In the long history of the Church, men have held positions of leadership and power at all levels. This was as much true at St. Paul's as it was anywhere. In fact, as far as I can tell, I am the second female Rector. The first female lasted for about a year.
Now, not only do we have a female rector, we have a female deacon, and much of the leadership you see up front each week is female. That's great! Our vestry is comprised almost entirely of men, so there is good representation there. But, I don't want to commit a sin against men that was made against women. I'm talking about the sin of marginalization. While we would all agree that everyone belongs and should find support and voice in our community, to really achieve belonging, we need to be intentional to make space and create opportunities. We need to encourage men who might hang back, and, maybe, we need to create safe space for men to be together.
I've been listening to a podcast called, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It's a deep dive into what happened at a Mega Church in Seattle when their outspoken pastor cultivated an environment of toxic masculinity with himself as the most toxic. Men were attracted to the church because it affirmed their value in their families, careers and Christ's Kingdom. But the message was wrapped in images of domination and misogyny. I wonder, how can we affirm and value men without the toxicity? Men are critically important in their relationships, families, careers, and Church - as are women, and folx who identify as neither or both. So how do we ensure that you, our St. Paul's men, are included?
I invite you to go to comment here, on our Blog page. Respond with your thoughts and opinions. Whatever your gender, share yourideas on how we might avoid marginalizing or de-valuing men at St. Paul's. Click the button below to get right to the spot.
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland