“I explained that when our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends aren’t welcome at the table, then we don’t feel welcome either, and that not every young adult gets married or has children, so we need to stop building our churches around categories and start building them around people.”For many years I've struggled with church attendance. Ok, in truth, I gave it up a long time ago. Why? Because every time I attended I noticed that things weren't falling in line. That is, a jab at my liberal politics (the horror!), an all-white, all straight (or so we pretend) congregation. A money-rules attitude. Everyone knows who the big donors are, y'all. No women allowed to deliver a message outside of Sunday school, and then, only for the littlest of the congregation.
In short, feeling invalidated, not good enough, not wealthy enough, not subservient enough. Not "lady like" enough. Not knowledgeable enough.
I have hated Sunday School my whole life. As an elementary school child, worksheets and reciting verses. As a teen, empty discussion, judging the people in the room who everyone knew had premarital sex or smoked weed. Playing favorites.
Despite the problems, Evans feels the conviction of any devoted Christian. She always comes back to her belief system, despite her questions, her doubts. She believes in science and religion, in the grace of God, the necessity for social justice work, the importance of equality for all, a place for every person at the table. Every person.
In listening to her experiences--the ones that weren't so great, like mine--as well as the really great ones, I found an overwhelming amount of hope. Knowing that there are Christians with these concerns and that they are writing and sharing and preaching and loving gave me more incentive to search for myself, to study. I am not alone. None of us are. And no person is perfect and no church is either, but the Christian world is not wholly disregarding these issues. We are not alone.