The Church of Scotland has a brand-new resource to help churches understand and teach inclusivity in transgenderism.
What's the resource?
The church created a new pamphlet that contains stories of 11 transgender people who describe being abused and cast out by fellow Christians.
The 30-page manifesto, titled "Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care," features such phrases as "Some men have vaginas" and "Some women have penises."
In addition to featuring the stories of transgender parishioners, the booklet also asks clergymen to use "gender-neutral" language when pointing to God when addressing their congregations so as to make the church more inclusive.
One of the publication's aims is to update Christianity and its culture to reflect changing sociological climates.
In the booklet, one churchgoer, identified only by "Andrew," says, "I struggle with the wording of the Lord's Prayer because I see God as my parent not my father."
"God is genderless to me: it’s not father God, it is parent God," Andrew says. Andrew was born female, but currently identifies as male.
Another parishioner, Kaden, says, "I believe that God created us all so that means he created me to be this way."
Kaden was born female, but now identifies as "demiboy" — which apparently is someone whose gender identity is only partially male.
Julie, another churchgoer, details her own journey with a trans husband. After spending a decade with her husband and raising a family, Julie discovered that her husband was trans.
She accepted her husband's transgenderism and remained with him.
"Gender is internal," Julie explains. "It is only genitalia that are external. Genitalia are not gender."
Christian Today reported that the Rev. Norman Smith, convener of the mission and discipleship council of the Church of Scotland, said, "We want to help congregations support all in their communities, in the best way we can and this resource helps those who care for others do that to the best of their ability."
"It is aimed at better facilitating pastoral care at a local level by giving people the space to talk about their faith and share the impact of the church community on their lives," Smith added.
He noted, however, that the resource is not "intended to make any kind of statement regarding the Church's wider relationship with the transgender community," and that the resource does not "provide a theological explanation or understanding of transgender issues."