To my long-time love;
It has been a long time since I seriously considered calling it quits on our relationship. Even though I no longer depend on you, the Church, to tell me how to live, or to provide connection with other people of faithâI've stuck to the belief that somehow, we are better together than we are apart.
I am facing a choice because I don't know if you are good for me anymore. The best way I can describe it is being 'unequally yoked'. It reminds me of advice you gave when I was a teenager; warning me about my relationship with people who didn't share the same faith or convictions.
Yes, I do think we are unequally yoked. It's not me, it's you. Monday to Saturday I am growing, studying and pursuing the internal and external expressions of faith. I have been listening to the edges of society where God's Spirit is hovering. I feel myself being stretched and enlarged until Sunday, when I have to squeeze back into the shape and size you want me.
I never thought it would be possible, but maybe I've outgrown the shape you made for me.
Embracing the sacred and divine Feminine
I'm tired of broken promises and false hopes of shaping the future. I am a capable, intelligent, strategic and compassionate communicator and a visionary for the Church. Stop offering lip service to honouring and empowering women to lead and have a voice within your walls.
We've known each other too long for you not to trust me now. When I say to want to contribute, don't make me jump through hoops and knock on doors. If you don't trust me, say it straight and let me move on.
Embrace me, a reflection of the sacred Feminine in the real worldâintelligent, gifted, passionate and willing. Embrace me or say no. Your 'no' won't ruin me as much as chasing your 'yes' has.
Staking a claim for the significance of every human being
The political and sociological debates you engage with around LGBTQ issues let me know you're thinking and talking about it.
I want you to start turning from conversation to action. How you respond to this group of people is going to define our future, the future of your relationship with me as well as 'Them', as you so often refer to my friends and fellow spiritual seekers.
Disrupt the conventions
I'm tired of hearing about the 'Next Generation'. It feels like I slipped from being the in the next generation and 'full of potential' to being past my use-by date in my thirties. You just don't look at me the same anymore. I can't seem to hold your interests.
But I think I know something you don't. I'm The Generation. We're all just in it together, one generation defined by being together and alive now. Young people aren't any more likely to bring about hope than older people. We are all as close as each other to the grave, because life changes in a moment.
Disrupt the conventions and assumptions. I'm not suggesting you need to give up your hope for the cool kids, those twenty-somethings you're so pleased to have held on to, but every denomination I've encountered is trying to engage with the 'next' generation while pacifying the baby-boomers who are still largely paying the bills.
Defining the relationship
When I try and talk this through, you say 'you don't want it to be over' and that I need you, as much as you need me. I have to disagree. I carry Church in my pocket. My smartphone is all I need to read the Bible, download teaching, listen to worship tracks and even journal my prayers. I can tithe to Christ-centered causes and I can 'fellowship' in community via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and text messages. I can Skype and Facetime to pray with people I care about and sometimes, church happens around my kitchen table or fireplace. It happens MondayâSunday.
I don't know where we go from here. It's not an ultimatum; it's just a chance for us to be honest with each other. Maybe we're both stuck, not knowing how to be what we need from each other.
What do you think?
Tash McGill is a digital strategist by day. That means helping people make smart decisions about all things digital. Her passion is people and communicating ideas that shape our world, especially the world of young people. Formerly a youth worker and theologian, Tash is passionate about identity and spiritual formation alongside a healthy dose of hospitality.
Tash McGill's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tash-mcgill.html