Thursday, September 23, 2010

Half the Church

I practice the presence of God within a tradition that has limited the public gifts of leadership by women in most of our congregations. This grieves me. I am the son of a mother who has enormous public leadership gifts. Her life is marked by bravery and humility in ways that I will never be pressed to. I have several female students, both current and former, who have extraordinary gifts and who believe with all their hearts that God has placed a call on their lives. You can't hear their stories, know the character of their lives, observe their gifts and believe otherwise.

So, I am thankful for my friend Stephen Johnson who is collecting their stories. He has put some of them online for us to hear. You owe it them and to your congregations to listen and to invite others to listen as well. I am particularly proud to listen to Naomi and Olivia tell their stories. Naomi is an alum of Rochester College and was starting the MDiv at Abilene Christian University in my last year or two there. I had Olivia as an undergrad Biblical studies major at ACU and have watched with great interest and pride as she has moved through the MDiv program there.

Please listen.


Melanie said...

Thank you for this! I have yet to hear any satisfactory reason as to why women can't at least be deacons in the church, since the New Testament clearly indicates that women were deacons. Here's hoping for a better future for these wonderful women in your article!

Naomi said...

Thank you for spreading our story to a broader audience.