Friday, June 16, 2023

Beyond Worship: Meditations on Queer Worship, Liturgy & Theology Wins Bronze IPPY Award in Religion Category

What better way to celebrate Pride than to win an Independent Publisher’s (IPPY) Award in Religion during the month that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community?

Said Riverdale Avenue Books publisher, Lori Perkins, “I am also so honored that this inclusive LGBTQ+ title received an award in the “religion” category and not just LGBTQ+. “

The book started as a digital zine published by Manhattan’s Fort Washington Collegiate Church’s website with only a few contributors. Under the direction of Minister James Admans (they/them) and funded by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, the zine Beyond Worship sought to collect any written material by LGBTQIA+ authors that could be shared in a worship space. The goal was to not only demonstrate that LGBTQIA+ members of the church are accepted, but part of the community and have something to contribute.

When Publisher Lori Perkins, a member of Fort Washington, read the zine, she was immediately inspired to expand upon the idea of belonging in a community not just to LGBTQIA+ members of Fort Washington, but any LGBTQIA+ person struggling to find a sense of belonging in a community that they can call home and wanting, but struggling, to find their relationship with a higher purpose.

Beyond Worship seeks to show LGBTQIA+ people that they are divine, here for a reason, and have so much to contribute to their communities.

Whether a poem, a short story, a psalm, a meditative guide, or an academic paper, each LGBTQIA+ author in this anthology explores what it means to find community and love in a society that tells them they are undeserving of both. From all over the world and from a variety of faith traditions, each author’s piece shows readers different ways of being in a world worth experiencing.

Rev. Admans commented on the experience of putting together this collection, “I'm thrilled to share this collection of pieces by LGBTQIA+ religious and spiritual authors. We live in a time where queer and transgender people are taught that our faith journeys are invalid. Beyond Worship shows otherwise. Not only can LGBTQIA+ people flourish in our faith, but we can be theologians with profound teaching and insight.”

A virtual IPPY Awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 20th at 3:30.