We want to take the time to thank everyone who offered kind words and encouragement to Sarah regarding her blog post, Making-Up Church. She was blessed by all the kind words, prayers, and well-wishes. This was a deeply personal post and the overwhelmingly positive response was truly heart-warming.
Many of you asked that we update when we had heard something back. We received an email from the senior associate pastor that was less than encouraging. Here is an image
This was a frustrating email to receive, though we fully understood the possibility of this response. Now, as we look to the future we feel that we are still to keep speaking up.
It would be easy to walk away, and honestly there is that temptation. But we know there are others who feel as we do. There are people searching for a church where they belong, who see the good on this church (there is a lot) and struggle to challenge this culture because they don’t want to be an outsider.
We feel that we need to remain, at least for the next few months, and keep pressing forward – trying to be persons who influence this for the better.
A bit of background, we attend a church that identifies as egalitarian, but has a history of preventing women from being elders. A lot of changes have taken place, women are allowed to speak and teach on every level and have been assured by several pastors that there will soon be women recognized as full elders. But there seems to be a sub-culture of complementarianism allowed to exist as well. This is a very large church, so there is bound to be a number of people who disagree.
We do not feel that moving right away would best serve us as people who feel called to stand up against these issues or others as we try to help them see why these views are destructive and denigrating.
To be clear, we do feel that a time will come to move on, but right now we are trusting that God has put us here with these convictions for a reason. Until we feel released to move on, or are asked to leave, we will continue to speak up about the subculture of inequality and inconsideration.
As we seek God’s heart, as we continue to fight an uphill battle to change how our church talks about and treats the issues of gender, sex, and sexuality, we ask that you continue to pray.
Thank you so much again.
Grace and Peace to you all,
Nate and Sarah
**Cover image from http://weknowyourdreams.com/image.php?pic=/images/church/church-02.jpg**