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Recently, I’ve been trying to picture Jesus. Really picture him. Not just slide into a lazy picture of the Jesus in countless religious storefronts on Mission Street. Moving beyond a plump, fed on mac-and-cheese Jesus, I ask him, “Do you know what it’s like to be me?  Do you know what it’s like to be Japanese American? And if you do, do you have any changes you’d like to make regarding your commands?” I ask because I find some of Jesus’ words hard and culturally insensitive. Did the command to leave family and fields for the sake of the gospel refer to Asian families, too? Does the suggestion to serve others and take the lowest spot apply when it seems that we often start with the lowest seat—or no seat—at the table? Read more
In January 1941, the Archbishop of York hosted a conference on “The Life of the Church and the Order of Society,” and over 220 people attended. About three-fourths were men—mostly bishops and other clergy. Women who were identified with organizations were “head deaconesses” or in charge of women’s schools or committees in churches and government agencies. Nine men spoke—more clergy, plus some academics and writer T.S. Eliot. And then there was the tenth speaker: “Miss Dorothy Sayers.”  Read more
Anne Boleyn was twenty-six years old when she became Queen of England. She was twenty-nine when she was executed for treason against the King…. Anne was educated in France from the age of six. Her seven years in the royal courts of Burgundy, Flanders, Amboise (and Cloux, where Leonardo da Vinci served the French king), and Paris gave her a delight in the French language; an extremely cosmopolitan exposure to Renaissance classicism and also fashion — for it is proven beyond a doubt that she forever after loved fine clothes and jewelry; and a strong, living link to a heritage she had in common with most of her sisters in the English Reformation. This heritage was the French connection, a Reforming tendency which existed at the highest level of the French nobility….  Read more
Christian women through the centuries have been inspired by the lives of other believing women. In the small villages of medieval Europe and Britain, they might have held close to their hearts the witness of mothers, grandmothers, or holy women in their own communities. They may have heard tales of women saints whose lives inspired them with their virtues and sacrifice.  Read more
Like many women, I was surprised when I first heard Junia’s story. I was speaking to a book club about women in the Bible when an audience member raised her hand and suggested that “Junia” was a little-known apostle who ought to be included. Junia? I had never heard of her before. But the woman in the audience insisted that Paul praised Junia in the book of Romans and that years later translators changed it to a man’s name because they didn’t believe a woman could be an apostle. I was stunned. I had spent a lifetime of Sundays in church, paying attention most of the time, yet I had never heard a word about someone named Junia Read more
Could Mary have refused, when it was offered her, left her fingers open around the gift, releasing the weight of it from the palm of her hand? Read more
As with Mary, it was the sound of angel wings that broke the silence. My ears rung with gold, I felt fire sprouting up from the dun earth.   Read more
One of the most hotly contested passages in the New Testament these days is 1 Timothy 2:8-15. The cultural reason for this is clear: The ordination of women in the Church is a major issue of debate among traditional and evangelical denominations. Biblically-minded Christians are rightly concerned about the meaning of this passage for ministry today. And, in response to that concern, a large number of scholars have written articles, commentaries and now even entire books on these few verses.   Read more
Rejection. Manipulation. Oppression. It happens. And Sometimes it happens in the Church. How do we respond when other Christians hurt us? Read more
The pastor asked me, “Mama, why do we have women’s groups?” I said, “We have women’s groups to build up the church. Could you as a pastor deal with all those problems alone?” — Congolese woman Read more

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