A church in Brighton in the southern coast of England which considers itself inclusive and is active in the LGBT equality movement has appointed a non-binary transgender man as its new associate pastor.
Rev. Peta Evans, a transgender man who identified as neither male nor female, is set to deliver their first sermon as the new associate pastor of the Village Metropolitan Community Church on Oct. 8. The non-binary pastor expressed excitement at the opportunity to serve the church, Premier detailed.
"Returning to Brighton, I am excited to serve again in the community which first welcomed me and supported me in both my ministry journey and my gender transition," said Rev. Evans. "I would love to see the sincere passion and integrity of The Village MCC reach out even more widely to people of all ages, gender identities and walks of life."
In addition, Rev. Evans said they were looking forward to "reclaiming the Bible" from the people who aimed to use it against those different from the rest. The new associate pastor also revealed a plan to create a group made up of transgender people to achieve that goal, as they read the Holy Book "without past interpretations getting in the way."
On June 4, Rev. M Barclay became the first non-binary transgender person to be appointed as a deacon with the United Methodist Church. Barclay said they wanted to be in pastoral service for a long time, and now intends to use the new position to minister to queer and transgender individuals, the United Methodist News Service reported.
UMC has no official stance when it comes to ordaining transgender individuals as clergy. According to its Book of Discipline, all people are considered sacred but also declared homosexuality as "incompatible" with the Christian faith. The document has also prohibited homosexual individuals from being ordained or assigned with clergy responsibility since 1984.