On Sunday during worship, Laura Papsun shared with us a small part of her story at New Story. In case you missed it, here it is:
I grew up in a church that in some ways was much like New Story. We had great kids’ programs and kind, compassionate people that loved others and wanted to make a difference in the world and lives of others.
However, there were a number of differences between the church I grew up in and New Story. One of these included unwritten rules about the roles of women and men in worship. It wasn’t until I was in college that I heard a woman minister or saw women take regular roles in the worship service outside of music.
Growing up I remember at an early age watching my dad serve communion, help with baptism, pray publicly, take up offering, and make announcements, and wondering why my mom never did these things. I began to notice only men filled these roles.
I wondered why this was the case. Why was it that I could not do these things when I grew up but my brother could simply because he was male and I was female?
So now, here I am as an adult at New Story. I am not allowed to serve communion, pray publicly, or take up the offering. I am invited to do these things. That’s something really special to me.
Just a few weeks ago, we had our baptism service at the Phillips Farm. At the beginning, Scott invited any of us wanting to assist to come down and be a part of it. I took him up on that invitation, and I held the hands and arms of people as they experienced accepting the Holy Spirit through baptism. And most awesome of all, I got to hold the arm of my son as he reaffirmed his own faith publicly. I was able to assist as my own pastor reaffirmed his faith. These are things I never thought would be a possibility for me, and it’s just one of the things I love about New Story. Here I was….a female so flawed….and I get to be part of one of the most sacred and mystical experiences in the church.
I love being a part of a church where you are invited to serve, lead, and participate regardless of your appearance, your relationship status, your past, or your gender. Here at New Story you are only limited based on how God leads you and your own choices. And that is what I love most about New Story.