Many know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. However, often our own culture and struggles can lead us to “discover” lessons that are not part of the text, or miss important details that are. Often in churches, Esther becomes obscured to the point where this brave woman who was mightily used by God becomes passively subject to the decisions of men. For example, a marriage book released recently by a popular pastor and his wife used the story of Esther to promote obedience to one’s husband, contrasting disobedient Queen Vashti with a “submissive” Esther. Is submission to one’s husband truly the lesson of this narrative?
The trip took me and a dozen others from the US to Bangalore, a city in South India for a conference called “SIDE by SIDE—Gender from a Christian Perspective: Men and Women Dependent on Each Other (I Corinthians 11:11).” I was one of two board members who, along with three staff members, represented one of the sponsoring organizations, CBE.
To our great surprise and sorrow, our first president, beloved leader, and founder of CBE, Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, contracted pneumonia and died suddenly on Monday, February 14, 2011. Please join us as we celebrate this great woman of faith.
We’d like to thank all the gifted writers who participated. Thank you for being brave, vulnerable, and gutsy with your stories and insights. Thank you for being way-criers for peace, healing, justice, equality, and freedom. We honor your gifts, stories, and courage.
The articles in this issue of Mutuality celebrate the rich contributions that women like Jesus’ mother Mary, Sister Gertrude Morgan, and women who use their preaching gifts have made to the church’s worship
Who gets to be a human being in our day and age? This may seem like a silly question because the answer is so obvious—everyone! But we don’t have to go back too far in history to see that perfectly rational people have considered others less than fully human on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, or social status.