Silent Prayers and Honking Horns
Every Wednesday at noon throughout the Idaho state legislative session, you can find me on the steps of the Capitol building, standing still and praying silently. The silence of my thoughts is interrupted only by the occasional sniffle, as my nose angrily protests the bitter cold I’ve subjected it to.
I don’t stand alone, but rather alongside colleagues representing the Interfaith Equality Coalition – pastors, ministry leaders, and faithful members of a variety of faith traditions gathering to bear witness to the all-inclusive love and justice of God in the context of a state (and a world) that seems hellbent on ushering in hatred and injustice instead.
An Open Letter To Boise Corporations Who Are Terrible at Doing Even Basic Performative Corporate Activism.
I am deeply disappointed by the decision of your corporation** to withdraw its support of this year's Boise Pride Festival, citing misinformation surrounding some of its events and programming.
Pronouns = Pro-Justice
When I began my ministry at Southminster, one of the things congregants and community members likely noticed was the ubiquitous presence of my pronouns. The church website, my email signature, and my staff nametag alike all have a simple (he/him) designation next to my name as one indication of my gender identity.
The use of pronouns during verbal introductions and written communication has become more commonplace within progressive circles in recent years, but I suspect some folks may quietly wonder why – particularly for someone such as myself, who rarely encounters misgendering or being called by the wrong pronouns.
Marvelously Set Apart
Picture it: Sicily. 1912.
...I mean… the mountains of Western North Carolina. September 2019.
I was attending the final gathering of a two-year Newly Ordained track of the PC(USA)’s CREDO program – easily one of the most important and meaningful initiatives our denomination sponsors.
Though I certainly couldn’t have known it back in 2017 when I first signed up to participate in the program, this particular gathering also fell just two weeks after moving to Florida to begin a brand new call. It seemed to me the possibilities would be endless. Amid the reds and oranges of the changing leaves, I found a sacred place set apart – the perfect place to reflect upon who God was calling me to be both as a pastor, and as a person.
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
It’s a question posed recently by the host of one of my favorite podcasts, while pondering the choices we make during life’s most challenging moments.
I remember thinking with a tinge of fear (ironic, no?) that I probably already knew the answer to the question. After all, by the time I was hearing this question asked of me I had spent years of personal growth, study, and therapy striving toward greater authenticity in daily living and vocation. My life experiences had all been leading me to a place of courageous vulnerability. And the truth is, I was already beginning to ask myself another important question: what if… I lived… openly?
Recently, my life’s journey brought me to an unexpected fork in the road, having to make a choice between telling my story widely, or having parts of my story told by others.
I didn’t set out to be a bisexual advocate / pastor. At least, not consciously. Yet by God’s many Graces, here I am — (re)claiming my voice.
Happy Pride Month, friends!
Pride is a celebration of the dignity, personhood, and the beauty of diversity in the LGBTQ+ community. It's also a reminder of the importance of visibility, of advocacy, and of the work yet to be done in a pursuit of equality for all.
Last year for Pride, I shared some of my family's very favorite Pride-themed children's storybooks. [Click here for last year's post]. As I mentioned in that post, while I loved each of the storybooks, I couldn't help but notice that our storybook library was lacking in the voices and perspectives of BIPOC individuals overall (and in Pride-themed titles in particular). After publishing the post, I also noticed a similar pattern with a lack of transgender authors on our shelves. I committed to doing better, and the good news is - over the past twelve months, our library has become significantly more diverse!
So for Pride 2021 I've compiled another list of children's storybooks, all of which we have on our shelves at home. Each of the five books below are either (1) written by a BIPOC author and/or illustrator; (2) written by a transgender author and/or illustrator; and/or (3) depicting the perspectives of BIPOC family life in a particularly meaningful way.
To all my LGBTQ+ family: You are seen. You are valued. You are loved.
As Pride month comes to a close I'm so glad to have had the chance to add my voice to this important video project. (Happy Pride to all my LGBTQ+ siblings!)
Here's a description of the video from its creator, Queer Grace Community:
"This Pride, forty church leaders from across denominations came together to say clearly to the LGBTQIA+ community: We did wrong. We are sorry. And we are taking steps to repair the damage done, and to transform our churches into the loving space they were always called to be.
Happy Pride, everyone!
I've shared many times about how much the Remaley family enjoys reading together. Storytime is one of our favorite parts of the day! To celebrate Pride Month, I pulled together a few of our favorite storybooks that speak to the experiences of LGBTQ people and themes. Each of these books make regular appearances in the lineup throughout the year (but especially in June, and in the days leading up to and following our local Pride festivals!)
To all my LGBTQ+ family: You are seen. You are valued. You are loved.
I was so excited to learn that Matthias Roberts would be publishing a book. My faith and sense of self have been nurtured over the past few years as an active listener of his podcast Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being. I was eager for the wisdom he’d be bringing into the world, now in literary form!
And yet, the immediate feeling I felt when receiving his book for my advance review was not excitement. In fact, my first thought when opening the package was this: “I wish it had a different subtitle, because I’m not going to be able to carry this thing with me anywhere I go."
Megan and I have followed the work of photographer Adam Bouska ever since he and his partner Jeff Parshley founded the NOH8 Campaign in 2009.
We've spoken passionately about efforts for LGBTQ equality throughout our lives, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in an official NOH8 photo shoot in May 2011. My seminary friends will likely remember our portrait hanging in the living room of my seminary apartment (alongside the NOH8 portraits of Jane Lynch and Pauley Perrette, naturally).
I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
All works by Rev. TJ Remaley on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This blog is maintained personally by me and does not necessarily represent the views of any congregation I have served. Every effort is made to give proper attribution for quotations, images, and other media used on this page.