Extravagant Welcome at God’s Table: Queering Worship Practices

Julie Payne Britton and Mac Buff, M.Ed.

We all need queered worship. We need to take that breath that comes when things get turned on their head, when inherited theologies crack open and become bigger and more open to the Divine present in this day. Queer worship is about so much more than just ‘LGBTQ+’. It is about listening to what is underneath and behind the words of our sacred and beloved texts. It is about dreaming life into the margins so that we might hear and see what we’ve been missing. It is about connecting with God in a new way, and about recognizing God moving in the world in previously unseen ways. It is a new way of extending extravagant welcome, and is necessary for truly affirming spaces.

In this workshop, we will begin with our “minds on,” placing the need for queer worship in the context of broader LGBTQ+ issues and personal identity. We will briefly explore a bit of queer theory, taking Patrick Cheng’s definition that “to ‘queer’ something is to engage with a methodology that disrupts the status quo” (Radical Love, p. 6). The majority of the workshop will be spent in a hands-on experience, practicing several methods of queering worship, from the simplest attention to inclusive language to more radical embodiment of scripture and liturgy. Queered worship is beneficial for everyone, not just queer folks. We all live in complex, multi-faceted bodies, and we celebrate a Divine that transcends expectations. Queer worship turns familiar rituals on their heads so we can experience them anew, and deliberately lifts the voices of those in the margins. Join us for a fun, reinvigorating worship experience and a variety of practices to take back to your own community.

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