by Kelly Pelton (written 10 Dec 2019)

I've no desire to join the ranks of those with power in the church,
no tolerance for those men who congratulate one another
for excluding women despite a mountain of Bible research
which envisions a sister working alongside a brother.

"Separate roles!" the traditionalists cry, "but the genders have equal worth!"
as though their Jim Crow interpretation of scripture is just;
they ignore the principles in their reading of particulars,
dismissing or explaining away any details they must.

The institutional church is weak and sick, its size declining
'til persecution drives the Christians to gather underground,
powerless except for Jesus, no place for quibbling or whining
about who leads; it's as His followers our meaning is found.

Servants and not "servant leaders" (said with false humility)
is who we truly are, working together to bring the kingdom 
to the least of these, no cares for worldly respectability,
equal concern for one another instead of male-run fiefdom.

Those of us who've known the blessed co-ed camaraderie
long for it, discarding "separate but equal" deceptiveness;
embracing "together and equal," Christ's body identity,
we pray for gender reconciliation receptiveness.