Leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) condemned transphobia and called for acceptance of transgender people in advance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov. 20.
Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson released a joint statement Nov. 14. The statement included a link to resources for Christians to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance around the world to commemorate people murdered due to transphobia and to raise awareness of ongoing violence against transgender people.
“Transgender people have suffered enormously from the expectations and limits culture has in the past, and in the present, placed on their lives,” Nicholls and Johnson said. “The call of the gospel is to love, to desire fullness of life and joy for every human being in their relationship with God. We long for that fullness to be the experience of transgender people in our midst.”
The primate and national bishop said all human beings are created in the image of God and that this was central to the gospel. They offered prayers of healing for victims of hate and transphobia and invited repentance for transphobic words and actions perpetuated in society and in their churches.
“We long for God’s world to reflect the unconditional love of God for the rich diversity of all of creation and especially for all who bear the image of God,” the two leaders said. “Let us create communities of acceptance and welcome that all may know God’s love.”
Ecumenical resources for the Transgender Day of Remembrance can be found at anglicanlutheran.ca and include prayers and liturgies from Anglican dioceses as well as United and Mennonite churches.