Mediating Mark’s Message

September 5, 2021

Church of the Servant

15th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 18, Year B
Mark 7:24-37
Click the Audio Link below to hear the Sermon



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An OTHER Voice

September 9, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

Proper 18, Year B
Mark 7:24-37, James 2:1-17

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Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The 15th Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 18 
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; James 2:10-17; Mark 7:24-37

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

When I was a young girl, probably in 6th or 7th grade, I wanted to be an acolyte at my church. Unfortunately our church didn’t let girls be acolytes. It wasn’t a matter of church policy, just that the man who trained the acolytes said that he’d only let boys be acolytes. He wouldn’t train girls, so they weren’t allowed.

monkimage-cropI’m not sure why he set this boundary – whether he had a deeply held theological conviction about gender roles in the church; or maybe he just found it easier to work with boys – maybe girls required a different teaching style; perhaps he thought girls weren’t up to the task of lighting candles, or carrying crosses and flags and such; or maybe it was just the way it was when he was growing up, so he wanted it to stay that way. I really don’t know why he held fast to this boundary – that only boys could be acolytes – I just knew that he was in charge, he set the rules, and no one was asking him to let girls in.

Then, one day, I’m not sure how it happened, a few of us girls told our Youth Minister, Steve, that we wanted to be acolytes. He was pretty new to the church, and didn’t see any problem with it, so he trained us. While we still couldn’t acolyte on Sunday morning, we could come to either of the two weekday Eucharist services and acolyte there. This meant waking up very early on Wednesday mornings during the summer so we could help at the 7am Eucharist. That’s how determined we were.

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