Resources for National Coming Out Day

Call to Worship (Psalm 31)

One: On this Coming Out Day, I turn to you again, God.
ALL: You’re our safe leader, our true mountain guide. Free us from hidden traps. I’ve put my life in your hands. The world may let us down, but you won’t drop us, you’ll never let us down.
One: I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, When I was bullied and rejected, you gave me room to breathe.
ALL: Be kind to us, O God, we’re sinking again. Too many in the world still ridicule those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, asexual, and intersex. Too many still fail to see that we are Beloved, made in your image.
One: I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from those who would harm me.
ALL: God, you have piled up stacks of blessing on those who believe, You stand ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely away.
One: Blessed God! Love of the world. Trapped by a siege of despair over the events of the world, I panicked. But you heard me, you heard and listened.
ALL: We come today to celebrate our deliverance from that despair and to give thanks to you, Loving God; We know you God, God who takes care of all who stay close to them. We hear your answer to all still hurting: Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. God is here to walk with you and lead you to a place where you can find peaceful rest.
(KFR, 2020)

Call to Worship

One: Strange One. Fabulous One. Fluid and ever becoming One.
ALL: Do not allow us to make our ideas of you into an idol.
One: You are as close to us as our own breath and yet, your essence transcends all that we can imagine.
ALL: You are mother, father, and parent. You are sister, brother, and sibling. You are the transgender and gender-fluid person, you are the same-gender-loving and bisexual person – You are each of us—made in your image, incapable of limiting your vast expressions of beauty.
One: Embodied in us, your creation, we recognize our flesh in all its forms is made holy in You. With thanksgiving, we celebrate your manifestation in all its glorious forms.
ALL: Blessed are our bodies. Blessed is our love. Blessed are we when we celebrate that which the world turns away. Fill our hearts with a pride rooted in resistance to all that seeks to destroy.
ONE: May we delight in the ways you have created us: diverse, unique, surprising, and beautiful.
ALL: Thanks be to God!
(adapted from Embodied by KFR)

Call to Worship

One: God is calling us out.
Out of the places we hide
Out of insecurity
Out of shame
Out from under that which silences love and justice.
ALL: Come out, people of God!
One: Though we may be afraid
Though we will be at risk
ALL: God calls us to courage!
One: Our God is a god of resurrection. Of new life after devastation. Of hope in the grip of evil. And so we dare to proclaim, with pride and faith, our truths:
ALL: We believe in the power of love.
We believe in solidarity with the suffering.
We believe we are each valuable.
We believe that our togetherness is transformative.
One: The world is longing for Holy truths that reveal, voices that speak real words of hope.
ALL: Come out, people of God!

Prayer: Blessed Are the Queer

Blessed are the wanderers,
Seeking affirmation.
Blessed are the worshipers,
Praying from closets,
Pulpits, pews, and hardship.
Blessed are the lovers of leaving—
Leaving family and familiarity,
Leaving tables
Where love is not being served.
Blessed are those who stay.
Blessed are those
Who hunger and thirst for justice –
For they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the queer
Disciples of Truth,
Living, breathing, sacred
Reflections of Divine Love.
(Helen Rose)

Prayers of the People

One: In the midst of all that keeps our spirits frantic, overwhelmed, or troubled, we pause.
We pause to remember each other as those whose precious and precarious lives are inherently bound together.
We pause to remember the basic gifts of water, of trees, of beauty, of the land we gather upon.
We pause to remember our neighbors—distant and near.
And so to the One who is Love, we bring the prayers of our communities. Where we share in joy or concern, let us respond together, “God, hear our prayers.”

We pray…

For all the queer, trans, and intersex children and youth across the globe. For the ones who are struggling with feelings of isolation and shame. For those who have no safe place or people to retreat to. For those who must be teachers to the adults in their lives. For those who are unsafe in their communities.
ALL: God, hear our prayers.
We pray for our elders whose labor we are indebted to. For the ones who never tasted the freedom they fought for. For the ones who were forced to the fringes of their own movements. For the allies who suffered beside us, casting their lot with us in true solidarity. For the ones forgotten and betrayed.
ALL: God, hear our prayers.
We pray for all those who hunger for justice and liberation today. For the ones who lay down their lives for their friends. For the ones who tell the truth. For the ones who take risks, who dream, who feed and pray, who fight for bread and roses, both. For the ones who are eager to learn and grow and offer their gifts to the work of enfleshing your promises.
ALL: God, hear our prayers.
We pray for all who are suffering in the church and the world at the hands of white supremacy. For those imprisoned by the state. For those whose land has been taken. For the earth that groans beneath us. For those without food or housing. For those fighting to recover from illness, coronovirus and others. For those experiencing economic hardship. For those who have yet to repent.
ALL: God, hear our prayers.
We pray in gratitude for all that nourishes and sustains us. For the gifts of beauty and friendship, shared meals, and art, and love. For laughter. For pleasure. For the friends, lovers, and comrades who lift our spirits, always by our side when the days are heavy. For the freedom we have in Christ.
ALL: God, hear our prayers.
For your presence within and around us, in our highs and lows, our hope and our despair, God, we give you thanks. Hear our prayers and deepen our willingness to show up with and for one another, sharing in each other’s burdens and working to protect and care for one another. We pause now for a moment to allow you to silently or vocally offer your own prayers.
God in your mercy…
ALL: hear our prayers. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Loving God, in your wisdom, you created a world rich with diversity. Today, as we acknowledge National Coming Out Day, we give thanks for the gifts of sexual orientation and gender identity. We celebrate with our queer, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay siblings who choose to come out, and honor those who do not. Today, we say “yes” to the diversity among us—within ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities. We claim that diversity as we come before you and as we go out into the world. At times, we turn away from this diversity, fearful of its transformative power. We reject that which is different, force it to be silent, or pretend that it does not exist. We participate in systems that privilege sameness and uproot difference. Give us the courage to live boldly into the mystery of diversity, the strength to persevere in the face of adversity, and the power to love in ways that go beyond understanding. Help us create a world where all queer, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay people can flourish. Amen
(Religious Institute)

Prayer of Intercession

One: Long ago in Galilee there were many who were sick and suffering, isolated and oppressed. Wherever there was pain – you were there in solidarity and empowering liberation. We see and experience the same realities today. In the margins, in the hard, in the alone – you are there too. Confident of your commitment to wholeness and healing, we lift before you the wounds inflicted on your beloved queer and trans children. We name the rejection we have felt- from our churches, from our families and friends. We name that many of us wondered if you too had rejected us. Jesus Christ, lover of all,
ALL: bring healing, bring peace.
One: We grieve the reality of a broken church that has been used as a place of harm rather than a safe harbor. So much pain has been inflicted. So many lies have been spread about God. The church was founded in a purpose that is grounded in embrace, liberation, resistance, and community. Instead, too often, it has enacted spiritual violence on children and adults alike. Jesus Christ, lover of all,
ALL: bring healing, bring peace.
One: We hold in this space, those who have endured the worst of what the world has to offer. Those of every generation who have faced violence, the breaking of relationships, the fading of hope when basic needs go unmet. Jesus Christ, lover of all,
ALL: bring healing, bring peace.
One: In silence we name within ourselves, the things we cannot bare to speak.
Jesus Christ, lover of all,
ALL: bring healing, bring peace. Bring healing, bring peace. Bring healing, bring peace.
One: Jesus Christ, lover of all, may it be so.
ALL: Amen.
(Enfleshed, adapted by KFR, 2020)


One: Open your hearts to Love.
ALL: We open our hearts to you, O God

One: O God, you offer us life. In you, we are free from the pressure of our world to conform—to all become like. Like a tapestry, we are created with diverse and beautiful threads that only fully shine when they are braided together in creation. You want us to not just survive, but flourish in a world that you imagined—filled with mercy, with love, with beauty.

But we have not always honored the gifts you have given. We reject our neighbors—othering them for being different from us. We reject and harm people for loving who you gave them to love, for being who you created them to be, all because we cannot honor the diversity of your creation. Since the very beginnings of your Church, we have struggled to overcome our fear-based rejection of difference.
But we cannot forget that in love, your child came to be different, to overcome that fear, to be everything the world would reject. Your child was the transgender child rejected and cast from their family for daring to Come Out as their true self. Your child did not see outcasts, but only your own people. In Christ, difference is seen again as you created it – holy and beloved. In Jesus, the Sacredness of those on the margins of the world is centered and affirmed, the tables upended, love overcomes hate.

On the night of his arrest, Jesus gathered around table with his chosen family, his companions, his friends.

He took bread, blessed it, and when he had broken it, gave it to the others and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He then did the same with the cup of wine, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”
And so, in remembrance of that night and the sacrifice of your child who refused to conform to a world that too often harms, we join in this communal meal as a commitment to the Kindom promised, where all are free to flourish, not just survive. May the Spirit guide us all to a place of love, a place of full affirmation. Amen. (KFR, 2020)


One: The Holy One be with you
ALL: And also with you
One: Open your hearts to the One who is Love
ALL: We open our hearts to you, O God
One: Let us give thanks to God who shapes our world
ALL: For every creature and creation, we give you thanks, O God!

One: Indeed, we give you thanks, our Divine Creator. You declared from the beginning that we were created in your image, a reflection of what is holy, each, in our own way, a glimpse of you. We praise the works of your creative hand that fills our life with beauty. Every flower that blooms, every animal that delights, every body of water that sustains our life—all part of your good works.

Despite the abundance of life around us, we still turn to destruction. Each in our own ways, we have failed to embrace you by failing to embrace all your people, especially those different than us. We have, at times, sided with political and religious powers that refuse to recognize your image in all people.

And so we turn to Jesus, who showed us what it looks like to live into our true selves as people of God. He was humble yet grounded in your love for him. He sought out the despised and made them friends. He confronted every power that belittled, marginalized, and oppressed. His commitment to living out the image of God enfleshed could not be swayed, even in the face of death.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.
He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

Even in death, O God, your love prevailed. Through you Spirit, Christ was raised from the grave. No person, no institution, no force of evil could extinguish the work of your hand.

And so, by the same Spirit, bless these gifts of bread and cup that they may be the living Christ within us today; compelling us to be agents of love, uncompromising on our commitment to protecting every one of your creatures and creations.

Prayer after Communion

ALL: God of abundance, we give you thanks for the grace we experience at your Table. For forgiveness. For connection. For sustenance. For a renewed vision of who we are. Our gratitude abounds. Amen.