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I was at seminary – being equipped to lead and serve. I studied, I searched, was stretched and learned. Yet I also cried. I cried for myself; I cried for other women. We endeavored to follow God’s will in our lives, but found instead rebuffs, questionings, and disdain. One night in the midst of this time, I wrote the following piece. It shares my personal experiences yet is actually a composite of several women’s struggles. Read more
According to Henry Chadwick in his volume entitled “The Early Church," Augustine by the range and profundity of his mind came to tower not only over all his immediate contemporaries but over the subsequent development of Western Christendom."1 His prodigious influence on the history of the Christian church can be discerned in both Catholicism and Protestantism, and it was "from Augustine more than any other theologian that medieval thought took its theological framework of ideas."2 As a result, his view of women had a profound effect on the developing Christian church. However, any critical discussion of Augustine's attitude toward women as derived from his discursive texts must take into account the nature of his philosophical and social milieu, and its predominant view of women. Read more
So when Mariana arrived in Costa Rica in 1984, she was in for a shock. She saw that people with physical limitations generally were given no responsibility for, or control over, their own lives. In some homes, people with physical limitations were kept “hidden away in a back room.” She immediately set out to help persons with physical limitations run their own lives, excel and even serve others. In the process, she said, “God has opened doors.” Read more
In the struggle to serve God, women have used their musical talent and influence in various ways. From Bible times to the present day, music has played an important part in worship of our great God. Students continue to explore, search out, and discover the part women played in this area through the years. Read more
The one hundred and ninety-seventh letter of Gregory of Nazianzus, addressed to Gregory of Nyssa, contains a message of consolation over the death of Theosebeia, who has apparently been his colleague in the Gospel ministry. Theosebian, ten ontos hieran kai hiereos suzugon kai homotimon kai ton megalon musterion axian. (Literally, “Theosebeia, actually the priestess and colleague of a priest and equally honored and equally worthy of the Great Sacraments.”) Read more
I stood behind some trees the school bus braked to a stop on our country road. The driver paused and glanced down my driveway, then closed the doors and started the bus down the hill. I watched until the bus was out of sight, then stepped from the protective trees, my sense alive with excitement. I wasn’t going to school this year! I was 14 years old and about to begin a big adventure. Dad had already taken me to Indiana University to register for eighth grade correspondence courses in English, algebra, and history. Mom was packing the last of what clothes and personal items she thought we’d need for the trip. My father was an evangelist and my mother, sister and I were going to join him in his full-time ministry. It wasn’t long before we were on the road. For me that road stretched over four years of time; I lost track of the number of miles and faces. Read more
Traveling home from the summer ’89 CBE conference unearthed a flood of sad memories that surprised me in the light of the supreme joy I had experienced at the conference itself. Although the still, small voice whispering “This too shall pass” brought comfort, the memories, once uncovered, reflected a pain and anguish familiar to those acquainted with such suffering. Read more
In 1851 a 40 year-old mother of seven submitted a few chapters of her first novel to a small-circulation, abolitionist newspaper, hoping her work might find a sympathetic audience. Eleven years later President Abraham Lincoln greeted her, not entirely in jest: “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War.”  The book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and its impact upon the American conscience was unprecedented and phenomenal. Read more
Cautious though one must be in thinking that one can entirely understand someone in terms of their circumstances, C. S. Lewis (CSL) virtually invites us to pay attention to his by the publication of his Surprised by Joy (1955). This text, which we can now read as a classic of “textual male intimacy” in religion,1 is one of those resources particularly important when we try to grasp what CSL meant and could not mean by “masculinity,” as will become clear in the last part of this article. In addition, we need to attend to a whole range of his publications when we attempt to assess his understanding of “femininity” and its relation to “masculinity.” One can hardly be understood without the other: “Gender” is not simply a matter of problematizing what it may be to be female/feminine. In addition, quite apart from what CSL reveals about himself in his publications, it is helpful to juxtapose with his self-presentation perspectives on his context in a way not possible in his own times, alert though he himself was to political, social, and economic change. Read more
The silent loom. Silent? How can we even think about the cessation of activity at a conference centered on promotion of activity – weaving a tapestry of peace? Why, we’ve all got so much to do for God! In our personal lives, we’re striving to fulfill God’s plan while working through past hurts. In our homes we’re raising little Christian soldiers and modeling the Christ-lifestyle. In our careers we want to impact the world for Christ. In our neighborhoods we want to be salt and light. How can we suggest shutting down the loom at a time like this? And moreover, what about the big issues of world evangelization, of working for the equality and dignity of women and men of all races, ages and classes; what about encouraging all women and men to fully use their God-given gifts in ministry? How then can we even consider a silent loom? Read more

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