lindsey Mosher Trozzo. Queer, divorced, and female-bodied, Lindsey challenges the most deeply entrenched assumptions we make about what it means to be an ordained person.
And yet, Lindsey is participating in a long-practiced tradition of queer ministry. From the lesbian women who provided palliative care to gay men, having been abandoned by their friends and family, wasting away from the effects of HIV/AIDs in the late 1980s to the black queer women leading the social justice movements of today, the marginalized have been serving as ministers to one another for decades.
We did not, and do not, need the permission of power structures within The Church to answer God’s call to service. And so today, in ordaining Lindsey, we are not giving her a new identity as a minister, but instead acknowledging that she has been one all along.
This acknowledgement is important, not just for Lindsey or for the queer people of our community, but for people of every identity. Because when queer Christians proclaim with confidence that the constructed binaries of gender and sexuality don’t work for all of us, we invite the question, “Do they work for any of us?”
How many people fit neatly into the perfect binary identity? The gospel of The Queer Church is that God does not withhold their love from those who do not assimilate with manufactured gender constructions.
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”