Showing posts from September, 2011

Where have we been?

"indecision's bugging me / if you don't want me set me free"
The Clash, 1981

This is for my friends and acquaintances at church.

Our church has recently hired a new pastor, and the process of selecting and hiring him was fraught with conflict. While my husband and I were surprised and saddened by some of the ways that disagreement was approached during that process, that's not why we have left. This new pastor seems not to be our cup of tea in terms of his personal and preaching styles, but that is also not why.

We also haven't exactly left; as the lyric above suggests, we're fumbling into a transition period and we're not sure what's next.

The reason we are entering this transition is because of the music pastor. If you've ever heard me onstage at our church, you know that singing in worship is my passion and my gift. If you have only seen me rarely, that is the problem. I have not sung in our contemporary service since December of '10, an…

Bait and Switch

On New Year's Day of 1998 I wasn't a Christian. I was hung over, and I had to sing a gig that day, and I was feeling very scared. I had met a cute man the night before and it had been a relatively innocent, nonphysical encounter, but I still felt confused and ashamed. On January 4th I went to church for the first time, and the next week I went again. This was an evangelical church in the middle of Chicago, a vibrant church where the arts were valued and used brilliantly. The arts reached me immediately. I was in my thirties and my life was just starting to look better on the outside, but inside I felt battered and deflated and scared. I must have been desperate to go to church.

I remember a woman singing a simple song about how "Jesus doesn't care what you've done before." I remember a skit where a couple of men talked about how they were afraid a Christian woman would judge them. On Good Friday there was a video slide show of paintings of Jesus' final da…