The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church has commissioned as deacon a woman who identifies as “non-binary,” only uses the letter M for a first name, and prefers the pronoun “they.”  Sally Dyck, the bishop of the conference, commissioned M. Barclay on Sunday, along with three other women approved to serve as provisional deacons. “Pour out your Holy Spirit upon M,” Dyke said in laying hands on Barclay. “Send them now to proclaim the good news of

Jesus Christ, to announce the reign of God and to equip the Church for ministry.” While United Methodists have ordained those who identify as “transgender” before, Barclay is the first who doesn’t wish to identify as any gender.“For me, once I was exposed to the reality of non-binary gender, it was for the first time recognizing who I am, and what made sense for me in how I carry my body, how I explain myself to the world and how I know myself to be internally. It’s certainly not man nor woman,” she told the United Methodist News Service. READ MORE