- The Church of Scotland issued a 30-page booklet teaching the congregation about accepting transgender people.
- Intended as a resource, the booklet was created in response to a discovery that some transgender parishioners were harassed and had to hide their identity.
- It included the stories of 11 people with the goal of helping the community to give pastoral support to trans people and their friends and families.
After discovering that its transgender parishioners were harassed and had to hide their gender identities, a church in Scotland releases a guide to aid believers to the path to acceptance.
The Church of Scotland issued a 30-page booklet teaching the congregation about accepting transgender people according to latest transgender news stories by The Times UK on March 6.
The booklet, made up of 30 pages, would be delivered to churches in Scotland this month. It included the stories of 11 people with the goal of helping the community to give pastoral support to trans people and their friends and families.
The story of Judith was featured in the booklet. She said she attended the village church as Brian as her wife was worried about fitting in.
Additionally, she experienced attending services in other churches as a woman, but the response was not positive
“Some of the greeters hesitate and back away and look so awkward,” Judith said. “I go to church as Brian. I help serve communion and put up trestle tables for the summer fair and all the things that all the other men do. It upsets me that I feel like I can’t be Judith when I go to church.”
Others reported more escalated form of abuse.
Jo revealed, “I have had conservative traditional Christians call me an abomination, an affront to decency, a profound threat to the natural order, but I don’t see that in the Bible.”
A transgender woman, Anna, claimed she lives a double life, explaining, “I had legally changed my name and was living as Anna six days a week, but on Sundays I was still attending church and leading worship in disguise.”
Also included were series of questions that ministers of the church can discuss with the congregation, asking them to use more inclusive language in religious services and readings of the Scriptures.
In addition, it claimed that some parishioners were reportedly subjected to abuse and were forced to conceal their true selves.
For instance, they were referred as abomination by other Christian faithful, pushing them to lead a double life out of fear that others will treat them negatively.
One minister shared the difficulties in terms of discussing the issue when he was asked by a family, saying, “The statistics show that more and more people are being open about their difficulties with gender and the Church needs to be ready for this.”
According to church leaders, the guide was meant as a guide.
“What this is not is a kind of wider statement on the transgender community by the church. It is a pastoral resource,” Reverend Norman Smith, convener of the mission and discipleship council of the Church of Scotland, explained.
The minister said that the Church would welcome people from all walks of life and that he would be crestfallen when anyone would decide to leave the faith as a response to the booklet.
Making his own church in Granton, Edinburgh more inclusive, he said that the booklet will be useful in instituting changes such as updating the labels of the bathrooms.
He explained, “It is about recognising that things we do not think about can cause hurt for others.”
The Church was helped by the Scottish Trans Alliance in creating the resource.