by JoN Rundquist
Editor’s note: Have you heard it’s the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation this year (1517-2017)? During the months of October and November, ELM’s blog will feature reflections on how the church continues to re-form and the role of LGBTQ+ leaders.
This week we are re-posting a fantastic blog from one of our Proclaimers – JoN Rundquist. Please visit their blog Grey Matter for more insights from a self proclaimed “Trans Genderqueer Candidate for Ordination in the ELCA”
According to history as we know it, on October 31st, 1517 – Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg Castle, thereby spurring the Protestant Reformation. Four Hundred and Ninety-nine years and three days later, I started my own physical re-formation in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I took the red pill (okay, so they’re pale pinkish) and placed a clear patch on my hip and began to see where this rabbit hole goes.
Today marks 500 years and 3 days after the Protestant Reformation began, and one year since I began my own re-formation. Why am I tying the two events together?
Because when Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses and attached them to the door, he wanted changes to happen to the body of Christ that he knew. There were things wrong with the expression of the body of Christ (the Church, specifically the Roman Catholic Church) that he wanted to change so that the true and authentic expression of the body of Christ could manifest. By making some of these 95 changes, this authentic expression could shine through the boundaries of what the current body of Christ looked like. It was restrictive, and made him feel guilty of all the stuff he thought he had done wrong.
Likewise, there were elements to my body that felt restrictive, obtrusive or out of place. Not how I wanted to express myself. And my mind was constantly curious about the question of gender, and what it would be like to change those elements. I didn’t have 95 things I wanted to change, but a few. Enough to spur my own re-formation.
So I did.
Martin Luther’s efforts to spur change in the Church wreaked havoc on the body of Christ. The Pope and Church called him into question, censored him, burned his writings, and tried to assassinate him. The Church would not go gently into that goodnight.
Luther’s efforts were meant to re-form the body, probably not create a whole other body. Likewise, the journey I started a year ago was meant to re-form my own body. I’ve already helped create two other bodies 🙂
In the end, after those 500 years, the reformed body that Luther helped create is still figuring out what to do with those that re-form their own bodies, mainly their gender identities and expressions. The amount of trans rostered clergy and seminarians in the Lutheran extension of the body of Christ… is steadily growing.
I have steadily growing elements to my body, some less desirable than others. After all, food does taste better with these new reforms 🙂
I’m blessed to be married to my supportive wife, and parent to the two beautiful bodies I helped create. This has been a wild year of its ups and downs. But I’m forever thankful for all of the supportive friends, family members and colleagues. And through it all, I know that God’s got this.
Happy 500th, Protestant Reformation!
JoN Rundquist (he/her/theirs) is not used to writing these things. Writing in third person is a great way to showcase preferred pronouns, but he prefers any pronouns, and respects and advocates for those who have them. They are married to a social worker from the land of Paul Bunyan, parent to two clones of their expressions of their non-binary self, and lover of Fantastical SciFi. She looks forward to watching The Last Jedi on opening night, and hopes for a peaceful Turkey Day. JoN’s been a member of Proclaim for a year now, and is thankful for all the love and support they receive from the community.