Every so often I receive an email from a reader regarding this web site. These emails usually have a personal story included with them. Why I haven't posted them for others to read who are in similar situations is presently beyond my comprehension. So, I have started this page for emails I receive. No email addresses, names, physical locations, or associations will be posted with these emails. If you have a story to tell about your feelings or something that has happened to you regarding gender equality in the Churches of Christ, please feel free to send it in to me and let others know they are not alone in how they feel about gender equality and inclusivity in the Churches of Christ. My email address is email@example.com
Received via FaceBook on Dec 4, 2014
Thank you Wiley for the insight. As I engage with relatives/friends, who are also members of the CofC, I'm seeking wisdom concerning how to discuss issues like gender equality. (I was led in part by the way to SouthWest Central & Bering Drive CofC through your website.)
Received on Jan. 10, 2014
Al Maxey mentioned three or four pdf articles you have on the subject of the role of women in the church. Would you mind sending them to me? I would appreciate it. Back in the early 90's I wrote a study on the subject and taught from that study in a class of maybe 20-25 adults. At the time I approached it from the standpoint of what "liberals" taught, but then got into the contradictions of "conservative" brethren. This left me in a peculiar position of no longer believing the usual brotherhood position, but not ready to fully accept what I considered to be the "liberal" position. Of course, in the church, especially here in the South, you chose your words very carefully when you get into a study on subjects that are taboo. Too many preachers with "markers."
Received on May 5, 2013
Thanks for your work listing gender-inclusive churches.
Received on April 11, 2013
So many exciting things are happening at ___________. I have been used as one of the first women to do several things and I am so thrilled to be used in this way! I do not believe I would have as much courage to help move us in the gender inclusive direction had I not become connected with CBE through you. I will always be grateful to you for that! I am also very grateful for the work of Philip Payne! His research has benefitted me many times in discussions with others who are searching for truth to God's original plan for women in the Church.
Received on April 5, 2013:
Your website is inspirational. I have recently started attending a charismatic evangelical church in _______________. I love the worship and have been attending their 'firstbase' sessions for those considering membership. Everything was going wonderfully until It was mentioned very much in passing that the church was governed by men called elders. I paused and asked if the male terminology was general or specifically meaning men only. I found out that women wee excluded 'because that is what the bible tells us'. I am dismayed and frankly upset. It honestly felt like I had found out my brother was a sexist and a racist! I am now unsure whether to attend this church but can not find any other which is not discriminatory! Do you know of any ___________ churches which appoint leaders on merit solely - not excluding women from the get go?
Wishing you peace and grace.
Received On Jan 5, 2013
To whom it may concern:
You may want to add .........Church of Christ, in ......, to your list.
Thanks for maintaining the list!
Received on Dec. 27, 2012:
Thanks for taking seriously the Spirit's gifting to females and males in all areas of Church life and ministry. Blessings!
Received on Sept 20, 2012
Thank you for listing us...
from a church email acct
Received on Sept 4, 2012
Thank you .................for years I've been wondering if there were any egalitarian churches of Christ. Unfortunately, I no longer live near any of them, but it's encouraging nonetheless!
Received on August 18, 2012
Subject of email: WITH THANKS
Message: for this resource
Received on July 7, 2012
Just a quick note to say thanks for all your work. I'm the Religion and Ethics columnist for our daily hometown newspaper .................
I had a good poke around your gender equality website and you've got some fabulous material there. Keep up the fight. Much in the church is up for reexamination and your contribution will be a big help to people who are sincerely looking for a more nuanced, less-simplistic view of gender equality. Attitudes are already evolving and, though things seem to be going painfully slowly in some quarters, evolution is sometimes better than revolution, in the long run.
Take care, my brother, and may you reap the harvest of patience and faith.
Received on 24-Mar-2012
Thanks so much for your work! I do know of a few additional
gender-inclusive(ish) churches you can add to your list and map:.......
All the best,
I just checked out your blog, I can not believe how similar our thoughts are. Racism, I used that word and same analogy before. .........
Received on 01-Mar-2012
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is L.K., from Edmond, Oklahoma. I was forwarded your message on a CBE conference by one of the ministers at Northlake congregation in Atlanta. I went to your website and noticed that our congregation is not on your gender equality list. We should be.
Dayspring Church of Christ in Edmond, Oklahoma, has been practicing gender equality (or as some describe it, full gift inclusivity) for over 15 years. It is a non-issue for us and has been so for over a decade, so we have never felt the need to promote this on our website. However, we have no gender-specific offices, roles, or traditions in our congregation's life and practices. We have female elders and deacons, teachers, and the like.
Received on 18-Jan-2012
...............Thank you for your work to provide a resource for those looking for churches who embrace and empower women for ministry in ways often prevented.
If I can be of help in any other way, please let me know.
Received on 01-17-2012
The work that you are doing is pretty cool. At our church we believe that women can do anything except be an elder.
Received on 11-11-11
Hello admin for the Gender-Inclusive Churches of Christ!
I am writing to give you the address to the newly renovated website for ***************. You'll notice we call it "Gift-Inclusive" since the female gender is included in all churches! It's www.***************
Thank you for what you are doing!--Whoever you are!!!
Received on 08/10/11.
I am very excited to have found your website!! I have struggled for years with my feelings about being a woman in the CoC. I have a degree in music education, and have been a high school choir director ....yet every time musical "expertise " is needed, some Joe-Shmoe who can't even read music is put in charge. Every year for Leadership Training for Christ, a man is given the job to lead the teen choir....I'm allowed to lead the children's choir only. A man is always asked to teach the LTC boys how to lead singing....most times the results are abysmal. I, of course, am not asked to help...although I taught my son and my husband how to lead singing, and they have always done a fantastic job, if I say so myself! (no crazy arm waving for them...they actually know their 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 directing patterns!)
There's a singing class every Wednesday evening for interested folks to learn new songs and sing at nursing homes, funerals, etc. Again, a man leads it. I can't bring myself to attend...because he is so woefully inadequate for the job.....I can't sit in quiet submission to his blunders and mis-ques and wrong starting pitches and incorrect rhythms. But his biological body parts make him more qualified than myself in the eyes of our church.
My mother was an elementary music teacher for 30 years. One year she was asked to be the song leader for VBS, but a man complained because there were men sitting in the back of the auditorium watching the kids with my mom standing up front singing (the men were there waiting to take their kids home)...and it wasn't right. They took her off of that job.
After I graduated from a CoC college, I realized the subtle discrimination that took place during my college years. I was a member of the college choir, and whenever our director needed someone to lead rehearsal, or a warm-up, he chose a guy. The female music majors were never allowed to practice our directing skills with the choir. I loved our director, and he was a liberal guy.....so I don't think he was being deliberately discriminatory. It's just the way things were, and I didn't even question it at the time. But I was aware of how confident the male music majors were in teaching and leading....I realized my inadequacies after I graduated, and only then did I reflect on the reason why.
I'm sad that I can't use my strongest gift in the church. Most folks are unaware that I even have a musical ability. I envy my music teacher friends who work second jobs leading choirs in various churches around town. As I'm getting older, I struggle even more. I'm 43 now, and still toy with the idea of leaving our fellowship once my kids are gone. I'm a 4th generation Church of Christ member, so it will be hard. I pray that things will change for the better for the next generation.