A Lutheran church in New Jersey celebrated the female-to-male transition of a pastor by conducting a renaming ceremony on Sunday.

St. Matthew Trinity Church in Hoboken has been overwhelmingly supportive of transgender Pastor Rose Beeson, 31, who was called “Peter” by Lutheran Bishop Tracie Bartholomew to mark the Beeson’s gender transition.

“I feel embraced by a cloud of saints,” Beeson told WATV.

Congregant Mark Singleton, 21, said that Sunday was “a wonderful day in the life of this radically inclusive community,” according to NJ.com.

“It’s an opportunity for us to live out our mission to accept everyone, not just talk the talk,” said Jen Meusel, 20, another congregant.

Bishop Bartholomew has also been supportive of Beeson’s transition.

“I support Pastor Beeson coming to the realization of who he really is,” Bartholomew said. “St. Matthew Trinity is a welcoming place and showing leadership to respond to gender identity and sexuality.”

According to Beeson, coming out as transgender in the summer of 2017 was “even more important” due to the recent election of President Donald Trump.

“Both I and this congregation thought it was even more important because of that; to be a bold voice that says, Christians also believe transgender people are good and created in the image of God,” Beeson said.

Beeson chose the name Peter purposefully, contending that, biblically, “Peter’s persistence resonated.”

Regarding the support of the church, Beeson said, “I am grateful to be in a congregation, in part to be a bold witness to God’s mercy and grace.”

 

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