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Review: Thy Will Be Done

Sara Herwig becomes woman, minister
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 8, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

 

There is a marvelous, understated juxtaposition here between Sara Herwig's journey to becoming a woman and her journey to becoming a minister. Herwig went through surgical transition at the age of 44. Fulfilling that act of self-identification required her to give up her call to the ministry, but she later returned after finding a more accepting Presbyterian church in Massachusetts.

The two paths might seem incompatible, but not to Herwig — she's simply trying to be who she is. Not long after explaining that her gender identification is a characteristic, not a choice, she describes her calling similarly as "a compulsion — this is what God wants you to do."

Director Alice Dungan Bouvrie wisely refrains from drawing attention to the parallel between becoming ordained and undergoing gender-altering surgery — which is only one of many parallels and contradictions that emerge. She has less success comprehending the institutional obstacles to Herwig's vocation — why the Boston Presbyterie can't believe that God could have called on Herwig to be both a minister and a woman.

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