Church holds renaming ceremony for transgender pastor

February 15th, 2018

Rev. Peter Beeson. Image via the St. Matthew Trinity website

The St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoboken, New Jersey recently held a renaming ceremony to show their respect and support for their pastor’s gender transition. They published an announcement on their website that began:

“The congregation of St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church is celebrating Pastor Rose Beeson as she transitions from female to male and takes on the name Peter in a renaming ceremony on February 11 at 10:30 a.m.”

Rev. Peter R. Beeson was blessed with water from the church’s baptismal font by the New Jersey Synod’s bishop, Tracie Bartholomew, after the bishop spoke to the congregation about the many instances that God changed people’s names in the bible to recognize their new roles and identities.

“The renaming ceremony provided an opportunity … for us to show the broader world that there are faithful Christians who support LGBTQ+ people and offer a counter message to the one of fear and hate so prevalent today,” Beeson said to Huffington Post.

Bishop Tracie Bartholomew (right) gives her blessing to Rev. Peter Beeson (left) during his renaming ceremony. Image via Huffington Post

“Particularly for people who may be pondering their gender identity or sexual orientation ― particularly young people― this provided us an opportunity to say that God loves you, and that all people are created in the image of God,” he continued.

The St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church calls itself “A place where you can be true to yourself”, and stated that they are “always welcoming, never judging.” The church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in New Jersey, which has a history of welcoming and acknowledging LGBTQ+ leaders and laymen.

“We are a place where tradition and inclusivity meet – embracing the best of the traditions of the past we continue to embody Luther’s reforming spirit, welcoming women and LGBT people to all levels of leadership in the church; acting in solidarity with those who are homeless, undocumented, or in recovery. We envision a world where all people are fed, brought into community and experience the wideness of God’s compassion,” they stated.

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