Showing posts from August, 2011

Plea for Unity

Here's what I wrote about the church thing. I don't know if anyone will end up seeing it but it clarified things for me. I kept my name out of it, and if you see it here, then you'll know it's me. But almost nobody reads this blog so I'll probably stay anonymous, at least for a while.

Open Letter to my Church: a Plea for Unity
At the town hall meeting to discuss our pastor candidate last night, there was a lot of anger. Some are upset that the search team’s work was not universally applauded. Some are unhappy with the church’s stated position on the role of women, and some are afraid that position might be changed. Some weren’t happy with earlier committee decisions and have lost faith in how our church is governed.

We are deeply divided. Our conversations about a pastor candidate are an expression of our division, not the cause. Here’s a thought: maybe we’re not arguing about the pastor candidate. Maybe we’re arguing because we don’t know each other, we don’t trus…

So many elephants

In addition to my own personal church drama, our church is looking for a new pastor. The ways that churches make decisions like this can be byzantine and fall into grooves of tradition that I don't begin to understand.

Fast forward to a meeting last night, where discussion about a new pastor candidate was tense. To say the least. There were several elephants in the room, some of which got talked about ... sort of directly. Some not.

I was amazed and saddened and also fascinated. The biggest and baddest elephant is the one that trumpets loudly inside or outside so many churches, and that's the question of whether it's okay for women to lead in various positions. Our church has maintained an incredibly tenuous position that is (I think) a compromise. There are others who think it's intolerable.

This is an elephant that sort of got talked about. I am on the side of women being able to do things like preach and teach in church, but I have learned that having a woman as a s…

Deus ex machina

Here's the deal. I haven't been able to sing very much at my own church for more than a year, for reasons that are tragic and stupid and sinful. It's turned me inside out and made me look at my own selfishness and made me rely on God. I have whined and harped about it for far too long, but it really has been unbearable in the way that growing experiences - those blessings that suck - are.

My husband and I have been exiles from church before. Church is one of those things that can't stay good, apparently. I have also been the one not singing many times, but always before I had to admit that the person who was singing was doing a great job (better than I could, the oft-ignored voice of truth whispered). This time the voice of the person who sings instead of me is not always pleasing to the ear, and the sweet aroma of worship has a not-so-faint stink of human pride. So we have had one foot out the door for quite some time, but there is no where to go. I kept wondering if …


I have a lot of forgiving to do. This is not because I have been hurt or sinned against more than usual, but because I have forgotten to forgive; I've forgotten that it needs to be an ongoing exercise for me. Emotional hygiene.

Forgiving. I know a lot about it. I can say wise things about it. I'm glad I have already learned that forgiving is for me, not for the other person. It frees me. It doesn't take the place of justice. It doesn't require an apology.

I need to get up off my a** and do it.

I know that God forgave me, and that shames me a little bit. Knowing that I am forgiven for all kinds of nightmarish things that I have said and done and thought should remind me how level the playing field is. But it doesn't. This is my selfishness and all that is so un-lovely about me.

But I'm noticing, now, that maybe I'm just stuck in a loop of blame and anger and fear and grief. The sin done to me is ongoing, and I'm experiencing it in the present tense, a…