In February I wrote an entry entitled "Churchified", and I thought perhaps I should update on that.
I'll be more honest with you now about the thought processes I was going through then. First of all, I was really struggling with whether or not to stay in the Churches of Christ. I've thought about leaving for years, but in Japan and Brazil that wasn't really an option, nor was it something I would have chosen to do at that point. There's only one reason why I would leave the Church of Christ, in a denominational sense, which is the treatment of women. I can handle the other quirks that make the CoC what it is because I believe they're based primarily on traditional and preference (and poor hermeneutics) which is, well, whatever, but I have problems with the subjugation of women like I have problems with racism or nationalism. It is a "tradition" that places women in positions of inferiority and unworthiness within the body of Christ. Sexism in the church is destructive not only to women, but to the image of God.
So that's the primary mental/spiritual battle I was struggling with at the time. :) Long story short, a couple of weeks later I decided that I was going to stay with the church I went to throughout college, Memorial Rd. Church of Christ. Although it seemed like the clear answer and was subsequently my ultimate decision, it wasn't easy. For one, I think MRCC qualifies as a megachurch. It's big. And after being at small churches for the past couple of years, it was hard to readjust to that. I think the key at a church like that is to find a community within the larger community, which is one of the reasons I am there. I am part of a weekly Bible study group (who I've referenced here before) who is like family to me and has been for almost 4 years. I also am part of a Sunday Bible class that I love and feel loved within. Also, even though the majority of my history at MRCC is wonderful, it also is some baggage to me in a sense. There, I'm usually known as that girl who was really sick, or who went to Brazil, or who worked in the international ministry. Not bad things, but I really wanted a chance to start fresh at this point.
Now you may be wondering, justifiably so, "What about all that 'subjugation of women' stuff you just talked about? Did you change your mind about that?" No, no... definitely not. But from my perspective now, I see reason to have hope for change in our tradition (CoC). If it's a choice between going or staying and trying to help this tradition that I love and that has brought me to my place of faith now, I'm going to stay. I don't know if that will always be the case, but right now it's where I am.
One strange thing for me right now is that I'm not involved in any type of organized "ministry", I don't think. I guess it depends on how you'd qualify ministry. It feels kind of strange, but good. Of course this won't last forever, but as I've been in this time of re-evaluation and transition, it seemed alright for me to take a "sabbatical" of sorts.
This is pretty long, and if you've read it all then I give you my heartfelt thanks for your interest. Just wanted to let you know where I am on the whole issue of church.