Women in Ministry | CBE International

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Women in Ministry

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
Last week, I introduced why Alastair Roberts' view that an all-male "warrior priesthood" is essential is both non-biblical and illogical. Now we turn our attention specifically to Genesis 1 and 2. The True Teaching of Genesis 1 and 2 Some interpreters speak of “two creation accounts” in Genesis 1-2.  My own view is that Genesis 1:1-2:4 is a chronological, though somewhat abbreviated historical account of creation, in which certain key events are highlighted.[1]  Furthermore, I understand that Genesis 2:5-3:24 as a further elaboration and clarification of all that happened during “Day Six”, with a flashback in 2:5-24 to what occurred before God gave Adam and Eve the “cultural mandate” of Gen. 1:28, and then a review and expla... Read more
This month marks the 31st anniversary of my ordination. I have spent about 28 of those years serving congregations as a pastor. As October rolls around, officially "Pastor Appreciation Month," I'd like to share my perspective on how you might appreciate your own pastor. Recently, a younger pastor, also a woman, wrote to me:   "I find being a pastor an incredibly awesome and wonderful calling. In what other job can I study God's word, proclaim the gospel, pray, reach out to the hurting--and get paid for it? I feel blessed and privileged to be able to serve in such a position."  I feel encouraged just by reading those words--that being female has not been an impediment to the vocation this woman has received. When I was ordained in 1983, I wa... Read more
A recent blog post by Alastair Roberts, “Why a Masculine Priesthood is Essential,” has recently stirred up fresh controversy and heated debate among egalitarians and hierarchical complementarians regarding the nature of Christian ministry and leadership, due to the promotion of his unique model of “masculine priesthood” which goes beyond the usual concept of a “male priesthood” to that of a warrior priesthood.  Such is the confidence of Mr. Roberts in the arguments of his presentation that he asserts: “I believe that opposition to women in priesthood should not merely arise from the interpretation of a few isolated verses, but that it springs up from the very core of biblical anthropology, something that is reaffirmed throughout the biblical n... Read more
“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30: 10-12). If there was ever an embodiment of these verses, it is in the lives touched by Channels of Hope for Gender in rural Durham. From middle-school children dramatizing the importance of HIV awareness, to children mesmerized by a math teacher, to Sunday School teachers, youth and pastors who have welcomed the liberating message in Scripture, one that free males and females from bondage—newness of life danced before us these past few days. Yet, the deepest transformation seemed to... Read more

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