Shekinah Glory

Occupy Church Manifesto #2
October 30, 2011, 6:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have spent many an hour listening to committees and judicatories bemoan the fact that they are missing diversity. Where are the ethnic, gender leadership and especially the young adults of today? Committees on representation are started or a bit of diversity is allowed to move into a small corridor of power within the established church institution. For a short time this buys them absolution and placates the established hierarchies of responsibility for facing the systemic racism, sexism and agism that is at they core of their democracies.

The reality of the problem is more complex than bandaid efforts for “dialogues” of ministers and laity in discussion groups can radically alter. It is well past time for a revolutionary redistribution of power within our established denominational structures.

How do we get past the slow and shallow impasse that makes pay disparities amongst women and ethnic clergy in comparison to white males? How shall we move to a more equal representation of the young adult population within our church’s systems of governance, judicatories and institutions? Where shall we go to put real action behind years of committee, papers and declarations on ending racism and prejudice within our church’s walls, especially when it comes to equal opportunity?

One way would be to completely reform our antiquated democratic systems governing our churches. When we are still using 17th, 18th and 19th century ideals of democratic systems it is clearly time for a change. These cultural systems that predated social media and instantaneous communications are inadequate to function for new generations that simply can go somewhere else for better representation. If the church does not take seriously the sociological changes of the new generation they will simply be left as relics of a bygone day. We find ourselves well past the time for some to hand over the keys. It is my hope that we can begin serious discussions in the church, with young adult leaders, women and ethnic groups as the leaders, will lead us to understand newer modes of democratic consensus within the church.


3 Comments so far
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Great post, Brian!

Life moves so quickly now, doesn’t it? And sometimes it seems like spiritual and practical power still reside in the hands of those who have the money and the positions of traditional authority. That’s what the occupy protests have been addressing too!

But real power resides with each one of us as we make the choices about how we will spend the resources we DO have — our own time, our own voice, our own prayer life, our own energy and presence.

I love your choices, and I am grateful for the influence of your power, even though it has cost you and will cost you the things you could have gotten if you had played by the old rules. Instead you are helping to change the game.

May you have a weekend of peace!

Comment by MK Anderson (@mkettleson)

Maria~ You are truly a gift to the church. Thank you for the encouragement. I don’t know if you will ever know how important it has been to me.

Comment by pastorofdisaster

[…] Occupy Church Manifesto #2 ( If the church does not take seriously the sociological changes of the new generation they will simply be left as relics of a bygone day. […]

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