Update on Making-Up Church

Greetings,

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

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**

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Update on Making-Up Church

  1. ‘want to affirm the importance’.

    Affirmation looks very different from this email. I admire your resolution in continuing to work in your church to reveal this attitude. It’s frustrating and disappointing to see such a response from the pastors, but perhaps as time goes on God will continue to work through you both to change their hearts and minds — whether you can see a change or not.

    Thanks for the update!

    Like

    1. Thanks Lucy! I (Nate) was very frustrated by the wording. “Affirm” in this context implies that Sarah’s feelings have legitimacy only if they say so. It speaks from a position that assumes power and privilege instead of Christ-like humility.

      We appreciate the words of encouragement 🙂

      Like

      1. Absolutely. This email is so weak, just a ‘I hear you, now please go away’ instead of a ‘I hear you, and I’m listening to you, and thinking about what you’re saying’.

        I would be incredibly frustrated to receive an email like this after expressing such frustrations and offence. I hope they come to realise the value of what you are saying!

        Like

    2. Here is what Sarah replied, in frustration.

      “I affirm your attempt to RECONCILE the situation.

      I’m not trying to be snarky, but this leaves me feeling a bit checked out.

      Have a good weekend.”

      As a bit of context, we were in the midst of a missions conference at our church. The title of the series of sermons/teachings was RECONCILE.

      Liked by 1 person

Thanks for taking the time to read and engage. I look forward to your feedback, I welcome any criticism. However, as my goal here is mutualy respectful, beneficial conversation, I only ask that we keep civility in mind with our words. Grace and Peace.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s