This week I attended another KOINONIA meeting. When I walked in the lobby of Rosa Parks Center, I was immediately greeted by Faith and her husband, the eldest members of the group. Although I am not clear about their roles, they don’t seem to be regular members. During bible studies and Course 101 seminars they stroll around the different classrooms observing the discussions taking place. They seem to be the guardians or overseers of the entire KOINONIA group.
Already an hour late, I arrived in the middle of a bible study in the main room, awkwardly looking for David. As I was searching, I noticed the social dynamic of the study groups were the same as the week before, segregated by gender. Eventually Faith asked me to join a group nearby of all males. They were not as welcoming as other people in KOINONIA had been. After about five minutes they suggested that I work with David’s group since they “were not meeting next week.” Confused and somewhat relieved, I left the group, found David and began to read the bible verse: John 11.
After the bible discussion, we concluded the meeting talking about Christianity and our relationships with God. Afterwards, Johnny, a friend I made from the previous meeting, came to talk with me and Allen (one of my COMM 663 group members). As Johnny and I caught up, Julian, another group member I befriended, sparked a conversation with me. As we were conversing, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on Allen and Johnny’s conversation. Allen was talking about our COMM 663 class and the reason we were coming to KOINONIA. I could sense confusion and distaste from Johnny’s reaction, as I had failed to accurately inform him of my presence there the week prior. I felt ashamed and that I had breached our newly established trust.
As I was walking out of Rosa Parks Center, I began to gauge how masculinity shaped that KOINONIA meeting. The groups were once again separated by sex. The speakers were all male. I was assigned to male group. And after the meeting, only males interacted with me. Additionally, there seemed to be a pecking order of superiority based on age. The oldest members of the group gave the orders and the younger members followed.
I personally don’t agree with their arrangement of male dominated leadership in KOINONIA or Christianity. However, instead of comparing it to my ideals, I will try to except and honor it while in their space.
“John 11:35.” Re-Ver(sing) Verses. N.p., 05 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.
“Christian Guys.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.