Alright, those of you who know my writing realize that I’m a feminist who typically decries the fact that women are not cracking through the stained glass ceiling. Through personal experience, through watching friends bust their heads, through seeing women before me work hard and not get far, I realize that we’ve got a long way to go before we can fully claim that “in Jesus Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free.”
But… I’m curious of another trend of late. Something that goes against my “guys float through this profession easily” attitude. Men–young men–are not making it through the PCUSA ordination system. I mean, the kind of intelligent young men that would make John Leith bust with pride, are somehow not making it through. They are dropping out from frustration, irritation, lack of support. Many of them are the primary bread winners and need jobs before they can get through the hoops.
Do you hear me? Louisville? Something’s wrong.
There is a pattern for some of the men. Often they are conservative when they leave for seminary, and they end up broadening their thinking a bit. They become imaginative regarding what they think the church should look like orthey become more inclusive on their views on homosexuality.
It seems like, for some Presbyteries, we have gotten to a place where we not only reject LGBTs, but we reject anyone who might accept them. If this continues to be the case, we can pretty much write off the next generation of pastors.
Not all are liberal, many are conservative. Like any broken family, it seems like our worst dysfunctions are being played out upon our weakest members–our candidates. At a time when we are about to lose a huge number of retiring Boomers, we are doing all we can to discourage our up-and-coming pastors. It makes no sense.
Of course, I only have anecdotal evidence, but it’s pretty overwhelming. And perhaps there are just as many women and I don’t know about them.
But I really don’t like the pattern. A lot of women are resourceful, we have learned how to work whatever system we are in, and we can be compliant to get what we need. Is this the characteristic that’s helping us get through easier?
Tell me. What’s going on?