I DID NOT leave my church on a whim.
It actually took me and my spouse two years to slowly rip the bandage off and leave. After more than a decade of sitting on the left side of the sanctuary, serving on the worship team, starting a drama group, learning the language of the denomination and congregation, pricing countless items at the annual rummage sale, and teaching confirmands, we decided it wasn’t the church. It was us.
It wasn’t about what was said or wasn’t said on a single Sunday after yet another national tragedy or shocking event. It wasn’t one sermon or one congregational prayer. It was a long silence over years—silence from the pulpit, silence from the hymns and contemporary love songs to Jesus and God, silence from the congregation even when the denomination tried to make a sound, silence as #BlackLivesMatter trended, silence after #Charleston.
The silence was so loud, it almost drowned out the painful words that were spoken. They attempted to diminish and ignore the pain that was real for us and our family, week after week, month after month, year after year. We were asked to bring a dish for the cultural potluck, but not too much, so our feelings wouldn’t be hurt if people didn’t like what we brought.