“…there is no longer male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26-28)
The love of God calls us to have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” that the divisions and differences of this world are not essential, for all of us are children of God. Many of us grew up in a world that understood gender to be essential and to consist of a clear and simple binary. Some of us struggle to understand the language of identities like transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit that carry us beyond these categories. Yet all around us individuals who identify in these ways are crying out to be loved as they are. This series helps us to live into the question: how does our faith working through love call us to respond?
As always, we encourage folks to arrive anytime after 9:30 am for coffee, tea and treats, and then we'll settle in for each speaker at 10:00am. Speakers are usually done by 11:30am, and we take a 10-minute intermission. Bring your friends! All are welcome at these mid-morning presentations. Donations appreciated.
Kingsley Strudwick has been facilitating in the anti-violence and community engagement sectors for the past ten years, exploring issues including cultural safety, workplace best practices, and gender diversity. As an extension of Kingsley’s five years of offering education through the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, they founded Ambit Gender Diversity Consulting, a company dedicated to improving staff and client experiences for transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people. By working with teams who are also committed to this goal, and through first-hand experience as a trans person, Kingsley is contributing to the development of best practices for supporting and engaging this multifaceted community.
In their talk at Wonderful Wednesdays, Kingsley will introduce a framework for understanding gender beyond the binary, offer examples of gender-affirming practices, and explore strategies for applying these learnings on a personal, relational, and community level.
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, UVic Professor in Gender Studies, will be at Wonderful Wednesdays to present an overview of the diverse, Indigenous conceptions of gender, and the impact of European/settler conceptions of gender on Indigenous communities. By speaking to the endurance of Indigenous peoples and the current regeneration of Indigenous gender diversity,Christine’s talk is especially important for us as we seek to acknowledge colonial impacts and live into truth and reconciliation.
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy is Ojibway Anishinaabe of mixed ancestry from Bawatig (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). Formerly a counsellor for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in conflict with Canadian law, in 2016 she joined the UVic faculty as a Lecturer in Gender Studies. She is also currently working on her PhD in Indigenous Studies through Trent University; her thesis explores Anishinaabe womyn’s economic governance of the sugar bush in the Great Lakes Region, in the production of maple sugar, through a queer, indigenous materialist, feminist lens.
Bruce is well known to the people of St. George’s as the husband of Frances Bryant-Scott. As the former Executive Officer & Archdeacon of the Diocese he was a frequent Sunday preacher and presider in the parish. He is currently the interim priest-in-charge at St. Dunstan’s, Gordon Head. He is almost finished writing the dissertation of a part-time, distance, dissertation-only PhD at the University of London and hopes to defend it in the Fall; the topic is on the theological legacy of the “Indian Residential Schools,” and is entitled “Unsettling Theology.”
In his Wonderful Wednesdays presentation, entitled “The Spirit of God Moved Upon the Face of the Waters: Gender Fluidity in the Christian Bible,” Bruce will discuss the Christian Bible, with its Old and New Testaments, and how it is typically read from the perspective of the gender binary of male and female. Is this the only way to read it? Is gender fluidity there in the text? Bruce will consider the impact of “Queer Theory” on contemporary biblical studies and the challenges it has for conventional thinking.