Women in Ministry | CBE International

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Women in Ministry

Lexi Friesen
Amani Mustafa, a former Muslim, has spent much of her life on the run, facing abuse and neglect, all the while remaining faithful to God. As a teenager, her mom secretly became a Christian while living in a Muslim community in Egypt. Appalled by her mother’s decision, Amani looked for ways to contradict her mother’s newfound faith. Instead, her eyes were opened to the truth of God’s love. She, too, became a Christian. The community she lived in soon found out about her mother’s faith and forced her to flee, but she was unable to take Amani with her. A short time later Amani’s father found her reading a Bible in private and he became abusive and threatening towards her. Because of this, Amani ran away for several years. Upon returning to the community, she w... Read more
Lexi Friesen
Venerable Ann of Jesus Ann Lobera lived from 1545 to 1621. She was a Spanish Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite nun and writer who founded and furthered the ministries of numerous monasteries throughout Europe. While she was serving in Madrid she appealed to the Holy See in order to challenge how she and her fellow nuns were being treated. Her requests were granted by the Pope, but she was punished by the friar in charge of the monastery for circumventing his authority by appealing directly to Rome. The constitutions for nuns that were established because of this conflict are still upheld in many Carmelite convents today. The last three years of her life were spent as the prioress in a congregation in Brussels. It was during this time that she and St. Teresa of Avila worked closely to... Read more
Lexi Friesen
Anne and Elizabeth Hart, sisters only separated in age by a single year, were Methodist leaders on the Carribean island of Antigua. Born into a slaveholding free black family, they were two of the first female writers and educators of black Antiguans – slave or free. They worked through their church and founded schools in order to improve the plight of black Antiguans. In doing so, they set an example for others throughout the Caribbean, although much of the white community still considered them insignificant. Their father, Barry Conyers Hart, had his own conflicts in owning slaves. While he needed people to help run his estate, he agonized over punishment and acted humanely towards his slaves. He offered to help his slaves with affairs such as preparing their manumission papers w... Read more
In commemorating International Women’s Day, we remain sober about the future safety of girls and women. According to the United Nations 35% of the world’s females, over 1/3 have encountered physical abuse in their life. What is more, in most of these communities women are rarely included in the strategies and implementations that address systems that perpetuate their own violence. Too often communities lack a “gender-lens” in dealing with power-imbalances that women and girls are best acquainted with and therefore are best able to address. When developing solutions to gender-based violence, their voice and experience is essential but frequently ignored. What is more, perpetrators depend on the silence of their prey, not only through systems that marginalize their ex... Read more
Lexi Friesen
[Editor's note: This post is one in a series on notable women from church history we're doing to celebrate Women's History Month. This week we're highlighting two women from the high and late middle ages: Clare of Assisi and Isotta Nogarola.] Clare of Assisi Saint Clare of Assisi, the eldest child in her family, was a devout woman. She devoted much of her childhood life to prayer and going on pilgrimages to Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and the Holy Land. When she was seventeen, she heard Saint Francis of Assisi speak and shortly after, ran away from home, determined to follow him into a life of poverty and prayer. Francis took Clare under his wing and placed her in the covenant of Benedictine nuns. Her father made many attempts to take Clare back and ord... Read more
Lexi Friesen
An author, playwright, and philanthropist, Hannah More was a single woman living in England during the 1700s into the early nineteenth century. Moore was the fourth of five daughters in her family. All of the More sisters were educated by their father, John, first learning the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics. More’s father was slightly fearful of the way she soaked up education, as mathematics was especially seen was masculine. Despite John’s worrying, the older sisters went on to educate themselves and their younger sister; More wrote her first play when she was seventeen, developing her writing skills at a young age, while she was teaching at a girls’ boarding school that her older sisters ran. Her play was called The Search for Happiness, and was meant to i... Read more
Lexi Friesen
[Editor's note: March is Women's History Month and CBE is celebrating by highlighting some admirable women from church history that you may or may not be familiar with. Each post this month will have short biographies on a few of these women who lived during a certain time period. We hope you find this month-long series enriching and enlightening.] Nino Nino was a great woman apostle in the fourth century, best known for her preaching and healing in the Iberian kingdom (present-day Georgia), although prior to that she helped her uncle spread the gospel around Rome. Nino healed Queen Nana of Iberia from a severe illness. This incident caused the queen to convert to Christianity and be baptized by Nino, despite the king’s intolerance for Christians. The king threatened... Read more
“Look, I love what you do and how you do it – just don’t call yourself an elder!”  This statement was in the context of a home group bible study when the topic of eldership came up. The person who spoke was a deacon and very supportive of us in ministry but he just couldn’t get his head around the thought of women being elders. At another time, one of the elders said “If Liz becomes an elder, then I will resign” and at that time we assured him it wasn’t our intention to push the issue. Interestingly, I was already the associate pastor and we had a split income because we shared the ministry, but the concept of a woman elder was just too much to tolerate. Just this week I was talking with a friend of over 40 years and she was saying... Read more
A few years ago I finally visited our neighborhood church. Having driven past it almost daily for over a decade, and then looking for a worship community closer to home, I decided to scout it out and see if it could be a fit for our family. My vivid first impression was of the two pastors, Pastor Stephanie and Pastor Ed, standing up front to greet the congregation and deliver announcements. I was immediately struck by the remarkable chemistry they demonstrated in the way they played off each other, practically alternating sentences. Their way of interacting set a welcoming tone and suggested an environment of close community and leadership through partnership. I had never witnessed this sort of real-time collaboration between pastors and it provided a strong clue that I had discovered o... Read more
In Part 1 and Part 2, I introduced why Alastair Roberts' view that an all-male "warrior priesthood" is essential is both non-biblical and illogical and looked specifically at the context of this in the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. Today, we examine how the Bible supports unity and mutuality among men and women, which can only be fully restored in Jesus Christ. Unity and Mutuality, Not Male Dominance, the Core of Biblical Anthropology Therefore, the idea of “Man is created to be the authoritative leader, woman as his submissive assistant” is foreign to these texts, and has to be read into them from another source by those who hold to this idea.[1]  Nor do these texts in any way support the concept of a masculine leadership, wherein aggression and t... Read more