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Love, Sex, Loss, and Faith, oh my!

These big life themes could lend themselves to year-long programs on their own, but we started instead with a short series where our host, the Rev. Danae Ashley – both a priest and therapist – asked questions like:

  • What do you know now about love, sex and loss that you would share with your younger self?
  • How does faith play a role in your understanding of love, sex and loss in your life?

We’ve gathered the elements of this series here so you too can benefit from the shared wisdom of our community.

What we hope…

“We hope to provide a sense of honor, dignity and validation for all of us whomever and wherever we are in our lives. One important element in dignity is a freedom from shame – particularly when we are holding our sacred stories of love, sex and loss. We hope to create a sense of ease and trust together so that these stories can be reflected upon and held with care. As we all know, being at ease in our own skin, free from shame, makes it easier to welcome in the sacred – whatever that might mean to each of us. And allowing ourselves to remain open to all that is sacred hopefully does help us as we live with love, sex and loss.”

Love * Sex * Loss Planning Team Member, Kathie McCarthy

Hear from our friends from around the Diocese of Olympia:

The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson

Follow-up questions to ponder and journal:

  • Have you ever ignored an important part of yourself? What were the repercussions? Has the Church helped or hindered your healing?
  • Where have you learned the courage to be truthful like Carla? What would help you to gather the courage to be truthful? Do you have a personal story or a story about someone you have seen do this?

The Rev. Edmund Harris

Follow-up questions to ponder and journal:

  • Edmund talked about striving and God’s acceptance. Where do you find yourself striving?
  • What would it be like to live with grace and in Paul Tillich’s words, knowing “you are accepted. You are accepted by that which is greater than you”?

The Rev. Hillary Kimsey

Follow-up questions to ponder and journal:

  • If you grew up with messages of “purity” and abstinence, like Hillary, how has that impacted your love life and your sex life? What have you had to learn and unlearn as you grow into healthy adulthood?
  • Do you agree that love is a choice we make? What examples from your own life demonstrate your position?

The Rev. Daren Chidester

Follow-up questions to ponder and journal:

  • Daren references the “five genders” in native culture. According to Duane Brayboy, writing in Indian Country Today, “all native communities acknowledged the following gender roles: Female, Male, Two Spirit Female, Two Spirit Male and Transgendered.” (Read more here.) How is this gender spectrum similar or different from your own understanding of gender?
  • To what extent are you able to draw wisdom about love, sex, and loss from your elders? How might your church be a resource?

More questions? Feel free to e-mail these workshop presenters:

The Rev. Danae Ashley
The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson
The Rev. Edmund Harris
The Rev. Hillary Kimsey
The Rev. Daren Chidester


Love * Sex * Loss participants were invited to ask questions anonymously. Many thanks to those of you who did! The brave and wise Hillary Kimsey, Episcopal priest and hospital chaplain, stepped up to answer them.


Resource List

Books, podcasts, video, documentaries, and more, recommended by our awesome Love * Sex * Loss planning team.


Where does The Episcopal Church stand?

We’ve gathered resolutions from General Convention and other official statements from The Episcopal Church on:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Intimate Relationships Other Than Marriage
  • LGBTQIA+ Inclusion & Same-Sex Marriage
  • Sex Education
  • Transgender & Non-Binary Rights


Stay Connected!

Subscribe to the Diocese of Olympia “LGBTQIA+ & Allies” mailing list and stay in the loop about upcoming events and gatherings including Diocesan participation in the annual Seattle PRIDE Parade, book discussions, and more.

Connect with the LGBTQIA+ community at Saint Mark’s Cathedral through the new Queer in Christ (QiC) Ministry! E-mail Michael Seweer at

Thank you!

Many thanks to our video interviewees: the Rev. Canon Carla Robinson, the Rev. Edmund Harris, the Rev. Hillary Kimsey, and the Rev. Daren Chidester. And a warm thanks to our planning team: the Rev. Danae Ashley, Rose Hazard, Michael Klucas, Kathie McCarthy, and Valerie Reinke.