December 16

By: rev. lacey hunter, Associate Minister of Faith Formation, First Congregational Church of Alameda, CA

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God...for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name, "Righteous Peace, Godly Glory" (excerpt from Baruch 5:1-9).


What I am sitting with in my spirit and feeling in my bones this Advent is somewhere, everywhere, oppressed, enslaved, traumatized people are practicing freedom. Somewhere, everywhere, throughout all of time, amidst lives stolen and worlds crumbling, people and communities reflect “our intentional relationship to divine change in apocalyptic circumstances” (from Foreword by Alexis Pauline Gumbs in Practicing New Worlds: Abolition and Emergent Strategies). This is what it means to me to “put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.” No system, no empire, no institution is everlasting. The promise of God’s kindom, the promise of beloved-made-flesh is coming. This Advent, we are invited to put on that promise.

When I put on the name “gender queer,” “non-binary,” I am practicing freedom.
It is a name like “Godly Glory.” This name means another world is possible.

This name means that when social structures and systems ban identities and regulate bodies, we celebrate incarnation. We are divine change-made-flesh.

This name means that when institutions adhere to binaries for control and efficiency, we dance the name of the Trinity. We are divine change-made-flesh.

This name means that when empires erect borders to displace, separate and control peoples and lands, we flow like water. We are divine change-made-flesh.

So when you hear us speak these names,
even more, when you say these names:
gender queer
gender expansive
gender non-conforming
may it be like the Holy One showing forth our splendor everywhere under heaven.

This Advent, may we practice freedom until freedom is Everlasting.



I am divine change-made-flesh
You are divine change-made-flesh
We are divine change-made-flesh

I am another world possible
You are another world possible
We are another world possible

God’s kin-dom lives in me
God’s kin-dom lives in you
God’s kin-dom lives in us


Artwork: “We Are Irreplaceable” by Jordan Alam and Jess X Snow.
Used with permission CC BY-NC-ND
Find more at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative


"I am actively working toward abolition which means that I am trying to create the necessary conditions to ensure the possibility of a world without any form of enslavement. I am building the path to freedom by journeying in it." - Mariame Kaba

Take Action

Abolition is putting on the promise that another world is possible.

  1. Using chosen names and pronouns is holy recognition. Learn more about how to use gender expansive pronouns and how to be an ally to trans and nonbinary folks.
  2. Consider Out and Equal’s Best Practices for Non-Binary Inclusion and commit to taking steps to make changes in your own family, community, church or workplace.
Learn and Practice Freedom for Nonbinary People

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