Church in the Making

New rituals for new realities

People achieve different milestones, in different orders. Can churches celebrate this?

Kristen got a panicky feeling when she saw the older woman marching toward her. Gripping her coffee cup, Kristen glanced around the fellowship hall looking for an escape.

The woman pulled Kristen aside. “Sweet­heart, when are you going to have a baby? You’d be such a good mother.” The older woman patted Kristen on the back. Kristen smiled and nodded, hoping that her agreeable expression would allow her to dodge the question. Then, as soon as she could, she moved to the other side of the room.

She knew that the women meant well, but the comments made her anxious. She wanted to become a mother, but she had decided to go to graduate school and get into her career before she had children. Now she had a pile of debt and a low-paying first job—still not a good time to have a child. Kristen was wondering if she and her husband should have children at all; she couldn’t pay off her debt and save for her child’s college tuition at the same time.