I remember when…… a young woman who attended a church in my home town was forced to “confess her sin” in front of the congregation when she became pregnant before her wedding. Her fiancée did not have to confess.
I remember when….. I was speaking at a women’s conference at a church in my home town and they told me I would need to stand behind a special microphone at the front of the church because only men could stand behind the pulpit.
I remember when….. I made a motion at a church membership meeting in my home church that we use inclusive language rather than exclusively male language when we rewrote our church constitution and the motion was defeated.
I remember when…… a young woman in our church wanted to marry a divorced man and we had meetings for months to ‘discern’ whether this would be fine. Finally she had her wedding at her parents’ home rather than in the church building where she had gone to services every Sunday since she was born.
I remember when…… they would post lists of people who would set tables and bring food and do dishes for church suppers and there were only women on the list.
I remember when….. the women in my church were referred to by their husbands’ names. They were Mrs. Henry Janzen or Mrs. Herman Epp as if they had no first names of their own.
If you would tell any of these things to a teenager in most churches today they would shake their heads in disbelief that such a time could ever have existed.
Sometimes I wonder what I remembers.….. the next generation will write decades from now, and the teenagers of that day, will shake their heads in disbelief that such a time could ever have existed.