Sarah Bloesch is a member of the United Church of Christ and on the path to becoming a fifth generation pastor following her father, grandfather, great grandfather; and great-great grandfather. Sarah holds a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis and is a doctoral student in Religious Studies with a concentration in constructive, systematic Christian theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her research embodies the intersections of Christ, the church, and queer theory. It focuses on how the lives of people who participate in these intersections, both individually and communally, actually encounter the possibility of being drawn into and drawing others into what the ancient church and the mystics called “Union with God.”

Ambiguously Yours, Christ and Neighbor

February 8th: When a Body Meets a Body – Christ Outside the Church

February 15th: The Queer Space of Interfaith Dialogue

Synopsis: Contrary to common sense, we don’t need to have extensive knowledge about our neighbor to be a good neighbor; often the assumed previous knowledge we bring cuts off dialogue. Rather, we need to be prepared to both question and listen well. In interfaith dialogue this dynamic occurs when we ourselves have previously struggled with and worked to name our own faith commitments. For those who claim Christianity as their faith, the first session explores one way to engage Jesus the Christ and to think about how Christ functions both in Christianity and in interfaith dialogue. The second session continues the work of the first by including the components of sexuality, gender, and race that are present in any dialogue.

 In a Queer Embrace: Christ, the Cross, and Resurrection People

 February 29: Who Do You Say That I Am? From a Gay Christ to a Queer Christ

March 7: In the Beginning Was the Word… At the River Jordan; or Why the Incarnation Isn’t Just for Christmas

March 14: This is My Body Broken for You: Theories of Atonement and Feminist/Disabilities Theory Critique

March 21: And the Temple Curtain Torn and the Sun Was Black: Queering Expectations of Time at the Cross

March 28: Mary, Who Are You Looking For? The Power, Ambiguity, and Privilege of Naming

April 4: The Ear Cannot Say to the Eye I have No Need of You; or Who Is My Family?

Synopsis: The idea of this series is to take three main themes of the Lenten journey – Jesus, the one whom we call the Christ, the cross, a symbol in Christianity that at once holds so much transformative power yet often has produced so much damage, and the community, which struggles to experience, understand, and reconcile the first two – and reexamine our relationship with them through contemporary theology and critical theories. Acknowledging that Lent is a time of preparing, studying, questioning, and engaging in devotional practices, the series is designed so that two weeks are spent (re)engaging each of the three themes.

The first two weeks will focus on Christ; specifically, how a queer Christ opens up a new and liberative space for understanding our relationship with God and why the incarnation is critically important to making our way to and beyond the Easter event. The second two weeks will focus on the cross. For many influenced by the use of this symbol in contemporary culture wars, it seems that the cross has often been reduced from its incredible historical complexity and potential to a singular static moment in which one is asked either to uncritically accept or not a bloody Jesus who effects salvation. And if not, then one therefore pays the consequences. The first part will offer a glimpse into what feminist theology and disabilities theories bring to the salvation/salvaging of the cross for contemporary Christians. The second session will then go a step further to discuss how the cross actually disrupts our attempts at simplistic answers and queers our intimate relations with God. The last two weeks will focus on the resurrection community, or the church, which is called to carry forth the relationships that this queer Christ and disruptive cross ask from us. This involves a rethinking and radical extension of familial language and therefore how we, with fear and trembling, continue to name ourselves and call out to others in this new space and time post-resurrection.