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Poetry

God of Hagar, Tamar, and Mary Magdalene Of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel God of Ruth, Esther, and Rahab Of the Woman at the Well and the Woman They Would Have Stoned God of the unseen, unwanted, and unheard God of the silenced Of those rendered invisible God of those who wait God of those who struggle God of those who rise God of the broken Of the healing and the healed Of the hopeful and the hopeless God of the forgotten, who never forgets, we pray Remember your daughters in 2017 Remember the women who wait— the women who ache to hear the church call their names, the women who press their skin against stained glass, searching frantically for cracks Remember the women who serve in the shadows, the women who long to lead, the hungry women, the thirsty... Read more
No one Ever Told me in Seminary Women oversaw ecclesial jurisdictions  In England, Poland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria and Spain   No one Ever Told me in Seminary About Harriet Livermore Who preached to Congress in 1827 With President John Quincy Adams sitting on the steps   No one Ever Told me in Seminary Hundreds of women evangelists in the 1800s Preached in churches, fields, forests and school houses across the United States   No one Ever Told me in Seminary Women were ordained for over 1,000 years In the Early Middle Ages   No one Ever Told me in Seminary Women preachers were the first women to speak publicly To mixed audiences of Men and women in the United States   No one Ever... Read more
Joshua wasn't sure how far things should go. He liked that Moses led. He liked standing guard while Moses entered the tent and served as mediator. He didn't like it when Moses' ground was encroached upon. But Moses had a different vision: "A young man ran and told Moses, 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.' Joshua, Nun's son and Moses' assistant since his youth, responded, 'My master Moses, stop them!' Moses said to him,  'Are you jealous for my sake? If only all the LORD's people were prophets with the LORD placing his spirit on them!" (Numb. 11:27-29, CEB). Moses' vision was the vision of Joel, the reality of Pentecost: "Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declar... Read more
Of all the literature produced by the early Syrian church, the most prized was composed by Ephrem the Syrian, often called "The Harp of the Holy Spirit". One of his hymns memorialises the faith of the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well and sent forth as a missionary (see John 4) O, to you woman in whom I see a wonder as great as in Mary! For she from within her womb in Bethlehem brought forth His body as a child, but you by your mouth made him manifest as an adult in Shechem, the town of His father's household. Blessed are you, woman, who brought forth by your mouth light for those in darkness. Mary, the thirsty land in Nazareth conceived our Lord by her ear. You, too, O woman thirsting for water, conceived the Son by your hearing. Blessed are your e... Read more
Dear Friends, Seminary can be a mixed bag for women. You likely encounter a confusing blend of support, apathy, and even downright hostility—perhaps all in a single day. I can't imagine how tough that must be to navigate. I will never forget a female student who, after a class discussion on the theology of gender and ministry, tearfully shared her struggle with this confusing reception. She was about to complete her MDiv, but a troubling reality was settling in: the vast majority of the jobs posted in her conservative denomination were explicitly designated "for men only." No mixed message there. Along with the bleak outlook in certain vocational areas of church ministry, women seminary students can regularly experience forms of oppression, whether striking or sub... Read more
Crack the book that  Re-rewrites history  And grow new eyes to  Legal injustice As a girl I watched  Color decide  The lines between human and not  Hit me  Like the whip he used on your back  Your blood flowed and your screams  Choked my sense  Of humanity  Like a millstone  Around my neck  Growing heavier  With each black face  Pushed to the dirt They said you weren’t Allowed to know  What letters meant  On a page But when sleep  Took every head and  Their rules to bed  In the flicker of candlelight  Guarded I taught you  Worlds to be discovered Without warning your  Breath left Your tiny body  And became a flame inside me ... Read more
Father's Day was earlier this month and, like many of you, I attended church and heard another variation of a Father's Day sermon. Over the years my father and I have joked about these messages, because we often feel they do not adequately portray his particular type of fathering. In fact, my dad often feels like Mother's Day sermons are more geared to him. As a stay-at-home dad during most of my early years and as the parent most at home with my brother and me during childhood, my dad has been the cooker, cleaner, washer, and what some would call "nurturer" in the family dynamics. As a little girl, I never thought much of this. He was just my dad, and I often saw him giving his gifts and talents to our family in selfless and caring ways. Yet, as I grew up, the greate... Read more
You are probably among the masses of people who have never heard my name. It is mentioned in only one sentence in Holy Writ. There were only a very few of us—at least of those whose story was remembered by any except family and close friends. For those few who have read Paul’s letter to Philemon, I was understood as the wife of Philemon. Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus were understood to be husband, wife, and son respectively, according to the tradition. However, if one examines the text carefully one sees the address to Philemon the beloved, to Apphia the sister, and to Archippus the fellow soldier. The three of us are addressed on the same plane, rather than in any hierarchical fashion. My name, like that of many of my sisters in the faith, might have been entirely forgott... Read more
The king was desperate. He was a God-fearing man and from his youngest age he had sought God. Now, trying to rid God’s people of idols, he had undertaken major repairs in the Lord’s temple but he had just realized that his efforts were insufficient. His secretary had just brought back a book from the temple—a lost book found by the high priest during repairs. After reading the book, the king realized that despite all his religious training, all his faith, all his attempts at doing what he thought was right, he had been wrong. His priests had been wrong. His people had been wrong. This was the book of the law of God which said “You shall have no other God before me” and warned of the curses against Israel if they did not obey the law. The king was now aware of... Read more
“Is this not the Messiah?” Of all the literature produced by the early Syrian church, the most prized was composed by Ephrem the Syrian, often called “The Harp of the Holy Spirit.” One of his hymns memorializes the faith of the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well and sent forth as a missionary (see John 4). O, to you woman in whom I see a wonder as great as in Mary! For she from within her womb in Bethlehem brought forth His body as a child, but you by your mouth made him manifest as an adult in Shechem, the town of His father’s household. Blessed are you, woman, who brought forth by your mouth light for those in darkness. Mary, the thirsty land in Nazareth conceived our Lord by her ear.  You, too, O woman thirsting for water, conce... Read more