Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber is an author, artist, activist, and ordained queer clergywoman. She has a Ph.D. in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and is author of seven books that deal with the intersections among gender/sexuality, religion, and the arts. To purchase artwork, books, or to schedule a retreat, workshop, sermon, or lecture, contact her through www.angelayarber.com
Lilith has been a misunderstood, appropriated, and redeemed woman throughout the ages. Many feminists claim her as an empowering figure in Jewish mythology, with contemporary artists such as Sarah McLachlan, who created the all-women music tour, “Lilith Fair,” reclaiming her story.
It’s no secret that the holidays are often a difficult time for queer people. Disproportionately estranged from family means we often must create our own family. While these chosen families can be tremendously life-giving, it’s tough not to long for our families of origin during Christmas time.
Many still in relationship with family are forced to retreat to the closet for fear of safety or exclusion this season.
Return, return, the Shulamite. Return, return, and let us gaze on you. How will you gaze on Shulamite in the dance of the two camps? How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter. The curves of your (quivering) thighs are like jewels crafted by artist hands. Your vulva a rounded bowl; may it never lack wine. Your belly a mound of wheat hedged by lotuses. Your breasts like two fawns…
LGBTQ persons of faith know well the importance of seeing reflections of ourselves in the pulpit, pew, and podium. There is life-changing power in seeing a person who looks and loves like you affirmed, ordained, degreed. Because not all persons of faith are straight, white, cisgender men.
These sentiments sparked in me a resolve to create.