Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I love this picture!

The RevGals have recently reformatted their blog.  As always there is a lot of great writing going on, but there are also some wonderful new photographs in the banner of the blog.  Sent in by women around the world, the artwork gives a peak into the lives of members at work and at play.  This is ones of my favorites.

Many of my colleagues have made comments about this photograph.  The little girls are so engaged and full of energy you can practically hear their bouncing questions and answers. That's not why I like this picture though.  You see, when I was a little girl, this picture would not have been possible.  There were no women pastors in my denomination in the 1960's.  Women typically didn't assist in worship and little girls were not able to serve as acolytes.  Women simply were not in the chancel area unless they were doing the work of the Altar Guild before or after worship.

When I was the size of these little girls, children were not invited up to the altar area.  There were no children's sermons.  You sat in your pew while the grown-ups went forward for communion. While I wondered what was happening up at the rail, I usually kept a tally of the women's hats. Two blue ones, three black ones, a white one..  I was pretty sure something serious, if not sad was happening up front.  The adults always looked so somber.  Sometimes there were even tears.  Nobody was exploring the font or sitting on the floor or giggling with the pastor. Worship was serious business.

Worship is still serious business, but now little girls can splash in the font and talk about the water and the word.  Pastors debate theology with their youngest members and everybody is welcome at the table. 

I love this picture.