For Women

 Photo: WJAR

Photo: WJAR

If you attend Church In Bethesda on a regular basis, you know that I do my best not to use the pulpit as a platform for my political opinions. That’s a hard line for me to walk as a pastor, father, voter, and pedestrian with strong political views.

I keep those opinions to myself at times, not out of fear, but out of respect for where people are in their journey of life and faith. I don’t want anyone to pass by our church and think of us as a blue church, a red church, or a green church. Though a church is a collective of people that gather around a set of shared values, it seems that partisan politics in the pulpit often divides more than it unites. I was poor at division in school when it came to math, and I'd like to hope that I'm poor at it in pastoring, too.

There are, however, times where I speak up about political things, not out of support for an ideology, but because it involves the well-being of people. And that is, after all, the church's "agenda" if you will— the well-being of people.

I know many of us are hurting today in the wake of The SCOTUS confirmation hearings. They have been difficult for anyone to watch, but I can’t help thinking that they’ve been most difficult for women.

Ladies— if no one in your life has acknowledged that today, I want you to know that I do and that we do. We see you. We notice you. We love you. And we value what you have to say.

The first person that Jesus appeared to after his resurrection was a woman. If you know anything about history at the time, if you were trying to convince people of a miracle, the very last person you'd be the first to share it with is a woman, because no one would believe her if she spoke up about it.

I don't think this is any coincidence. I believe that this is God's way of showing us that God sees women and men as equals.

I'm not going to share all of my opinions about the hearings with you, but I will say that my heart aches for the women of our country today. And if that sounds political, then so be it. I think Jesus would feel the same way.

As it pertains to our church,

  • We will continue giving women the microphone.

  • We will keep inviting them to participate fully— sharing their hearts, minds, and talents.

  • We will continue to welcome women into the highest roles of leadership in our church.

  • We will courageously keep standing for equality, not just in word, but in deed, in a world that, for some reason, is still far too comforted by patriarchy.

We believe in you, ladies. Not because it sounds nice to say so, but because it’s true. And we’d believe that about you even if it weren’t part of the news cycle.

As scripture admonishes us, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world." So keep at the noble work of nonconformity. We are working right beside you.


 
 Ryan Phipps is the Senior Minister at Church In Bethesda.  Raised in the church, becoming a pastor was the one thing Ryan vowed he would never do. After spending many years away from faith, he found that for all of its flaws, the church can still occupy a unique place of good in the world if it is willing to evolve with reason and empathy.  Ryan has a special place in his heart for those who have been damaged or disillusioned by the church, and longs to lead those within it toward a more just and generous expression of itself.  Ryan is an  INTJ  on the MBTI and a  5w4  on the Enneagram

Ryan Phipps is the Senior Minister at Church In Bethesda.

Raised in the church, becoming a pastor was the one thing Ryan vowed he would never do. After spending many years away from faith, he found that for all of its flaws, the church can still occupy a unique place of good in the world if it is willing to evolve with reason and empathy.

Ryan has a special place in his heart for those who have been damaged or disillusioned by the church, and longs to lead those within it toward a more just and generous expression of itself.

Ryan is an INTJ on the MBTI and a 5w4 on the Enneagram

Ryan Phipps