It’s always bad for the sisterhood when we target our resentment amongst ourselves. And it’s called the Old Boys Network for a reason. Because the Old Boys know how to work together, network their power, and add younger men into their ranks. And we should do the same. There’s no way that we are going to get beyond the one-slot conference tokenism until we put some money, support, and voice around other people in the field.
Born Again Again
Carol Howard Merritt on reclaiming faith
All posts licensed under Creative Commons, some rights reserved by Carol Howard Merritt.
I jog over some of the most beautiful and haunted geography. There is a place in Chattanooga where stunning nature collides with a series of heart-wrenching narratives.
Boyhood takes 12 years and condenses it into one sitting. With some sort of mystical time-bending power, Linklater does not lose the slow pace. We still have a chance to savor ordinary moments. There’s no Hollywood makeup, smearing artificial age onto the skin. There’s no switch-up of actors. There is the aging process—that alluring rearrangement of the face and body. The effect is astonishing.
Most of us have seen this coming for a decade, but it’s still startling to read the headlines in the Atlantic: "The Vanishing of Middle Class Clergy." None of this is news. We know pastors who feed their children with food stamps.
Most of us who work in a church can see parallels between bookstores and church. We had small, physical spaces in which we met and built community. We watched as big-box churches moved in, allowing for many more options, but individuals became much more anonymous in the process. Now, we know there are a growing number of people who are leaving church, but the search for God is still happening digitally.
They constructed the rainbow-colored crosses on holy ground. That very soil bore witness to the fact that love could overcome discrimination. It was the same plot where the Rev. Leroy and Gloria Griffith were married over forty years ago.
About three times a week, pastors ask me 1) how to get on the speaking circuit or 2) how to get published. The questions go together, because the answer to how to get on the speaking circuit is usually to get published. Sometimes they are just starting out in the ministry, and other times they are retired. Either way, my answer is the same, no matter what stage of life you’re in: Writers write.
Our faith communities are often the only places in our society where we learn to think intergenerationally. We have a chance to care for one another from cradle to grave. In the challenging times ahead of us, I hope that our churches can continue to be places where we understand the unique positions of the young, old, and everyone in between.
We cause particular damage to teens when we use fear as a motivation or manipulation. The part of the brain that produces fear and anxiety develops far quicker than other parts. So, teens are often walking around like fear factories, but they don’t having access to the usual reasoning that quells fear.
It’s kind of hard to worship. I used to get frustrated with the retired ministers who worshiped in the churches I served. They used to take me aside to mentor me, but often it just felt like criticism. They pointed out the weirdest things, like the song didn’t rhyme like it should or the elder serving communion had the wrong sort of look on her face. Now, I suppose I understand them a bit more, because it’s difficult to turn away that critical eye.
Guys, I’m in Jerusalem! If you want to have a tweetup, meet me at the well at noon! #COJ1
When we get the age breakdown of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly, it’s nothing short of horrendous. 91 percent of the laity are 50 and older. 67 percent of the Clergy are 50 and older. A mere 23 percent of all commissioners are under 50. What can we do about it?