Hey Church, it’s time for us to have a check-in, ok? All y’all out there who are part of the Body of Christ, and especially clergy colleagues. It’s Ash Wednesday this week. The start of Lent. Of our 40 days in the wilderness. Our season of prayer and fasting. It’s a time when we often talk about giving something up. This season also generally coincides with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (this year February 22–28th).

Thus, it’s a great time to remind us all of some things:

1. We have an obligation to our faith communities to be REALLY mindful…

I am no stranger to therapy. I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was eighteen. My therapists have been a series of incredible, skilled women. First, there was the young, compassionate, funny, engaging redhead who skillfully navigated me through long-delayed grief over my father’s death. Then, the incomparably empathetic, wise, and tender older woman who helped me say out loud for the first time that I did not want, or invite the trauma I was carrying from my 20’s. And my current therapist, a fierce, badass, incisive, profoundly caring, authentic, and deeply curious woman who has saved my…

Slow Down Where it Hurts: Grief and the Twelve Days of Christmas

Thirteen years ago this year, on December 23rd, I made last-minute plans to fly home to Upstate NY on the busiest travel day of the year. One leg of my flight canceled. I got rerouted through LGA. I had to run between multiple gates and got on the tiniest plane in a tremendous winter storm. There were maybe thirty seats on the whole plane.I spent the entire flight relatively sure I was going to die.

I got off of the plane in Syracuse, NY. As I exited security…

Photo Credit: Shachmut Photography, my ordination at Old South Church in Boston, MA

Today marks my fifth anniversary of ordination to ministry. I have been called to ministry for over half of my life. I can hardly remember a life in which this thing that has pulled me, and shaped my heart for so long did not have a grip on me. While I have served the church for much longer than five years, I have been reflecting on what these five years of ordination in particular have meant to me. They have been harder, more humbling, more beautiful, more tender, more holy, and more painful than I ever could have imagined. They…

“Why does it feel like they hate me?” I asked.
“It’s Femmephobia,” she replied. “It’s rooted in the idea that all Femmes are vapid and self-centered.”

Photo: Pastor Elle Dowd (she/her/hers), edited by Valerie Evelynn

And there it was.

I had spent days trying to figure out how to let go of an exchange that had left me feeling bruised, and tender. I couldn’t figure out why it got under my skin so deeply, and there it was. Intentional or not, this particular piece of feedback and criticism was sitting squarely at the intersection of Femmephobia and fatphobia.

This isn’t new territory for me. I navigate the world in a body that is protected in one way by my white, cisgender privilege. I am often traditionally feminine in my appearance (though it is queerer than…

When I was doing my clinical training in a major, Level I trauma center in Boston, I remember acutely a day that I broke down sobbing. I felt like I was simply immersed in death. One of my dearest patients had finally died, and I had a heavy case load.

One of the older, wiser, more experienced chaplains took my hand, and said: “I need you to remember that this is not normal. The rest of the world is not immersed in death. Go outside and be reminded there is life, and there are promises of good things to come.”…

Dear loved ones who voted, and/or will vote for Donald Trump,

Y’all, I tried.

I wanted to believe after 2016 that you weren’t endorsers of white supremacy, racism, homophobia, sexism, and more. I wanted to believe that you at least cared about me (despite ignoring our sobbing tears on election night and literal fear for our family). I wanted to believe that you did not fully appreciate the harm you would cause. I wanted to believe your sexism did not run that deep despite myriad “but her emails!”

White supremacy culture taught me all of these things. It told me…

It started pretty early.

Sometime around early March the memes, the tweets, and the thirty second soundbites began.

“I’m so jealous of my friends without kids.”

“Life in pandemic must be so much easier for y’all who don’t have kids at home.”

“I wish I could spend pandemic baking bread and binging Netflix.”

“I mean you really don’t have anything to complain about.”

The lines had been drawn, and the implications were clear. The only experiences that mattered were those of parents with young children at home. …

Dear White male colleagues in ministry, and white men in the church,

It’s time for a come to Jesus.

I found out yesterday that y’alls favorite progressive poster boy, Shane Claiborne, has deemed himself subject matter expert on abortion. He is planning to write a book dealing with, among other things, the question of “when life begins.” There is to end to the number of topics on which cishet male opinions should be centered apparently. When asked if he would be including women’s voices, he replied “I have some female friends with whom I will be working as I craft…

Run, do not walk, if you do not own both of these books. Thank you Sonya Renee Taylor, and Nayyirah Waheed. You are extraordinary.

I feel certain some of you already know who I mean. You are already harkening images of inspirational quotes, rooms full of crying white women, and more. In my clergy circles, white clergy women in certain age brackets love us an inspirational white lady. Brene Brown has nearly been Canonized into the White Clergy Hall of Saints. You get the idea. White progressive Christian women have a lot to say about the racist, prosperity Gospel train wreck of the Rachel Hollis empire (and there IS a lot to say), but less about the women who are their own sacred icons…

Heidi Carrington Heath

The Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath (she/her/hers) is a preacher, teacher, activist, writer, holy mischief maker, and proud queer femme.

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