What does a Queer Lutheran Family look like? by Reed Fowler

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My alarm clock sounds like ocean waves. I wake up, get dressed, and take Ari, my dog, out for her morning walk. She jumps back on the bed when we get inside, snuggling up next to my spouse.

When I go to feed our three cats, Greyson races out of one of our housemates’ bedrooms, because he prefers their bed most nights. I greet each cat as I set down their food dish. I ask Ari to sit before giving her breakfast.

I pass another one of our housemates in the kitchen, who is also getting ready to leave for
work. I leave the iced coffee out for them. As a queer-centered cooperative, we go through a lot of iced coffee. We also go through a lot of rapid tests, trying to keep each other as safe as we can. The dishwasher seems to be about full, so I start it before leaving.

Work is a point of transition, currently. Changing paths in the waiting. But I’m feeling aligned and supported and seen. My family is happy I’ll have a more life-giving balance. More space. More joy.

On lunch, I text my partner to continue a conversation and see how their day is going. There’s a few other group chats to respond to: one of our housemates lets us know a friend is coming over later, I ask if it’s rained at the house at all; another chat is talking color palate for mine and my spouse’s upcoming wedding part 2; another is trying to set a night for Dungeons & Dragons.
We’re all still and always learning how best to care for one another.

After work, I come home and water my raised beds, and the in-ground plants I’ve taken responsibility for – two of the three apple trees, a mulberry tree, and the beds we’ve deemed “mint land”. I harvest some rue to dry, and cut some zinnias for the kitchen. Inside, I start a bulk batch of garbanzo beans. I call my mom and chat while cooking, and then call a dear friend
from home.

It’s Tuesday, which means Bible study with a dispersed ecumenical Franciscan order I’m
discerning relationship with, and committed to. Afterwards I go to our art room – I pray
before weaving, and then fall into song-rhythm-prayer while weaving.

As I’m winding down for bed, my spouse and I watch an episode of Project Runway. I read a few pages of an autobiography of St. Francis, and then a chapter for a fiction book club. I write in my journal – a daily habit now for over a year – reflecting on family that is based in relationship, that’s intentional, and care-filled. Family that spans human and non-human and born-into and chosen kin.

May we each sew our lives into this tapestry of interrelation.


Reed Fowler (they/he) is an approved candidate for Word and Sacrament ministry in the ELCA. Reed completed their MDiv at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. After a year of managing a pet grooming salon, Reed is transitioning into operations support at Upstream Arts in Minneapolis, MN. Reed, his spouse Eric, and their three cats and a dog, all live at Rhubarb House, a queer-centered housing cooperative where they are founding members. Reed loves books about magical libraries, watching reality cooking shows, and weaving.

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