Theology on Tap Considers ‘Gender and God’s Plan for Humanity’

Sister Geralyn Schmidt, Wide Area Network Coordinator and director of Formation for Wives of the Diaconate Program, Harrisburg Diocese, leads the discussion at Theology on Tap at Hops at the Paddock, Allentown. (Photos by John Simitz)

By TARA CONNOLLY Staff writer

“True equality is how God sees us as his sons and daughters. The Church is the spouse of Christ. It is female and the Church was created from the pierced womb of Christ,” said Sister Geralyn Schmidt May 13 during the discussion “Gender and God’s Plan for Humanity.”

Sister Geralyn, Wide Area Network Coordinator and director of Formation for Wives of the Diaconate Program, Harrisburg Diocese, led the informal discussion as part of Theology on Tap series at Hops at the Paddock, Allentown.

Sister opened the discussion by differentiating between “objective” and “subjective” truth, and stressed that Christianity truths are objective.

“Objective truth means it is true for all people, all cultures at all times. People need water to live and that will not change. Christianity across the board – meaning religious and moral truths – are objective truths. They are true all the time, in all circumstances and in all cultures,” she said.

As for subjective truth, Sister told the young adults that it is only true for the person making the judgment – even though it may not be true for others.

“I am journeying with you on how we can live objective truths and our faith in today’s culture,” she said.

As children of God, she said, people are called to relationship, and that male and female are made in relation to one another.

“It is a universal call for all of us to love, to self-give and to be loved. Our gender is an intimate part of God’s original plan for creation,” said Sister.

“Sex is a biological aspect of being male or female. Today, our culture has morphed that idea.”

According to Sister Geralyn, today’s “sexual confusion” is grounded in misunderstanding on the nature of authority and the gender theory that rejects that people are created as male or female.

“God is indeed in charge. God is the author of life. He is the law. His words are written in our hearts. God’s authority governs what is right and what is wrong,” she said.

“Those who believe we get to choose gender, sadly, often dismiss people who believe that we are children of God and that male and female are complementary.

“We are modeled in the image of God and destined for eternity – that is the bottom line.”

She then differentiated between “sex” and “sexuality.”

“Sexuality refers to a fundamental component of personality in and through which, we as male or female, experience our relatedness to self, others, the world and even God. Sex is the biological aspects of being male or female or to the expression of sexuality which have physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions,” said Sister.

“Our sexuality is intimately related to our vocation to love, our natural yearning for committed relationships. Sexuality prompts each of us from within, calling us to personal as well as spiritual growth, and drawing us out from self to interpersonal bonds and commitments with others, both women and men.

“It includes the qualities of sensitivity, understanding, intimacy, openness to others, compassion and mutual support.”

As the young adults navigate living out the faith in today’s culture, a young adult asked how to respond to a friend or loved one confused by their sexuality or gender.

“You are to be their friend by loving them where they are at and offer prayer to the Holy Spirit. All of us here this evening are sinners and God is patient with us. We must be patient with others,” said Sister.

“But don’t forget that we need saints today. We are going to experience gross and flagrant persecution.”