homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Why are churches not explicit about inclusivity, diversity and accessibility issues? (Page 1)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Why are churches not explicit about inclusivity, diversity and accessibility issues?
magicroundabout
Apprentice
# 18869

 - Posted      Profile for magicroundabout   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Crikey. I've only been here a week and I'm starting a TOPIC!! I hope this is the right place. It might be Purgatory fodder, I'm not sure. Help!

I've had this question for a while and almost dare not ask it publicly, but I suddenly realised this might be the ideal place to ask.

Anyway. I'm a technical person and technical people like to go to technical conferences. The tech/IT/coding world is pretty white-male dominated, and to counter this there is quite a lot of emphasis in some technical conferences and communities on inclusivity and accessibility to encourage them to be welcoming, diverse places.

Many of these have very explicit codes of conduct. As an example, one of my primary tech communities is the WordPress community, and WordPress conferences are called "WordCamps" and the WordCamp code of conduct is here:

WordCamp code of conduct

The big WordCamp London event has been a huge promoter of accessibility, getting live speech-to-text transcribers, having a creche for those with children, having quiet rooms and stuff like that.

Through these tech communities my eyes have been opened to the everyday struggles faced by minorities, be they women, queer/LGBTQ, disabled, people of colour or anything else. I've even had my eyes opened to how real mental health struggles are - and not necessarily for a minority of people!

I have never signed up to a code of conduct in a church. Yes, there's safeguarding if I work with young people or vulnerable adults. But there's no explicit commitment to welcoming all.

Why is this? Should I be encouraging churches to look to other communities that have these things in place so that they can follow the example? Why aren't church communities leading on this kind of thing rather than following? Is an "implicit" code of conduct (which I guess is what churches have) OK? Or should there be something more explicit?

Why aren't there more stories in churches of the struggles of minorities? Of those with mental health issues? And so on. (Yes, my experience of different churches is limited, maybe there's lots of this elsewhere?)

In short: this feels like something I should be learning from the church, not from my tech-community-sphere. Why am I not learning this from the church?

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

Posts: 20 | From: Swindon, UK | Registered: Nov 2017  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I have noted a tendency in churches to keep the surface smooth and unchallenging. Arguably, it's outreach -- people do not look to join places of trouble and woe. So we present a happy happy face.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5819 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Because if you sign up to something explicit like Inclusive Church you get accused of posing, virtue signalling, and all the rest by people who don't see the problem.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17717 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Because if churches signal that they are inclusive publicly they can be attacked by the more evangelical churches. Around here I have met people visiting and checking out local churches and leaving their own messages. When those who check up are making sure that no nasty messages about same sex marriage or welcoming to perverts, it's better not to advertise.

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13597 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

 - Posted      Profile for Anselmina     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by magicroundabout:
Why am I not learning this from the church?

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

I suppose you're not learning it from church (or at least not learning what YOU want to learn from every church) is because 'church' depends on the individuals who make up that particular congregation, and how well they compromise or accommodate their disagreeing opinions, if at all. The entry-level for many churches is just to turn up. It would be good to think that a basic code of Christian behaviour would be applicable to anyone who claims to be a churchgoer; but your description of 'Christian behaviour' is not going to be everyone's. Church is weird like that.

--------------------
Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 9960 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

 - Posted      Profile for Trudy Scrumptious   Author's homepage   Email Trudy Scrumptious   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm inclined to agree with the OP's thought that this is more Purgatorial, and might get more engagement if moved over to that space. Fasten your seatbelts, ensure your trays are in the upright position, and enjoy your short flight over to Purgatory.

Trudy, Scrumptious Heavenly Host

--------------------
Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

Posts: 7373 | From: Closer to Paris than I am to Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
betjemaniac
Shipmate
# 17618

 - Posted      Profile for betjemaniac     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Because if churches signal that they are inclusive publicly they can be attacked by the more evangelical churches. Around here I have met people visiting and checking out local churches and leaving their own messages. When those who check up are making sure that no nasty messages about same sex marriage or welcoming to perverts, it's better not to advertise.

Cuts both ways though to be fair - before moving house I worshipped in a church which would have been AffCath and Inclusive Church if someone had put a gun to its head and forced it to pick a party, but hadn't signed anything because it would have lost half the congregation (in exactly the same way as people went when churches passed ABC).

Now, clearly there is something to be said for the integrity of standing up to be counted, but actually not being explicit about anything had the effect of holding together a bizarre coalition of ConEvos, Trad AC, non English first language refugee/immigrants, LGBT activists, MoR pensioners, Liberal Catholics and borderline methodists in the same congregation and under the same vicar - which is sort of what the CofE ought to be about. I appreciate that's all rather don't ask don't tell but it did seem to avoid the fracture that could otherwise have come, and did have people pulling together precisely because, apart from the Creed, they *weren't* having to make any other statements of belief.

I came to believe that being explicit about stuff (one way or the other) actually causes more divisions than just trying to rub along together. In my experience anyway. YMMV.

--------------------
And is it true? For if it is....

Posts: 1439 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
All that makes a lot of sense, especially for Anglicans seeking to be a genuine church for the parish rather than a party faction.

But I do wonder if one of the fundamental reasons for the Church not being inclusive enough is that its members (including me) really don't take Jesus' exhortations and example seriously enough.

Posts: 9476 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I was thinking about a church that was very inclusive, was quietly a member of various inclusive movements - membership on the noticeboard inside, but was not publicising this on the website or external information.

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13597 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Felafool
Shipmate
# 270

 - Posted      Profile for Felafool         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In my experience, churches seem to be reluctant to provide a dogmatic steer to shaping their own culture. There is some general expectation of agreement about credal statements, or statements of faith, but when push comes to shove, people may have their own interpretations that allow them to hold individualistic and possibly extreme views.

In some ways this is a positive thing, since it allows someone like me to be part of a worshipping community that contains not many others like me!

On the downside, individuals tend to get away with their prejudices and tunnel vision.

A church community may even have something like a 'code of conduct' in the shape of a 'welcome statement' (eg Cathedral Welcome Notice) which sets out an expectation of acceptance.

But until the day comes when a church can throw out someone because they dislike someone else, I think there will always be a tension between aspiration and praxis.

As someone else has said' "It's all Jesus' fault - he accepts anyone"

--------------------
I don't care if the glass is half full or half empty - I ordered a cheeseburger.

Posts: 256 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

 - Posted      Profile for fletcher christian   Email fletcher christian   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Surely when you start a list you leave someone out? Some lists that I have seen also make it clear that a particular church may not be entirely welcoming to sinners.*

*highly dependent on perspective, but kind of goes against the grain from whatever perspective.

--------------------
'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

Posts: 5216 | From: a prefecture | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

 - Posted      Profile for chris stiles   Email chris stiles   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by magicroundabout:

Anyway. I'm a technical person and technical people like to go to technical conferences. The tech/IT/coding world is pretty white-male dominated, and to counter this there is quite a lot of emphasis in some technical conferences and communities on inclusivity and accessibility to encourage them to be welcoming, diverse places.

Many of these have very explicit codes of conduct. As an example, one of my primary tech communities is the WordPress community, and WordPress conferences are called "WordCamps" and the WordCamp code of conduct is here:

WordCamp code of conduct

Though at least part of the reason for such codes of conduct in the tech world have been fairly egregious and systematic breaches of it in the past by members of the dominant culture (such as regularly employing women as eye candy on tech stands, vendors paying for strippers and so on).

Avoiding dead horse issues for a moment, there has been fewer incidences of systematic behaviour of this sort being brought to light (I'm deliberately emphasizing that last bit - because I'm necessarily denying it exists). So perhaps in that sense the need for things like codes of conduct doesn't gain the same saliency. The other issue is the voluntary nature of most churches (raised above) people just show up for the most part without necessarily 'signing up' ahead of time.

One of the things that has been interesting on the back of the Trump presidency is the split in US evangelicals along racial lines, and the often hostile reaction of the dominant 'culture' in response. See:

https://medium.com/jon-ward/the-gut-punch-b0baa0431d9c

http://religiondispatches.org/how-race-tests-maintain-evangelical-segregation/

[ 23. November 2017, 13:30: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

Posts: 3877 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

 - Posted      Profile for quetzalcoatl   Email quetzalcoatl   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There is a basic paradox here: diversity includes those who are against it. That doesn't really need a programmatic statement, does it?

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

Posts: 9707 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
Shipmate
# 1472

 - Posted      Profile for Augustine the Aleut     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My experience, while visiting churches while travelling, is that those which refer to their inclusivity and welcoming nature, are almost certainly those where nobody will speak with me during the coffee hour. After the first instance, I used to say this as a joke; with repeated experience, it has become a truism. I have recently seen the term "virtue-signalling" and perhaps it fits.

However, kilometrage may vary. I have spoken with people raising outside church life, or whose early experiences were negative, who have been encouraged to enter by inclusivity etc branding. As well, the branding may be a useful tool for keeping leadership up to the mark.

Posts: 6171 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

 - Posted      Profile for chris stiles   Email chris stiles   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
(I'm deliberately emphasizing that last bit - because I'm necessarily denying it exists).

Should be 'I'm not necessarily denying it exists'.
Posts: 3877 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

I came to believe that being explicit about stuff (one way or the other) actually causes more divisions than just trying to rub along together. In my experience anyway. YMMV.

But as well as avoiding divisions, it avoids addressing the issues as well. Without visibly speaking to issues, one perpetuates them.
Churches are in a difficult position; explicitly supporting diversity will lose them members that will not likely be counterbalance by the influx of new members. But honestly, the church in the UK is doomed to be in the minority regardless and when the older members die, will face much of the same reduced membership they currently fear. And it is not coming back.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17098 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Callan
Shipmate
# 525

 - Posted      Profile for Callan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Originally posted by Chris Stiles:

quote:
One of the things that has been interesting on the back of the Trump presidency is the split in US evangelicals along racial lines, and the often hostile reaction of the dominant 'culture' in response.
IIRC, Evangelical belief was a determinant for voting for G.W Bush, McCain and Romney and against Gore, Kerry and Obama for white evangelicals and the converse was true for black evangelicals.

--------------------
How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9705 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There is much discussion and many articles about how Christianity in the US has essentially sold itself to an orange-haired Mammon. If some remnant doesn't pull the faith out of the fire, there won't be a Christian in America in another couple generations. The stench that clings to the name will make it impossible. I hope there may be a worship of Jesus, but it won't be under the name and brand now being desecrated.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5819 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

 - Posted      Profile for chris stiles   Email chris stiles   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
IIRC, Evangelical belief was a determinant for voting for G.W Bush, McCain and Romney and against Gore, Kerry and Obama for white evangelicals and the converse was true for black evangelicals.

Sure, I just get the idea from reading, listening and talking to people that the Trump election and his policies (and the vociferous way in which white evangelicals have defended both) have served as a kind of watershed moment for many. From that first article I linked to:

"So he has decided that he does not want to spend as much time and energy as he has in the past trying to reach and convince a white audience that they should care about systemic racial inequality.

“I think a lot of us are realizing that without losing any love for our white brothers and sisters, it is taking our limited time and energy and resources to constantly address and educate them,” he said."

Posts: 3877 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Due to an upcoming move, we will probably be seeking a new church before too long. I can tell you now that I shall know they are Christians by the absence of MAGA caps on heads, and Trumpy bumper stickers in the parking lot. If you all voted for him, you are not Christians.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5819 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
If churches signal that they are inclusive publicly they can be attacked by the more evangelical churches. Around here I have met people visiting and checking out local churches and leaving their own messages. When those who check up are making sure that no nasty messages about same sex marriage or welcoming to perverts, it's better not to advertise.

I'm surprised that people who aren't members of a particular church feel driven to police what it does or doesn't do. Why wouldn't they just focus on making their own church the beacon of sexual morality in the district?

And does this happen within denominations or across them? Would a Pentecostal secretly visit a Methodist church to ensure that a strict line on DH issues were being upheld?

I'm not sure what's meant by a church being 'attacked', but if it involves criminal activity then I hope that's dealt with swiftly by the law. Otherwise, I'm not sure why it really matters. I suppose it depends on local circumstances.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
You mean you're not aware of the efforts of Anglican Mainstream and Reform to police the efforts of other churches within the CofE to become more inclusive? Or the long history of evangelical challenges to changes of which they do not approve? These are both articles looking at challenges within the CofE.

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13597 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

 - Posted      Profile for Boogie     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There is much discussion and many articles about how Christianity in the US has essentially sold itself to an orange-haired Mammon. If some remnant doesn't pull the faith out of the fire, there won't be a Christian in America in another couple generations. The stench that clings to the name will make it impossible. I hope there may be a worship of Jesus, but it won't be under the name and brand now being desecrated.

This problem could spread further than the US.

If asked whether I’m a Christian I always ask what they mean by Christian first.

--------------------
Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12737 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
You mean you're not aware of the efforts of Anglican Mainstream and Reform to police the efforts of other churches within the CofE to become more inclusive? Or the long history of evangelical challenges to changes of which they do not approve? These are both articles looking at challenges within the CofE.

No, I wasn't aware of that. But I did wonder if you were talking about problems internal to the CofE.

The denomination appears to be seriously hampered by trying to incorporate people who have very little in common with each other. It has rules that some of its paid employees would like to discard, while others wish to champion.

I don't think this approach has much of a future. Sooner or later the CofE will have to split. At that point, its inclusive wing will be free to be explicit.

Splitting will create problems regarding money, of course, but the lawyers can deal with that. By contrast, the theological stuff seems utterly impossible to agree upon.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
gorpo
Shipmate
# 17025

 - Posted      Profile for gorpo   Email gorpo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
If churches signal that they are inclusive publicly they can be attacked by the more evangelical churches. Around here I have met people visiting and checking out local churches and leaving their own messages. When those who check up are making sure that no nasty messages about same sex marriage or welcoming to perverts, it's better not to advertise.

I'm surprised that people who aren't members of a particular church feel driven to police what it does or doesn't do. Why wouldn't they just focus on making their own church the beacon of sexual morality in the district?

And I´m surprised that people who aren´t christian in any meaningful way, who openly don´t believe in the traditional context of the christian God, try so hard to police what the church believes about sexuality, marriage and gender. This is the reason why the church is doomed. It is driven by people who don´t see a problem in it being doomed, because they think christianity is bad.
Posts: 245 | From: Brazil | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
If churches signal that they are inclusive publicly they can be attacked by the more evangelical churches. Around here I have met people visiting and checking out local churches and leaving their own messages. When those who check up are making sure that no nasty messages about same sex marriage or welcoming to perverts, it's better not to advertise.

I'm surprised that people who aren't members of a particular church feel driven to police what it does or doesn't do. Why wouldn't they just focus on making their own church the beacon of sexual morality in the district?

And I´m surprised that people who aren´t christian in any meaningful way, who openly don´t believe in the traditional context of the christian God, try so hard to police what the church believes about sexuality, marriage and gender. This is the reason why the church is doomed. It is driven by people who don´t see a problem in it being doomed, because they think christianity is bad.
Actually, we wicked progressives don't care what you believe. We do care when you oppress our gay and transgender friends and try to deny them their basic rights.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17717 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
I´m surprised that people who aren´t christian in any meaningful way, who openly don´t believe in the traditional context of the christian God, try so hard to police what the church believes about sexuality, marriage and gender. This is the reason why the church is doomed. It is driven by people who don´t see a problem in it being doomed, because they think christianity is bad.

People with powerful personalities and strong beliefs of whatever kind will always try to control the institutions they belong to. However, when you have an angry struggle between different powerful factions in a denomination like the CofE that situation surely drives the whole thing closer to its 'doom'. Regardless of what you think of any one group's theology, the obvious problem at the moment is that a divided house cannot stand.

My suspicion is that these different groups are fighting for pre-eminence in the CofE because the CofE seems to be the only game in town. The other historical Protestant denominations in England have declined even more rapidly than the CofE, and the newer ones are likely to remain small even though they're growing. Only the CofE has the structure, the visibility, the status and the financial stability that its different factions all want. But I feel that all of them will lose out if this angry muddle continues.

I'm avoiding your argument about who represents 'real' Christianity in the CofE, because I don't think this is a problem that anyone is going to resolve until Jesus returns; in the meantime, I just don't think it makes sense for this in-fighting and lack of mutual support to continue. These people should be in different denominations.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
Shipmate
# 9826

 - Posted      Profile for LutheranChik   Author's homepage   Email LutheranChik   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In answer to the " diversity" part of theequation: Money. There are moneyed conservatives in otherwise moderate or even progressive churches who threaten to leave and take their funds with them if clergy or councils are too overtly inclusive or otherwise lefty for their tastes. It takes courage for a faith community of modest means to respond to this kind of bullying with , "Then we're sorry to see you go."

--------------------
Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6356 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

 - Posted      Profile for Gramps49   Email Gramps49   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
When Trinity Lutheran Church, Pullman, WA, became a Reconciling in Christ congregation it took a four-year process for us to go through it. We had long had LGBTQ connections. One of our congregational presidents was a lesbian. Several of our children came out over the years. When a gay swimming coach in the community died we were the only congregation that agreed to have his funeral. This was long before we officially became a RIC congregation. But we took our time to officially take the step. We were concerned that several people would leave. We had been told to expect 1/3 of our members to leave. In the end, only nine people left. But, since then our congregation has grown substantially.

So the fear that people would leave, in particularly the monied people, did not hold true with us. I would say the benefits far outweighed the risks.

Posts: 2065 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

 - Posted      Profile for Sioni Sais   Email Sioni Sais   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
gorpo:

Lets strike a bargain: you can base your doctrine on maybe half a dozen verses and we wicked libruls will consider all of scripture.

Posts: 24053 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
If you all voted for him, you are not Christians.

That's the issue in a nutshell.

Do we want a future where there are only left-wing churches and right-wing churches ?

Or one universal church where we all meet and accept and mix with those on the opposite side of the political divide ?

Does Christianity transcend politics, or are Christians no more than a subset of those who share one's own political views ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3069 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Do we want a future where there are only left-wing churches and right-wing churches ?

Or one universal church where we all meet and accept and mix with those on the opposite side of the political divide ?


In the USA the churches do seem to be heavily divided by politics. They really think it means enough to get passionate about it.

By contrast, in Britain (though I can't speak for Ireland), politics simply doesn't matter enough for churchgoers to align their theology and their politics in any kind of crusading fashion. In any case, churchgoing and church affiliation is so much less apparent here, so religious crusading on behalf of one mainstream political party would look terribly foolish.

I can only see two solutions: party politics must appear to be relatively unimportant, or else churchgoing and/or church affiliation (especially of the evangelical variety) must drop to a level whereby the 'Christian' vote simply doesn't matter very much. In Britain both criteria are met.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Or one universal church where we all meet and accept and mix with those on the opposite side of the political divide ?

Does Christianity transcend politics, or are Christians no more than a subset of those who share one's own political views ?

One church where we all meet, apart from Mexicans and immigrants from majority Muslim countries and transgender people and women who don't like to be groped and everyone whom white supremacists hate.

Someone who voted for Trump is, assuming they gave it any thought, at least willing to tolerate excluding those people.

At the risk of opening a dead horse issue, the conversation almost always goes like this:
A) Kick out the immigrants/ gays/ feminists.
B) Can't we all get along?
C) (silence)
A) No. Either they go or we do.
B) I'm sorry to hear that. But if that's the choice then you go.
C) Why are you so intolerant, B? Can't we all get along?

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10419 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

 - Posted      Profile for Nick Tamen     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In the USA the churches do seem to be heavily divided by politics. They really think it means enough to get passionate about it.

I wouldn’t say heavily divided. That’s mainly an Evangelical thing, where many (most?) Evangelicals identify as conservative and vote Republican, and many Evangelical organizations and congregations tilt conservative/Republican. And then there are the UCC and UU congregations that will tilt liberal. But it’s hardly a universal thing, and there are plenty of congregations and religious groups where one will find conservatives and liberals and everything else coexisting with little problem. The largest religious group in the country—the Catholic Church—is a prime example.

--------------------
The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2555 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm not sure it's the case, SvitlanaV2 that the CofE is seen as the only game in town. That might be the case in some inner-city areas and in rural areas but elsewhere there tend to be plenty of alternatives to the CofE if one is looking for that.

It is true, though, that in areas where there is a strong evangelical Anglican church,then a lot of evangelicals will gravitate there irrespective of whether they have an Anglican background or notm in which case their choice isn't governed by the 'Anglican-ness' of things but whether it has good youth/kids work or have a praise band or whatever else they happen to be drawn towards.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm obviously not talking about local situations, but the national picture.

No evangelical denomination, AFAICS, has the visibility, structure, status or financial viability to challenge the CofE on the national stage.

Were this to happen it might be well-received by liberals and moderates in the CofE, because many of their troublesome evangelical members might then leave....

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I was pleased on Friday to walk past a Presbyterian church in southwest DC. It had a huge sign out by the sidewalk, "Immigrants and Refugees Welcome!" The illustration was that of the Holy Family, Joseph leading the donkey with Mary holding the baby and sitting on its back.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5819 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
They don't want the evangelicals to leave. They need their money.

Honestly, SvitlanaV2, you can be very naive at times ...

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
GreyFace
Shipmate
# 4682

 - Posted      Profile for GreyFace   Email GreyFace   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
One church where we all meet, apart from Mexicans and immigrants from majority Muslim countries and transgender people and women who don't like to be groped and everyone whom white supremacists hate.

Precisely. And this is why I left the CofE.
Posts: 5744 | From: North East England | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

 - Posted      Profile for Gramps49   Email Gramps49   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
A favorite saying of one of my former pastors was, "Whenever we draw a line between 'us' and 'them,' we will find Christ on the other side."

[ 26. November 2017, 23:26: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

Posts: 2065 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
Shipmate
# 14715

 - Posted      Profile for ExclamationMark   Email ExclamationMark   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
A favorite saying of one of my former pastors was, "Whenever we draw a line between 'us' and 'them,' we will find Christ on the other side."

So you believe everyone will be saved?
Posts: 3759 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Niteowl

Hopeless Insomniac
# 15841

 - Posted      Profile for Niteowl   Email Niteowl   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Where do you get that in what he says?

[ 27. November 2017, 05:19: Message edited by: Niteowl ]

--------------------
"love all, trust few, do wrong to no one"
Wm. Shakespeare

Posts: 2433 | From: U.S. | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
Shipmate
# 14715

 - Posted      Profile for ExclamationMark   Email ExclamationMark   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl:
Where do you get that in what he says?

No line. Who's saved and who's not?
Posts: 3759 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Good to see you back in Purg, niteowl [Smile]

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17309 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snags
Utterly socially unrealistic
# 15351

 - Posted      Profile for Snags   Author's homepage   Email Snags   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
If you all voted for him, you are not Christians.

That's the issue in a nutshell.

Do we want a future where there are only left-wing churches and right-wing churches ?

Or one universal church where we all meet and accept and mix with those on the opposite side of the political divide ?

Does Christianity transcend politics, or are Christians no more than a subset of those who share one's own political views ?

If all concerned acknowledge they aren't perfect and are all honestly striving to become more Christ-like and to understand what that means, then yes, we want a church which is above politics and differences, because it is united in a common source and a common goal.

However, if you have a group who persistently and consistently speak, act, and actively support behaviours and policies which are clearly, fundamentally anti-Christ, and who aren't interested in discussing it, or examining it, then there comes a time when you have to call them on it (or be called on it, depending which side of the fence you're on).

I wouldn't ever go so far as to say someone isn't a Christian, because I don't think I'm in any place to judge. I can sure as heck say that anyone who actively supports and defends Trump, his core policies, and his fellow travellers, is supporting things which are anti-thetical to the gospel and to the Biblical narrative by all reasonable and sane interpretations that I can bring to bear. Even interpretations I don't agree with but acknowledge are defensible.

When that group is also not even remotely interested in engaging with any form of good-faith debate, it's time to do a Scooby-doo and peel their rubber mask off.

--------------------
Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

Posts: 1394 | From: just north of That London | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl:
Where do you get that in what he says?

No line. Who's saved and who's not?
Why are you asking?

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17005 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
Shipmate
# 10858

 - Posted      Profile for Erroneous Monk   Email Erroneous Monk   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I suppose we have the essential answer:

(1) Love God and love your neighbour as yourself - on this, the whole of our Code of Conduct rests; and
(2) Love one another as I have loved you.

The trouble is that if you try to turn that into an operational code of conduct, you impose one set of meanings on "love your neighbour" and "love one another as I have loved you."

--------------------
And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2885 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
May be we should try that on Roy Moore supporters?

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17005 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by magicroundabout:
The big WordCamp London event has been a huge promoter of accessibility, getting live speech-to-text transcribers, having a creche for those with children, having quiet rooms and stuff like that.

To go back to the OP, churches are often good at providing hearing loops, large print options, creches for children (Sunday Schools, play area at the back of the church, break out rooms with sound piped through from the service), sometimes quiet rooms, flat or ramped access for wheelchairs, signing. So far so not contentious.

quote:
Through these tech communities my eyes have been opened to the everyday struggles faced by minorities, be they women, queer/LGBTQ, disabled, people of colour or anything else. I've even had my eyes opened to how real mental health struggles are - and not necessarily for a minority of people!
This is where things become difficult and veer into Dead Horses topics as there is no agreement about the place in church for LGBTi/queer or transgender people and women in leadership positions. These are the sorts of areas where churches police other churches seen to be condoning or encouraging the sorts of sinfulness that other churches declaim from pulpits.

In addition, the beliefs in miracle cures and praying for healing can make church communities look askance at those who are not healed by the laying on of hands. There are too many places where the answer to mental health issues is prayer and the casting out of demons (one would be too many).

It must be 20 years ago now that a young girl who was a leading light in the local church community died from complications of leukaemia. Many others within the church community prayed for her recovery several did not have a way of dealing with her death, that their prayers were not answered, because what does that say about God?

I am another person who has fallen out of the CofE because I cannot sign up to an organisation that has been so lacking in inclusivity (women bishops, same sex marriage). I cannot see a church community being able to ask for their members to sign up to anything but the vaguest of inclusivity statements.

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13597 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

 - Posted      Profile for balaam   Author's homepage   Email balaam   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There is much discussion and many articles about how Christianity in the US has essentially sold itself to an orange-haired Mammon. If some remnant doesn't pull the faith out of the fire, there won't be a Christian in America in another couple generations. The stench that clings to the name will make it impossible. I hope there may be a worship of Jesus, but it won't be under the name and brand now being desecrated.

This problem could spread further than the US.

If asked whether I’m a Christian I always ask what they mean by Christian first.

The thing is not that they are not really Christians, they may very well be Christians.

But they may also very well be also shits.

The two are not exclusive.

Nor is being a Christian and a shit exclusive to one branch of Christianity; traditionalists, progressives, conservatives and liberals all have their shits. Christians yes, but also shits.

But Christ came for them. The crucifixion was for the sins of the world, for shits like them and for shits like me.

--------------------
Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
ن
blog

Posts: 8832 | From: Somewhere else | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools