Queer Events in Acts


We continue reading the book of Acts this week, chapters 15-21. The Queer Bible Commentary has so many interesting things to say about the book of Acts that I encourage you to read the whole thing. About Lydia, “Doty would no doubt approve of the operational gaydar of Nancy Wilson (1995) and Tim Koch (2001) who have already identified Lydia as a woman with great dyke credentials. The basis for this happy recognition lies primarily in the reference to Lydia as a seller of purple. … Koch notes the overt lack of reference to any male relations, how Lydia appears to be running her own business and household, and how she goes out to join a group of women gathered at the riverside on the Sabbath. Finally, he and Nancy Wilson (1995: 158) both comment on the fact that the route from Troas to Samothrace, to Neapolis and then Philippi where this scene is located (Acts 16:11), lies in the immediate vicinity of the Isle of Lesbos.”

This week we read Part 3,  “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 10, “Solving v. Dithering” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. Dithering seems to me like worry in action – which brings to mind the multitudes of wisdom that boil down to: “do what you can and give the rest over to God,” not unlike what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34. Rettig mentions, “…most of life’s toughest problems…can only be solved with the help of a community.” This is a direct challenge to many of us – including myself. I tend to enjoy working on problems much more when I am the sole person responsible for the solution – however, the reality is that those group projects for school that so many of us disliked are the key to solving long-term, structural issues.


For June and July, in honor of Pride Month (and beyond) we are reading and praying over Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey. This week we read Chapter 2, “Black Women’s Experience and Queer Black Women’s Lives.” Lightsey, when discussing the philosophical origins of queer theology notes, “Like Foucault, both Baker and Rustin understood that power is engendered by knowledge.” p. 26

What does it mean that power is engendered by knowledge?

C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!


Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.


  • Goss, R. Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, 2002.
  • Guest, Deryn. The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
  • Guest, Deryn. “The Conversion of Lydia.” The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
  • Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Transfigured: A 40-Day Journey through Scripture for Gender-Queer and Transgender People. D.H. Strategies, 2018.
  • Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies. D.H. Strategies, n.d.
  • Isherwood, Lisa. “Queer Theology.” Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2015.
  • Loughlin, G. Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, 2007.
  • Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
  • Rettig, Hillary. “Solving v. Dithering” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/8-adopting-the-three-productivity-behaviors-a-process-for-creating-behavioral-change/
  • “Stonewall Uprising.” PBS: American Experience, 11 June 2019. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/stonewall/.
  • White, L. Michael. Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2010.
  • Willimon, William H. Acts. Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988.