Vote one is over. We needed 75% approval to open up positions to women within our leadership structure. The main issue was that of elder/deacon. It only received about 58% approval, so it didn’t pass. I’m disappointed on a number of levels. I think we made the wrong decision, I really do. I’m also a little frustrated with our setup, but hey, I chose to come to Richview with that setup in place, so I can’t just complain when it gets in the way. I don’t think membership votes are Scriptural or particularly helpful. Pretty much every majority vote in Scripture went the wrong way. I’m also frustrated that the group that attends meetings isn’t representative of the church as a whole, and I get concerned when the leading board is 100% behind a motion and it fails. There’s always a problem when that happens. On the other hand, I’m pleased because (overall) the discussion was respectful. The ethos, the tone, of our discussions have changed. A few years ago this would have ripped us apart. It shows maturity that we were even able to talk about this. What next? I’m taking the long view. On the way to the meeting, I kept thinking of the verse, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). I don’t have to rely on our own abilities or votes going the way I think they should. God’s in charge even when I don’t have as many chariots and horses behind me as I like. There are better pastors and churches who have had harder times with this issue. Did I mention the pastor I know whose own mother stood up and opposed him on this issue? So yes, I’m disappointed. But I’m also strangely at peace knowing that somehow God is going to bring something good out of all of this. He always does. Update: Ed is a little more succinct.