Today’s episode is a beautiful reminder that God is for all of us. Our guest Isaac Simmons, also known as Ms. Penny Cost, shares his witness of Divine love and grace. We can share in God’s creation as we realize and affirm our true, authentic identity.
We talk about answering a call to the vocation of ministry—and what that means to someone who doesn’t “fit the mold” of what an ordained person should look like. Isaac shares his passion for storytelling, performance, and Divine co-creation. And how he’s used these gifts for life-changing and life-saving work. He’s stepping up and teaching us how to increase our capacity to love those who may have a different outlook on the world.
Isaac Simmons is a twenty-three-year-old senior student studying theology at Illinois Wesleyan. He’s also a congregant and staff member at the progressive and affirming Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IL.
When Isaac announced his calling to Ordained Ministry, his home church community celebrated and encouraged his discernment. Isaac Simmons became the first openly Queer person to be certified as a Candidate for Ordained ministry within the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the UMC, and reportedly, the first Drag Queen to receive that title in the world.
His drag performance as Ms. Penny Cost is rooted in the joy-filled reclamation of spirituality for and with Queer folks. His mission (and hers too) is to break down the false duality which, for too long, has stated that Queerness and Faith can not be combined.
He is here to say that YOU, right here and right now, are enough. There is nothing that you will ever have to do to experience the Love, Affirmation, and Celebration which freely flows from the Divine.
- Role of ordained people in the Methodist Church
- Mikhail Bakhtin and the concept of Carnivalesque and Grotesque
- Learn more about the intersection of church and queerness. Soul Care has an extensive affirming reading and resource list from a variety of faith traditions.
- Check out our conversation with past podcast guest Daniel Guerra. He has a message of inclusion, acceptance, and belonging in the church for LBGTQIA+ people and allies.
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CONNECT WITH US
Soul Care is an inclusive retreat center welcoming people of all identities, beliefs, and backgrounds. Want to build supportive community and relationships with people like Isaac and others featured on the podcast? Learn more about the Kindred Souls membership community