The Dismissal of This Woman by the Church

 

Can we talk? I mean really talk.

On the way to last night’s Good Friday service, I received an email. It was like a fiery dart to my heart. I’m pretty sure the writer thought nothing of it, and doesn’t realize the total wrongness of his chosen words and phrases. Total wrongness … I kind of like that phrase.

Anyway, I didn’t share it with my husband until we got home from the service. Without telling him anything about it beforehand, he was taken aback. It was both a surprise and a relief to me. He’s a pretty chill guy, void of emotional intensity unless the topic involves the SF Giants. So, his reaction felt like support … much needed in the moment.

He said, “This feels the same.”

I agreed. It does feel the same.

I’m talking about being a woman in the church. A woman who has had a successful career over many decades in a space dominated by males; a space that is extremely competitive. I’ve had more than one senior partner meet me, aware of me only by reputation, look me in the eye and nearly crush my hand as we shook. Not kidding. What they didn’t know is that I’d had lots or practice with a father who indulged in fits of rage; fits that often left me with several bruises and once a broken nose. So for the overly-tall perfectly coifed-headed suits, intimidation tactics became almost like sport to me.

Okay, I’m not flexing any muscles or anything. I’m just telling you that people look at me and say I’m “confident,” the word they use when they really mean arrogant or egotistical. Yeah.

I’m not. Oh, contra-re. But my demeanor is a product of my upbringing and refined by my profession. There’s really not much I can do about it a this point. I am who I am. If I could change my aura or whatever the heck the problem is to make others more comfortable, I certainly would, but so far I got nothing. Oh yeah, I tried a therapist, but she told me she’d rather be my friend and then every session thereafter was about her. I tolerated it because she made me laugh, and then she suddenly decided to rent a U-Haul and move to Michigan.

Any-who, getting back to last night’s email. You’re probably wondering what it felt the same as, right? Okay here goes. And to spare you the tedium of my life’s odd patterns, I’ll offer only a few examples.

About twenty years ago, my husband and I moved our family to a different county. We had actually met at church, gotten married, and been serving in church leadership roles for about ten years. I was asked to serve on finance committees, develop tech solutions, lead group studies … you name it. Not once did I sense any kind of bias against me because I’m a woman. I always had lots of opportunities.

After the move, everything changed. Here’s how it went:

Church #1: My husband was a stay at home dad. I was working in the industry. One Sunday, the mother of the pastor approached and introduced herself, asked me about our situation, and I told her a little bit. At the part about me working instead of my husband, she walked away. The following Sunday I was approached by one of the musicians on the worship team, asking me, “Why don’t you want to stay home and take care of your children?” I had no response, stunned at the audacity to ask such a question. There was a lot more to our story than anyone was interested in knowing, and at that point, I wasn’t about to share anything more of our life.

After that, I felt shunned. My husband noticed, but I was less concerned. Really, not having ever experienced that kind of treatment before, I didn’t know how to respond. I tried to stay positive. And then one day my dear co-worker, Allie, told me I needed to get out of there. That they weren’t treating me right. That’s when I finally woke up.

Church #2: We walked into Church #2 and I felt it right away. I was home. It was the perfect place for us, or so it seemed. We were there for many years, involved in leadership here and there, which was great, yet I wanted more opportunities to serve. The thing was, I was still the sole provider in the family, and had just started another new firm … so my involvement at church was very limited. That was okay though … I had my long-vision eye on retirement and figured I’d be able to contribute more once my husband and I switched roles, and I was home with our kids.

It didn’t work out that way.

Toward the end of our time there, and after leading a twelve week course on spiritual disciplines, I had a discussion with the pastor. I thought we would talk about what’s next. Not to be.

“You’ve been put in a box,” he said.

“Pardon me?” I asked.

“You’ve been put in a box. They (the leadership of women’s ministries) can’t figure you out.”

I laughed, assuming he must be joking. He wasn’t.

“I’m sorry, but they don’t understand where you’re coming from …”

His voice became like Charlie Browns’ teacher’s voice as I recognized that what he was telling me was true. I’d experienced it first hand. The women’s ministry leader had tried to make me her “project,” meeting me for breakfast several times, then having me meet her at her office to discuss something else. Turned out, it was about how I could be more friendly, including tips from Oprah about body language (the whole match the other person’s posture thing). She said I would soon be asked to speak… and it was important to prepare myself for the role (she was a fan of my blog at the time – not so much of me in person … apparently).

I remember immediately going home and writing a hilarious blog post about the body language lesson and how I was mimicking her body language during the entire lesson, with all sorts of references to double mirror infinity images and stuff like that. I thought it was funny.

She? Not so much.

So yeah. The church ladies in power didn’t want me rocking their comfortable boat, at least not as the person I was. I would have to change; mirror back to then what they wanted to believe about themselves. So human of them. Damn it.

Church #3: This one is quick. The pastor was a narcissist, with his wife not far behind.

And then COVID hit and we watched online church streamed by a Messianic Church in Macon, Georgia.

Church #4: This one is a fresh wound, so I don’t think I can distance enough for details. I’ll just give you the upshot. I’ve been wanting to hold a Day of Prayer event; a prayer event composed of eight different times over a 24 hour period when the people stop and pray. After getting some encouragement from a good friend, I proposed the idea to the pastor. He was all for it, and very excited. He had wanted to do something different to seek God’s guidance for the year ahead, and the Day of Prayer would be perfect.

I couldn’t believe it. All of my efforts with other churches had been met with fear and stonewalling, sprinkled with remarks like, “We don’t pray like that.” So when the pastor gave the nod, I was stoked.

Over the next few weeks, I prepared what some would call a liturgy or guide for each of the eight hours. It was an amazing experience; one where you know it’s not you who’s doing the work. God is giving you each piece of the liturgy as you go, wordings that fit the personality of the hour, hymns that flow with the mood, Psalms and scripture readings that seem to present themselves. I was in His flow, and it was awesome.

As an indie author, I have a fair amount of experience in publishing software, which helped in the production of a really nice guide. That guide was later provided to all of the participants for use during both the event and at home.

Yes, it was great, but the process wasn’t perfect or without irritations. The communications were terrible. I rarely received responses to my emails, key dates for production were fuzzy, my recommendations for logistics on the day-of were ignored, etc. But I kept going, keeping my eye on the day.

The actual day was amazing. I attended five of the times myself.

The sense of God’s presence was palpable throughout.

But for some reason, I felt like the pastor was avoiding me.

About two weeks after the event, I sent the pastor an email asking if they’d received any guidance for the year, new ideas for ministry, etc. The whole day was being held under the guise of asking God for guidance, so I wanted to know if they had received any.

No response.

Another three weeks passes, and last night I get an email right before the start of the Good Friday service. I won’t tell you what it said. I’ll just tell you what my husband said.

As he read it, he mutters, “Oh, that’s good … oh … hmm. That’s not good. Dismissive.”

I nodded.

He looked at me and said, “This feels the same.”

“Yeah.”

He shook his head. “It’s patronizing … disrespectful.” He shook he head again. I could tell his mind was racing.

“My heart is broken.”

“Yes, I feel it. Mine is too.”

We talked about it this morning. I’m torn. He wants to go talk with the pastor and ask him what’s going on. I don’t know if he should or not. I’ve been through this too many times now to entertain false hopes.

But don’t you think this is sad? I do. I know a lot of women like myself; women who don’t fit the church-lady profile (whatever that is), but who absolutely love God and want to serve Him. Women who come from my background have a lot to offer. I have a lot to offer, and I want to. But the church keeps slamming the door in my face.

What is up with that? Really … what in hell is up with that?

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  1. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    (((HUGS)))

    I don’t know why people react in ways that are hurtful, or if they can be all categorized by the same motive.

    It feels like some of the issues you have encountered are because of your “non-traditional family roles” but some others might simply be because of inferior characters being intimidated by their perception of others that are superior (regardless of gender).  Please understand that my “inferior” “superior” labels might be converted to competent, capable, assertive, etc.  Anyway, any label that might threaten the ego or self-perception of a person who lacks the self-confidence to deal with what they improperly perceive as threats to their standing. 

    • #1
  2. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    (((HUGS)))

    I don’t know why people react in ways that are hurtful, or if they can be all categorized by the same motive.

    It feels like some of the issues you have encountered are because of your “non-traditional family roles” but some others might simply be because of inferior characters being intimidated by their perception of others that are superior (regardless of gender). Please understand that my “inferior” “superior” labels might be converted to competent, capable, assertive, etc. Anyway, any label that might threaten the ego or self-perception of a person who lacks the self-confidence to deal with what they improperly perceive as threats to their standing.

    Good insights. Thank you. That helps me think about it more objectively. 😀 and ((((HUGS)))) back at you

    • #2
  3. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church. 

    • #3
  4. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church.

    I don’t know.  I was excommunicated from my first church, after five years.  I wanted to help and I suggested teaching Bible study to little children.  I wasn’t really excommunicated, I was told that my post-trib views disqualified me from any church service other than cleaning toilets.  I didn’t mind the cleaning toilets, but I didn’t want that to be the only thing I did.

    • #4
  5. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church.

    Maybe we should move and go to your church! And yes, it hurts. It is a “family run” church and there are some entrenched dynamics, multiple generations, and what seems like a high wall around everything. I think that has a bit to do with it. 

    Thank you for your kind response. Blessings to you Douglas. 

    • #5
  6. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church.

    I don’t know. I was excommunicated from my first church, after five years. I wanted to help and I suggested teaching Bible study to little children. I wasn’t really excommunicated, I was told that my post-trib views disqualified me from any church service other than cleaning toilets. I didn’t mind the cleaning toilets, but I didn’t want that to be the only thing I did.

    Wow! That’s terrible!!!  That stuff is foreign to me but it seems a little adjacent to be a qualifier for teaching kids the Bible! I hope you’re doing well now.  And serving with all He has gifted you with. 

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    You were not dismissed by the church.  You were dismissed by a church. 

    • #7
  8. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church.

    I don’t know. I was excommunicated from my first church, after five years. I wanted to help and I suggested teaching Bible study to little children. I wasn’t really excommunicated, I was told that my post-trib views disqualified me from any church service other than cleaning toilets. I didn’t mind the cleaning toilets, but I didn’t want that to be the only thing I did.

    Wow! That’s terrible!!! That stuff is foreign to me but it seems a little adjacent to be a qualifier for teaching kids the Bible! I hope you’re doing well now. And serving with all He has gifted you with.

    Thanks.  Same to you.  My you blossom (again) in an accepting congregation.

    • #8
  9. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You were not dismissed by the church. You were dismissed by a church.

    Yes! I stand corrected. It also means there is still hope

    • #9
  10. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This is so contrary to my experience with my tiny little home church. I can hardly believe that you were treated so shamefully by an institution that calls itself a church.

    I don’t know. I was excommunicated from my first church, after five years. I wanted to help and I suggested teaching Bible study to little children. I wasn’t really excommunicated, I was told that my post-trib views disqualified me from any church service other than cleaning toilets. I didn’t mind the cleaning toilets, but I didn’t want that to be the only thing I did.

    Wow! That’s terrible!!! That stuff is foreign to me but it seems a little adjacent to be a qualifier for teaching kids the Bible! I hope you’re doing well now. And serving with all He has gifted you with.

    Thanks. Same to you. My you blossom (again) in an accepting congregation.

    Thank you 🙏

    • #10
  11. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Jesus’ disciples still have the desire to sit at His right hand and at His left.  When others look like they might get the place of honor, it makes some of us jealous. Peter, James, John, and the rest of the twelve had to deal with it. So do we. It did not disappear after the first century.

    Peter even advised Jesus about the need for Him to avoid the cross. Talk about some bad advice.

    Moses got pushback from Aaron and Miriam who thought themselves to be prophets too.

    Just some observations. Don’t let it get you down. We all need the Savior.

    • #11
  12. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Jesus’ disciples still have the desire to sit at His right hand and at His left. When others look like they might get the place of honor, it makes some of us jealous. Peter, James, John, and the rest of the twelve had to deal with it. So do we. It did not disappear after the first century.

    Peter even advised Jesus about the need for Him to avoid the cross. Talk about some bad advice.

    Moses got pushback from Aaron and Miriam who thought themselves to be prophets too.

    Just some observations. Don’t let it get you down. We all need the Savior.

    Thank you Joel. Yes we do. I do. He has never dismissed me and never will. I have been holding on to that today, mostly while blubbering in my prayer spot. 

    • #12
  13. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You were not dismissed by the church. You were dismissed by a church.

    Yes! I stand corrected. It also means there is still hope

    Actually, you were dismissed by the upper hierarchy of a congregation, right?  I’ve seen it over and over.  Once you (one, not you) get any sense of power you feel you deserve it and essentially lord it over people, and you feel your position gives you the right to do that and excuses you.  It’s not very humble.

    • #13
  14. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You were not dismissed by the church. You were dismissed by a church.

    Yes! I stand corrected. It also means there is still hope

    Actually, you were dismissed by the upper hierarchy of a congregation, right? I’ve seen it over and over. Once you (one, not you) get any sense of power you feel you deserve it and essentially lord it over people, and you feel your position gives you the right to do that and excuses you. It’s not very humble.

    Actually, I’m not sure what prompted the change. I have my ideas but right now, I don’t know if it was the pastor or the other members of the family. It’s a family run church. It’s opaque to non family members. 

    • #14
  15. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Your Day of Prayer was an ambitious undertaking. Your organization and follow-through sounded impressive; the day seemed full of meaning. You delivered in a big way and, my guess from this information, the pastor may have thought you achieved something he wasn’t capable of replicating, or just generally that his position diminished a bit. 

    That follows with the reactions to the idea in the other churches. Some would have felt lower because they hadn’t thought of it, or they were simply comfortable and safe with “the way things always worked.” When people feel safe and comfortable, anything new is met with, well, sometimes with hostility. It’s a threat. Many people think they pursue something higher, they give it lip service and buy into it, but what they really settle on is security. 

    You are, effectively, an entrepreneur in a succession of established corporate settings. Entrepreneurs see the security in expansion and change, but others are invested, often emotionally, in the status quo. I applaud your efforts.

    • #15
  16. AMD Texas Coolidge
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You were not dismissed by the church. You were dismissed by a church.

    Yes! I stand corrected. It also means there is still hope

    ?

    • #16
  17. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Chris O (View Comment):

    Your Day of Prayer was an ambitious undertaking. Your organization and follow-through sounded impressive; the day seemed full of meaning. You delivered in a big way and, my guess from this information, the pastor may have thought you achieved something he wasn’t capable of replicating, or just generally that his position diminished a bit.

    That follows with the reactions to the idea in the other churches. Some would have felt lower because they hadn’t thought of it, or they were simply comfortable and safe with “the way things always worked.” When people feel safe and comfortable, anything new is met with, well, sometimes with hostility. It’s a threat. Many people think they pursue something higher, they give it lip service and buy into it, but what they really settle on is security.

    You are, effectively, an entrepreneur in a succession of established corporate settings. Entrepreneurs see the security in expansion and change, but others are invested, often emotionally, in the status quo. I applaud your efforts.

    Ohh. That is an interesting take on all of it. Really makes sense. I started as an operations analyst at an insurance company right out of high school and eventually moved into management and IT consulting for over thirty five years … worked for the big global firms, etc. It’s how I’m wired.  Clients hired me to do these kinds of things for their organizations. Its how my brain works …   And now I know I need to learn how to rein it in . I think this is a serious epiphany! Thank you!

     

    • #17
  18. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You were not dismissed by the church. You were dismissed by a church.

    Yes! I stand corrected. It also means there is still hope

    Actually, you were dismissed by the upper hierarchy of a congregation, right? I’ve seen it over and over. Once you (one, not you) get any sense of power you feel you deserve it and essentially lord it over people, and you feel your position gives you the right to do that and excuses you. It’s not very humble.

    Actually, I’m not sure what prompted the change. I have my ideas but right now, I don’t know if it was the pastor or the other members of the family. It’s a family run church. It’s opaque to non family members.

    Well, I’ve never heard of a family-run Christian church or congregation before.  But my guess is that if it’s family run, being in the family puts you at the top of the totem pole.  And those who climb the pole by good works are a threat to whatever rests at the top of the pole; whether it is being of service to God, or status or social standing, or even a sense of being spiritually superior, or the pride of building and running your own church, or even if it’s just a share of the weekly tithe.

    If your gift is acts of service, you’ll almost always be the one who feels the most pain when kicked back down the pole.

    • #18
  19. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):
    And now I know I need to learn how to rein it in .

    Please do not. The problem is not you.

    • #19
  20. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Chris O (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):
    And now I know I need to learn how to rein it in .

    Please do not. The problem is not you.

    I like your summary in #15, but what then is the problem?  That GLW is super-competent and embarrasses the leadership and threatens the leadership’s egos?  Or that she’s not taking enough of a passive pew-sitting role?  Or what?  Maybe I’m getting this all wrong.

    Or on the other hand, GLW, do you think you may be overpowering and overwhelming the regular staff?

    Did you super-organize everything so that everyone just did what they were told?  Did you coordinate with the music ministry over the hymns?  Did you script the prayers?

    Did you coordinate with the pastor so that it was what he wanted?  And once it happened was the pastor satisfied with the event, that it fit his purposes and was what he expected?

    What does your husband mean by “Oh, that’s good”?  Were they praising you?  What does he mean by “dismissive”?

    And what do you mean by Dismissal in your headline.  Were you dismissed from the church?  (Which is how I interpreted the headline.)  Or from a role?  Or were you treated in a dismissive manner?

    What do you mean?  What happened?

    God-Loving Woman: What is up with that? Really … what in hell is up with that?

    We don’t really know what’s up.  And we don’t know what the e-mail actually says.  Can you post the actual e-mail?

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I am sorry to hear that. Wounded by your church family is awful.

    Our Church has a female pastor and we have a female Bishop. Lots of executive women in ours.

    This all seems very strange to me.

    • #21
  22. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Chris O (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):
    And now I know I need to learn how to rein it in .

    Please do not. The problem is not you.

    It just follows me. 😊. My daughter just did a project on Carl Rogers. He would agree with your advice. Thank you Chris. 

    • #22
  23. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am sorry to hear that. Wounded by your church family is awful.

    Our Church has a female pastor and we have a female Bishop. Lots of executive women in ours.

    This all seems very strange to me.

    It does to me too. Frustrating 

    • #23
  24. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Chris O (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):
    And now I know I need to learn how to rein it in .

    Please do not. The problem is not you.

    I like your summary in #15, but what then is the problem? That GLW is super-competent and embarrasses the leadership and threatens the leadership’s egos? Or that she’s not taking enough of a passive pew-sitting role? Or what? Maybe I’m getting this all wrong.

    Or on the other hand, GLW, do you think you may be overpowering and overwhelming the regular staff?

    Did you super-organize everything so that everyone just did what they were told? Did you coordinate with the music ministry over the hymns? Did you script the prayers?

    Did you coordinate with the pastor so that it was what he wanted? And once it happened was the pastor satisfied with the event, that it fit his purposes and was what he expected?

    What does your husband mean by “Oh, that’s good”? Were they praising you? What does he mean by “dismissive”?

    And what do you mean by Dismissal in your headline. Were you dismissed from the church? (Which is how I interpreted the headline.) Or from a role? Or were you treated in a dismissive manner?

    What do you mean? What happened?

    God-Loving Woman: What is up with that? Really … what in hell is up with that?

    We don’t really know what’s up. And we don’t know what the e-mail actually says. Can you post the actual e-mail?

    Hi GM, 

    Okay… that’s a lot. First thank you for wanting to understand. That means a lot. I’ll try to clarify. 

    There is a regular call for people to step up to service, but I don’t see any evidence that people are able to get through the gate. 

    I drafted each of the eight guides myself and the pastor reviewed and approved each. One other person worked on writing the melodies for the refrains, and we chose the hymns together.  There was no other “staff” (family members) involved. 

    The only scripted prayer was The Lord’s Prayer. The other segment of prayer was open…prayers of the people. I selected the Psalms and Scripture readings for each of the eight, and wrote the opening and closing sections. All done prayerfully.

     The pastor was very supportive and seemed excited through the whole process up until the day.

    Eight two-person sets of leaders were invited to lead each of the eight sessions , and the pastor held a leader orientation  two weeks before. Although for something like that I would prepare the agenda and facilitate the orientation for a client, he wanted to lead the meeting, which I had no problem with. 

    Although the pastors demeanor toward me was different on the day if, he seemed very happy with the outcome.

    A week after, there was an open invitation to a “debrief “ after service, attended by a few of the leaders and one or two couples who had attended prayer times on the day. There were a couple of awkward moments that stuck with me. Someone asked whose idea was it to arrange for a particular part of each hour. The pastor answered that it was my idea, but quickly said “but she’s not taking credit for it.” And then at the end of the meeting he said, “God told me that we need to be careful that we don’t make this an idol.”  Which seemed off the wall to me. 

    As for the email,  it was the tone and actual statements that were dismissive .  However, at the beginning of the note, he said that he and the elders are using what was done on the Day of Prayer as a model for other prayer gatherings. That was what my husband commented on as good. The rest of the note turned more patronizing toward me and then at the end dismissive. It was jolting . 

    I don’t want to get into what he wrote. Trust me. I’m not someone who is easily rattled. It was pretty terrible, even for me.

     Having said all of that, Chris’s observation has really helped me see this from a different perspective. I think I understand what is happening. I’ve been through this kind of thing many times as a consultant, but then I was somewhat immune because it was expected in a political environment.  This time I wasn’t wearing any armor. I hadn’t realized it would be needed. 

    People are people, in and outside of the church! I’m attending Easter service this morning. He is risen!

     

     

     

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    And people wonder why church attendance is down . . .

    • #25
  26. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Stad (View Comment):

    And people wonder why church attendance is down . . .

    Oh gosh. Don’t get me started!😊 It’s a big topic for me. 

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Your experience is one reason I don’t attend synagogue. I don’t think I have patience for the politics anymore, and I have a little study group that I formed that mostly satisfies my communal needs. I’m so sorry for your experience, and that your talents are not greeted with joy and appreciation.

    • #27
  28. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Your experience is one reason I don’t attend synagogue. I don’t think I have patience for the politics anymore, and I have a little study group that I formed that mostly satisfies my communal needs. I’m so sorry for your experience, and that your talents are not greeted with joy and appreciation.

    That’s not good and yet good. Not good that the politics have overtaken the aim, but so good that you have a group. I crave that experience! We had plenty of that before we moved.  I know it’s not the new community, but it sure feels like it. Thank you Susan

     

    • #28
  29. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):
    I like your summary in #15, but what then is the problem?  That GLW is super-competent and embarrasses the leadership and threatens the leadership’s egos?  Or that she’s not taking enough of a passive pew-sitting role?  Or what?  Maybe I’m getting this all wrong.

    No, there really is no problem here, just an age-old tendency. If life in the village was going well, the person who says more food should be stored in case of future difficulties is a threat to the serenity, even if the proposal makes the village more secure and prosperous. It’s a change.

    Then, when fortunes change, everyone blames the person who said it might happen. Witchcraft, etc., because it sure wasn’t their lack of foresight or resistance to change that made things difficult.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Could you be trying to fit in at churches/congregations that aren’t really a match for you?  Maybe adjust what you’ve been looking for.

    • #30
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