The Christmas pageant at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Capitol Hill features a loose policy on who may appear at the manger.
As teens read the biblical nativity passage, children of the parish act out the story.
“We have a very open policy on who was there,” Rev. Michele H. Morgan, St. Mark’s rector, says. “If your child loves their honeybee costume from Halloween, we want them in the pageant. Most years we have dinosaurs, super heroes, bees and some Disney princesses. … We are not strict interpreters of scripture and everyone is welcome extends to the play.”
Morgan came to St. Mark’s in 2015 from Minneapolis for the post. The church also has a 9:30 p.m. carol sing, 10 p.m. Mass in the round and a 10 a.m. “simple” service on Christmas with reception following that Morgan says is a “very quiet, laid-back service.” Advent IV services (Dec. 23) are at 9, 11:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Details at stmarks.net.
Morgan was ordained in 2004 and was the first “out, big, ole’ homo” (as she puts it) where she was serving in Minnesota. The 55-year-old Calgary, Alberta native says “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is her favorite carol and Luke 7:18-23 is a favorite scripture passage.
She and wife Michelle Dibblee live with their dog Rosie in Fort Totten. Morgan enjoys biking, dog walking, baseball and hockey and cross stitching in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out in 1986 and my mother.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
The Rev. Pauli Murray
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I have been sober for 32 years, so I am at a loss to answer that. I never go to nightspots, but I do love wandering around union market with my beloved.
Describe your dream wedding.
I had it twice: once in an Episcopal Church presided by the now Bishop of Washington with 200 of our friends, both sets of parents and a potluck afterward by all the little old ladies of the church. The second, once we won marriage in Minnesota, on a hillside on a farm in Scandia Minn., with friends family and a dinner provided by a young transman who was in my first confirmation class.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Gun violence prevention.
What historical outcome would you change?
The Battle of the Milivian Bridge. Constantine’s victory gave him total control of the Western Roman Empire paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion for the Roman Empire and ultimately for Europe.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Being thanked last week by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for hosting the National Vigil to end gun violence. She shook my hand and I said, “Thanks for being Nancy Pelosi.”
On what do you insist?
That all means all and that as writer and teacher Clay Shirky said: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A picture of Mary who is in her 80s and Brandon who is in his 40s and me.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Say I hope that people use it for good, and I would take a pass. I love who I am and who I was created to be and what if I was changed would it do to my beloved?
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
On some days I believe that I will see those I love and can no longer see again. On other days I believe that done is good. I am OK with both of those options.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Work together and embrace intersectionality.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My wife, my dog Rosie the Thug Princess and the right to go out in the world and not get shot.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That the LGBTQ community cannot be people of faith and love a power greater then themselves.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
I know it’s cheesy but, I loved “Longtime Companion.” I also believe at the end of “Copycat,” once the serial killer has been dispatched, the Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter characters fall madly in love and run off together.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Something to do with silverware. I mean how many forks do you need at a place setting?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
The Stanley Cup, mainly because there is only one Stanley Cup. I could never manage to crash the net.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I would have a life that I loved and be authentic to who I was made to be.
I was offered to do meaningful work here.