Saturday, April 7, 2012

A New Deacon's Good Friday

This story (linked here) about The Reverend Deacon Carolyn Woodall appeared yesterday on the Sacramento CBS channel.  Reverend Woodall was ordained just about a month ago in a service in Stockton California, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  The ordination was filmed by a crew for IntegrityUSA which is finishing a video on Transgender Episcopalians called "Out of the Box"-- stay tuned for it's emergence in the next month or so.  On this Holy Saturday, we give thanks for all manner of signs of the power of resurrection that burst forth from the tomb.


JAMESTOWN (CBS13) - This story is extremely rare. In fact, there are only a handful of Episcopalian clergy members that are transgendered in the world.
Reverend Carolyn Woodall’s story, the deacon at Jamestown Church, began one dark night when she contemplated taking her life.
In the Spring season, the season of new life, Woodall has her own story of resurrection.
“God made me male on the outside, but female in my soul,” said Woodall.
Woodall, then named Clifford, came to that realization one night back in 2003, and felt she was left with two options.
“Quit living my life as a lie, and become who I was, which is Carolyn, which is who you see now, or just quit living,” said Woodall.
Carolyn made it through the night, and sought help.
After years of therapy, doctor appointments, and finally, gender reassignment surgery. Her relationship with God grew stronger.
“God sent his son into the world to save everyone, there aren’t asterisks in scripture,” said Woodall.
Carolyn’s love of God has brought her to this point. She continues to work as a public defender in Tuolumne County, and last month was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopalian church.
“I admire her for having the strength to go through what it cost her, especially living in a very conservative area,” said parishioner Betty Cordoza.
Carolyn has been called names and knows there are plenty who object to her choosing to live as a woman. But she says finally, she feels comfortable in her own skin. Almost reborn, as she helps lead her first Good Friday service, as reverend Carolyn Woodall.
“No one is outside of God’s love. Jesus ministered to the outcasts, to the people on the periphery,” said Woodall.
Woodall tells us she went on TV today to tell her story, because there are plenty of lessons of tolerance to be learned about her life.

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