The Church at Mable Peabody’s is a queer church in Denton, Texas. While we are queer because of our various sexualities, expressions, and identities, we are also often considered queer due to our choice of love in a Texas culture dominated by hatred and vengeance. This is where that queer Jesus comes in.
One of the tremendous challenges to functioning as a queer church in Texas is convincing people that hatred contributes nothing toward the healing of an individual or the world. People come into our church with tremendous wounds and are accustomed to religious spaces here in Texas that either create hatred or fosters it. We are not such a space. We resist a Texas culture that refuses to radically heal.
We exist for healing.
In Texas people don’t often care about restoration, they care about destruction of those who have hurt them. Refusing to pick up a weapon and in the midst of tremendous hurt, Jesus declared in Luke 23:34, “forgive them.” We resist a Texas culture that refuses to radically forgive.
We exist for forgiveness.
Jesus refused to allow the wounded to continue on in their hatred of those who wounded them. The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 makes this pretty clear, “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” There was an idea that we should pray for our healing along with the healing of the oppressor. We believe that restoration of the planet is the restoration to love of all things, including our enemies. We resist a Texas culture that refuses to believe that restoration is possible for all living things.
We exist for restoration.
Denton, Texas is a difficult place to exist as a queer church. Healing, forgiveness, and restoration often seem impossible. We are trying to love the haters and oppressors in the face of tremendous obstacles. The more we do it though, the closer we feel to this Jesus that we call queer and to whom we know we were created by God to be. We believe in a queer incarnation called love. I guess this is what makes us The Church at Mable Peabody’s.
Oh, and by the way:
Is Texas culture in any way similar to your culture?
Painting by Emily Jean Hood