I’m sure you join me in eagerness to celebrate the contributions of women in March—Women’s History Month. While this is an exciting time to celebrate women in history, I’m sure you also feel that women’s history should be taught right alongside men’s history, every month of the year. I am saddened that it took me twenty-three years to hear of a person such as Katherine Bushnell. How is it that I have heard of Martin Luther King Jr. in my history classes and not Alice Paul—another justice worker? How is it that I had heard about the Cappadocian Fathers well before I heard of Macrina? I have heard so much about Paul’s coworker’s Timothy and Barnabas, and yet barely anything about his coworker Thecla. I know of John Wesley yet I know little about his mother, teacher, and counselor, Susanna. To learn of these men without their woman counterparts is an incomplete view of human history. At this juncture, I give a shout out to some of my history professors at Bethel for including historic women alongside men in their curriculum. I thank you profusely.
What do you think would happen to the gender divide if we were taught history in a holistic manner—that is in a way that includes both women and men? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to devalue females if we more frequently celebrated their brave, unstoppable, and tireless leadership throughout history? Without knowing the history of these remarkable women we would see only men taking action and moving the tides of our world. Without women’s history, it is easy to assume the reason for the omission is that it is not a woman’s job or that they lack the ability to be an agent of change. But, once we discover their remarkable histories, we can see women in a whole new light. I cannot begin to imagine how much good a holistic teaching would be in bringing reconciliation and healing to God’s kingdom. This is not only the case for women; people of all ethnicities and social classes should enjoy equal recognition in history with white males.
CBE has decided to take advantage of the month of March to highlight the contributions of women that are often overlooked the rest of the year. We ask you to join us each weekday in March (starting tomorrow, March 4) as we celebrate a different woman from history. Simply visit the lower right hand corner of our homepage to find our woman of the day. You will also be able to find this information on Facebook and Twitter, as well. If you feel led, you could also make a donation to CBE in honor of the woman of the day.
To conclude Women’s History Month, we are encouraging people to hold prayer walks in their communities. We are taking March 26-28 (Saturday-Monday) to pray for healing and reconciliation where injustice against women is taking place. Maybe you know of a woman’s shelter where you can pray for women as they heal from abuse. Maybe there is a church in your community that doesn’t allow women to be in leadership. You know your community the best, so pray in the way you feel led. Perhaps God is asking you to fast or to lay hands on your church leaders. We are ending the prayer walk on March 28 (3/28) in honor of Galatians 3:28; “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We hope to have people praying around the globe, as we have CBE members on every continent. If you want to lead a group or help organize, please start a discussion on our Facebook page (click on the “Discussions” tab). We would love to hear how your prayer walk goes, as well. Tell us how God moves in your community during and after the walk.
The CBE staff gathers every day to pray over our work and the people in CBE’s community. We have faith that God hears our prayers. We recognize that only by God’s power will biblical equality between men and women of all ethnicities and social classes come to be. We know that prayer is our most powerful tool for change. There is something very significant about actually being present in a place and praying that the Holy Spirit will bring the winds of reconciliation through the whole church. Please join us in our fervent prayers!