*Though this is definitely outside of what I normally write, I’ve decided to publish a novella entitled “The Church.” From Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, I will be publishing the work of fiction in 15 parts. Each day, I will publish a part of the story of Christian and his quest to plant the largest progressive church in the world. I will publish the entire work at the end. Today, I’m publishing part 10 entitled “The Entrance” Enjoy!
Only my closest advisors knew about the hiring of Rev. Dr. Angela Utopia. Knowing that the congregation would be surprised, we didn’t want anyone to find out early. I’ve always been a fan of big splashes. When I discussed my plan with her, Rev. Dr. Utopia assured me that she wanted the announcement to be as “shocking moment of a moment as divinely possible.” Planning to roll her out in less than a week, we started working ferociously on the arrangements. On Friday, we sent out a press release letting everyone know that the next service at the Cathedral of the Swinging Dicks would be one of the most special ever. Not long after that, we sent out a similar message to the congregation. I dined with Rev. Dr. Utopia the night before the service. Since neither one of us had a partner, we were able to take our time and enjoy each other. Nothing was off limits. I told her everything I knew about the Cathedral. Since I was the founder and sole leader for many years, everything I said was everything that needed to be said. When we got bored with church stuff, we moved on to more intimate topics. There were multiple moments that we just stopped and looked across the table into each other’s eyes. I knew something was happening. I could feel it. This was too important of a moment to be distracted. I had to keep my mind on tomorrow. When the hour came, we were ready.
Sitting in my office, I thought about how my life was going to change over the next couple of years. I thought I was ready. Nevertheless, I had a job to do. When Rev. Dr. Utopia arrived, I encouraged her to identify as a transgender woman of color from the very beginning. Knowing my congregation, I thought it would be better to just make it plain. When we started to pray, Rev. Dr. Utopia ran her fingers across my Bible and grabbed my penis. I was beyond aroused. Things only got more heated when I reciprocated her advances. In that moment, Rev. Dr. Utopia’s name changed forever. While I had enough sense not to continue, I realized I had strong feelings for Angela. Once I collected myself, the service was already going. We rushed down the steps. Angela and I waited to climb up on stage. In those fleeting moments, we confessed our feelings for each other. The loud music let us know that it was time for our grand entrance. As the cameras clicked and turned, we raised our hands together in triumph. The loudness and brightness kept me from being able to hear or see how the congregation was reacting. Then, it all abruptly stopped. I was alone at the microphone. Looking at all the people I shepherded for decades, I had no question how they felt.
“For many years, I’ve struggled with how to transition out of my current role as pastor of the Cathedral of the Swinging Dicks. Rev. Dr. Val Buffington was intended to be my successor. Before I continue, I want to acknowledge that Dr. Buffington’s family is with us today. The car accident changed everything. Lying in the hospital, I had much time to seek God about what to do next. I knew that we needed a national search. After looking everywhere, I know that we’ve found the best person. Rev. Dr. Angela Utopia has become an intimate friend of mine in a short amount of time. I’m impressed with her total package. Honestly, I’ve never seen someone who knows their way around a Bible like Rev. Dr. Utopia. I’ve never seen someone so passionate about the confluence of grace and justice in our world. I’ve never seen someone like her. I’m amazed. She’s an unorthodox choice for an unorthodox congregation at an unorthodox time. I ask all of you to get on your feet and welcome Rev. Dr. Utopia!”
I can always read their mood. I knew they weren’t enthused about our choice. I knew that many of them were racist. I just didn’t expect this many of them to be. Only about sixty percent of the congregation stood to clap. Everyone else sat in their chairs with their arms crossed and bottom lip puffed out. As Angela went to the microphone, we were in trouble. There was a big part of me that didn’t care. I knew the time for change had come. Angela started her salutations very strong and then the next big piece dropped.
“I am proud to say…God has sent me to you today as a transgender woman of color.”
Six of the oldest queens in the room fainted. The cameras snapped away as one of the younger queens fanned an older queen with a silk handkerchief. Gasps filled the room. Multiple people walked out. Someone even had the nerve to yell at me from the audience. I heard unbelievably offensive words from otherwise nice people. Before it was all over, the Cathedral of the Swinging Dicks proved to be the most racist and transphobic space I’d ever encountered. After the service, Angela and I had the best sex I’ve ever had. We committed to fighting through the adversity we met earlier that morning. For the next six months, we fought was hard as we could. I always had suspicions our efforts might not be good enough.