This summer, CBE International held our fourth annual writing contest! We received many quality, insightful submissions, making our job of picking just fifteen winners very difficult. The 2020 winners hail from six countries and a variety of professions, including theater, science, medicine, as well as ministry. Meet them below!
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 speaking hard truths in a world where easy answers are often preferred. Thank you for proclaiming peace, healing, justice, equality, and freedom. We are thankful for your gifts, stories, and courage.
You’ll see the contest winners published on our website in the coming months along with other outstanding entries!
Congratulations to our top fifteen winners (in no particular order):
Amelia Smith is a performer, director, and theater educator. She is a core member of Still Small Theatre, a Christian touring company based in Beverly, Massachusetts. Her passion is telling stories that help audiences see how each person reveals a unique facet of the image of God.
Who Is More Like Jesus, Cinderella or the Prince?
Christine Woolgar is an avid reader and musician. Living in the UK, she loves to delve into Scripture and write both creatively and analytically on hope, sexuality, and consent. She also has experience leading worship and volunteering for a leading domestic violence charity. You can find her at her blog Light in Grey Places.
Proving My Virginity: Deuteronomy, Pap Smears, and the Hymen Myth
Brenda-Lee Sasaki grew up on the West Coast of Canada. Recovering from perfectionism, growing up Baptist, and finding her voice in public and private sectors, Brenda-Lee brings her Enneagram-8 self to tables set before her, playing big to create movement in people’s lives so they will be inspired to flourish.
Claiming Consent in the Body of Christ
Barbara L. Peacock
Dr. Barbara L. Peacock is the author of Soul Care in African American Practice and founder of Barbara L. Peacock Ministries. She received her bachelor’s from North Carolina Central University, master’s from Princeton Theological Seminary, and doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. You can find her at barbaralpeacock.com.
Good Morning! Waking Up to Racism and Sexism
Candice Carr is a practicing clinician and lay minister in Los Angeles, CA. She works to develop liturgical guides for churches that are oppression- and trauma-informed.
Silence—A Response to Abuse in the Church
Jill Lin is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for languages and history. She loves attending a multicultural church and is a member of the DC chapter of CBE International. She received her MA Cantab after studying modern languages at the University of Cambridge. She loves traveling, especially in Europe.
K. M. Million
K. M. Million is a biologist who researches parasites, mate choice, and immune system gene diversity in Darters (colorful little North American native fishes). She and her husband live in the Midwest with a mischievous black cat named Murdoch and an equally mischievous ball python named Clementine.
Male Headship Wasn’t a Big Deal—Until I was Sexually Harassed by My Pastor
Mikaela Bell is an American, from Arizona, currently living in Grenoble, France, where she teaches English as a foreign language. She became an egalitarian in college, after she could no longer ignore the disturbingly unequal nature of what she had been taught constituted a “Christian marriage.” Three years ago, she married an egalitarian man, and they very much enjoy being able to use their individual strengths instead of trying to fit their marriage into the predetermined box of “complementarian” gender roles.
Dancing around Gender Roles in Marriage
Eleanor Hall is an MA Theology graduate of the University of Exeter in the UK. Her area of interest is how the UK church can respond to sexual violence and abuse and engage with theologies of gender equality. She is also working to develop theological training resources for local churches.
Hot Wives, Evil Sirens, and Trapped Men: How the Church’s Messaging on Porn Fails Women
Jennifer Reil is a wife, mom, friend, daughter, cat lover, and most importantly, a disciple of Jesus. As a student, she’s pursued training in biblical studies by earning an MDiv, and she is nearing completion of a ThM in New Testament Studies, both at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
How the Bible’s View of Power Devastates Theological Patriarchy
Becca De Souza
Becca lives as a guest on unceded Dharawal Country (Wollongong, Australia). She works as a volunteer doula/birth educator and loves her local church and public school. Becca is originally from Turtle Island, Pennsylvania, and is a Shawnee descendant.
My Body Kept Score: What Purity Culture Didn’t Know about Trauma
Anne Marie Scherer
Anne Marie Scherer is a student at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI, currently finishing an MA in Bible and Theology. Her plan is to pursue a combined MDiv/MSW degree next.
Why We Need to Model Egalitarianism for the Next Generation
Wren Bouwman is a graduate student in applied linguistics at Iowa State University. She currently researches the Gothic language and translation techniques used in the Gothic Bible. She grew up in the church but became ardently egalitarian in the last year thanks to the hard work of other “ex-vangelicals” before her.
Juliann Bullock lives and works in Papua New Guinea with her husband and their three daughters and twin sons. She enjoys writing, feeding people, and being loved by Jesus.
Haley Horton is a physics researcher for a federal contractor serving NASA and the Department of Defense. In her spare time, she runs a small business and Instagram blog @TheWhimzyShop where she advocates for biblical equality, women in STEM, and faith and science in harmony.
The Unavoidable Link Between Patriarchal Theology and Spiritual Abuse
Congratulations to our five honorable mentions (in no particular order):
Lynne Babbitt, MA, is a psychotherapist, author, and speaker in Rhode Island. With undergrad concentrations in psychology and Bible, her master’s degree is in clinical counseling. She delights in spending time with her friends, six grown kids, and amazing granddaughter, who already understands that women can be logical leaders.
Dr. Bill Rudd served for a half-century in four churches and as an adjunct seminary professor. In retirement he is Pastor Emeritus at Calvary Church (Muskegon, MI), a consultant, Workplace Chaplain, and interim pastor. He and Gloria have been married for 50+ years and have four children and ten grandchildren.
Context and Words Matter: Reexamining 1 Corinthians 14
Jennifer Friesen lives in Surrey, BC, with her husband and four children, ages 11–16. She has been serving in her dream job as an Associate Pastor at White Rock Baptist Church since 2017. She enjoys good books, chai tea, conversations with friends, and every kind of music.
To the Woman Beginning Her Ministry Journey
Whitney Evans Harrison
Whitney Evans Harrison earned her degree in writing and literature from Wheaton College. She now works in publishing and lives in Carol Stream, IL, with her husband, son, and Lila, their dachshund-beagle mix.
In Vain Pursuit: How Courtship Culture Trained Us to Disregard Consent
LeAnn Van Cleef-Trimmer
LeAnn Van Cleef-Trimmer was ordained as a Salvation Army officer in 1991. She received her MDiv from Northwest Nazarene University in 2016. She has served in ministry with her husband, Darren, in various appointments for 29 years. LeAnn is mother to three fabulous sons and Nana to two beautiful granddaughters.
Leading Together: Lessons From Sharing Leadership in Ministry and Marriage
Find the winning articles from CBE’s 2019 contest here.
Photo by Hugo Ruiz on Unsplash.