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?
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.