Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase women from all around the world. Here at CBE International, we want to encourage you to read and listen to the women of today. These books were written by women in different stages of life, with different experiences and perspectives. We hope reading these books encourages you to continue promoting the fundamental equality of all men and women. Let’s work together to lift up these women’s voices, and the voices of the future.
Power Women: Stories of Motherhood, Faith, and the Academy, edited by Nancy Wang Yuen and Deshonna Collier-Goubil
Power Women offers the perspectives of motherhood and academia from several women with different stories and backgrounds. From pursuing higher education with two children to homeschooling while teaching full time, these women showcase what it can look like when women remain true to their callings—and that motherhood and academia (and other professions) are not incompatible. This read is not only encouraging to women with children, but also to all women, fathers, and men. The stories in Power Women show how faithful God is and how these women, even through grief and frustration, were able to pursue their multi-faceted callings, no matter how long it took. God has honored their faithfulness, and their stories are the evidence.
View Power Women in the CBE bookstore
The Samaritan Woman’s Story: Reconsidering John 4 After #ChurchToo by Caryn A. Reeder
More victims within the church, particularly women, come forward each day to share their experiences of abuse by church leaders and members. In light of this and the past several years of #MeToo and #ChurchToo, biblical scholar Caryn Reeder invites us to take another look at a familiar Bible story: the woman at the well in John 4. Reeder dives deeply into the text to explore the conversation and interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. She then compares how theologians throughout history have not only interpreted and labeled the Samaritan woman as promiscuous but have also used this text to cast suspicion on all women. Reeder leads us through early Christianity, to Protestantism, to how this story connects to us today, especially considering #ChurchToo and how we have arrived at the need for such movements. She encourages us to listen, believe, and learn from women, especially women in the Bible, and to see how God has interacted with women throughout the biblical text. She also shows how in this story the takeaway is not about the Samaritan woman’s sexuality, but about her belief that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he saw, heard, and welcomed her.
View The Samaritan Woman’s Story in the CBE bookstore
Women Rising: Learning to Listen, Reclaiming Our Voice by Meghan Tschanz
In Women Rising, Meghan Tschanz shares with us how her time as a missionary overseas introduced her to feminism and inspired her to become an equal rights activist. She longed to do missionary work from an early age, but like many women, her call to ministry was challenged by patriarchal beliefs of a woman’s secondary role in the church. Nonetheless, her faith was strong, and she was obedient to her call. It was overseas that she met different women from whom she would learn so much and who would encourage the direction of her ministry. While she shares some of the women’s stories, she really focuses on her interactions with them. She emphasizes that she does not believe it is her place to tell their stories. Through this book, as readers and witnesses of her experiences, we must learn to listen and believe women. It is important that we know the challenges women face across the world just to survive and the dangers they are forced to be in. She encourages us to pray, and when God calls, reach out to minister through our hands and feet.
View Women Rising in the CBE bookstore
God Is a Black Woman by Christena Cleveland
Christena Cleveland is well known for her racial reconciliation work, but in God Is a Black Woman, she questions the God that has been presented to her throughout her entire life. Cleveland challenges the centuries-long idea that God’s identity is a white male. Cleveland invites us on her journey to remove her identity from this God who she was (and who so many of us have been) taught about for so long: the unloving white God who ignores our prayers and is distant from our pain. Cleveland began to search for God through what she has coined the “Sacred Black Feminine.” Her pilgrimage centers on viewing and experiencing several different Black Madonnas in France. Being able to weep at their feet and find God in these experiences prompted her journey through womanism. It is here that Cleveland invites us into her learnings and the love and comfort she has found through God, while breaking free from years of pain and lies about who God truly is.
View God Is a Black Woman on Amazon*
Editor’s note: While the author expresses some views that do not align with CBE’s core values, those pieces are not the main focus of the book.
A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church: Year W by Wilda C. Gafney
Biblical scholar and Episcopal priest Wilda Gafney offers a lectionary that specifically focuses on the stories of women in the Bible. Lectionaries are used in many church traditions throughout the year, starting with the beginning of the church calendar (Advent), leading us through the entirety of Jesus’s life and ministry, and concluding with the work of the saints. This lectionary can be used individually or congregationally. In A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, Gafney encourages us to walk through the Scriptures and this lectionary with God as mother, exploring the feminine qualities that God holds and how the stories of women and girls in the Bible matter and require our reflection.
View A Women’s Lectionary in the CBE bookstore
A common theme throughout these books is the way God moves through women. Throughout church history to the present, we are constantly taught the evil nature of women through sexual sin. We are taught that women can be a stumbling block to men, so they must remain covered, quiet, and under the rule of men. God and the Bible never teach this. Women are made in God’s image because God holds the same feminine and motherly characteristics that he instilled in women. Women’s History Month should not be the only time we amplify women’s voices only to silence them again at the end of the month. The Lord has called many women to spread the gospel and to be the hands and feet of Christ. These authors and many more can encourage our ministries regardless of what state of life we are in, so that we can be the women God intended us to be, which does not require us to be hidden.
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