Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Illustration of Mary holding baby Jesus.

The story of Jesus’ birth might be the most misquoted and misunderstood story in the gospels. Luke’s gospel account of both the annunciation and the nativity are strikingly unique.

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Mosaic of Mary

Disruptions are inevitable in this life. We face circumstances and events in our day-to-day lives that feel like giant mountains, road blocks, and dead ends. Bad things happen to us, our families, and the people we love.

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Sad girl leaning her face up against a wall.

So, what does the Bible have to say in response to the issues raised by the #MeToo movement? It seems to me that the central response to this question is the name of Jesus the Messiah’s mother—Mary.

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Photo of woman's face as she is giving birth.

From its earliest times, the church has struggled to be a space in which women and girls can think positively about their identities as Christians and the reality of their female bodies. 

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Worn statue of Mary with dead Jesus on her lap.

In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority. 

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Birds eye view of hands together in a circle.

 Instead of us focusing on negative comments aimed at women, we were able to focus on the ways in which God is at work among women in bringing sons and daughters to Christ.

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Close up a woman's hands folded at a table.

We are caught in tension between thanks for progress towards gender equality and dismay at the misogyny we see around us. Gratitude for progress does little to ease the pain of sexism by Christian men who tell women in ministry to “go home.”

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A mother, father, and their two children standing at a church alter.

Life would have been easier, at least outwardly, if we had followed complementarian theology. We might have stayed at our church.

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Two girls running on grass on a sunny day.

I hadn’t found my voice to advocate for myself yet, but even more important than that, I hadn’t quite heard the one voice that did matter, the one voice that would call me to be a pastor. 

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Woman sitting with her face in her lap.

We were guinea pigs, the women that year and I. We knew—after we had applied and been accepted—that our school had just begun admitting women to the MDiv program, the denomination new to the concept of women in the pulpit.

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