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Text from the cover of An Inclusive-Language Lectionary.

Merits and Demerits of An Inclusive Language Lectionary

"We did it out of love for our task, and love for the Gospel. And I must say that as an ex-fundamentalist it was a great thing for me."

And Zion Shall Be Called a Mother

We, of course, are not the first of God’s people to have experienced and recognized the pull toward exclusion. From the beginning, with our first parents, our self-imposed alienation from God has resulted in our seeing human beings as the other.
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Coming to Evangelical Feminism: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Jann Aldredge-Clanton In Conversation

A 2013 conversation between Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Jann Aldredge-Clanton discussing how they came to identify as biblical feminists. A 50th Anniversary Celebration post.
A graphic with a photo of Alena Ruggerio, Letha Dawson Scanzoni, and Linda Bieze and text that reads "Letha Dawson Scanzoni: The Person Behind the Theologian by Linda Bieze and Alena Ruggerio" and "The two remaining members of the Trigenerational Transnational Telephone Trio remember their friendship with Letha Dawson Scanzoni."

Letha Dawson Scanzoni: The Person Behind the Theologian

The two remaining members of the Trigenerational Transnational Telephone Trio, Linda Bieze and Alena Ruggerio, remember their decades-long weekly Bible study and friendship with Letha Dawson Scanzoni.
Letha Dawson Scanzoni holding up a copy of The Wittenburg Door, a satirical Christian magazine, centerfold she posed for.

50 Years of Biblical Feminism: As Told by Letha Dawson Scanzoni

This is a lightly edited transcript of Letha Dawson Scanzoni’s Saturday, June 28, 2014, afternoon plenary presentation during the 2014 CFT Gathering, “Let Justice Roll on Like a River,” held in St. Louis, Missouri. A 50th Anniversary Celebration post.
A graphic that reads, "Letha Dawson Scanzoni: A Christian Feminist Voice" and Kendra Weddle remembers her friend and collegue. Includes a headshot of Letha.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni: A Christian Feminist Voice

Letha Dawson Scanzoni died January 9, 2024, at White Oak Manor in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her legacy of building bridges and changing lives will continue to unfold for years to come.
A picture of Letha Dawson Scanzoni accepting the 2011 Peggy Campola Carrier Pigeon Award

Letha Dawson Scanzoni Reflects on Receiving the 2011 Carrier Pigeon Award

Letha Dawson Scanzoni reflects on her trip to accept the 2011 Peggy Campolo Carrier Pigeon Award from the Open Door Community Church in 2011. A 50th Anniversary Celebration post.
A photo of Jeanne Hanson at the 2014 gathering. The words say "The Perfect Size for Life: Remembering Jeanne Hanson, 1928-2023.

The Perfect Size for Life: Remembering Jeanne Hanson

In my mind, Jeanne was an Olympic diver who pulled off a technically excellent dive and hardly made any splash at the end. The dive was so smooth and so perfect, the splash so light, you might not have even noticed it happening.
Jesus and Feminism Photo by John-Mark Smith

Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminism

"It’s argued by theologians that equal participation by women in church masses and services resulted from Jesus’s revolutionary treatment of them and worked its way outward into secular Christian societies, eventually resulting in the gaining of female secular rights and freedoms."
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, My Coauthor, My Friend: A Special Remembrance

"I remember feeling so thrilled to have such an intellectual friend whose memory could always pull up just the right quote at the right time. And once again I felt the same awe and admiration I had felt when I first began reading her books years before. "
flying white dove isolated on black background

Gender-Bending Rhetorical Strategies in the Odes of Solomon

"Unlike the Western Church, which developed a propositional theology using the language of philosophy, Eastern followers of Jesus expressed their theology in the language of poetry – a fundamentally different, holistic approach."
Detail of Shekinah, connection to Mitsvah

Adam After Eve: A Form of Mitsvah When Two Become One

"As the rabbis taught, woman was created from man's side to underscore that she was not meant to walk ahead of him in mastery nor to walk behind him in a subservient manner. She was meant to walk at his side as his equal."
Pink clouds, felt hearts, and a dictionary, used to illustrate "The Gracespeak Lexicon"

The Gracespeak Lexicon

"So if you will please permit me a silly metaphor with a serious point: If sexism is rotten eggs, and racism is curdled milk, and homophobia is expired cheese, a Black lesbian woman will not experience oppression as if eggs, milk, and cheese were all slopped together in her bowl as batter; instead, she will experience casserole. Not delicious casserole, this is poison."
Hidden Figures Movie Poster

An Analysis of Systemic Oppression in Film

"These women deserve to be at the very top of their organization due to their intelligence, fortitude, brilliance, and internal power. But instead, they live in a world that forces them to fight for their positions in a place stained with institutional racism."
Woman doing Yoga Mudras (making peace with the body) in a Park

Making Peace with the Body

"Let’s celebrate the body, embrace it for all its humanity, and allow the body to transform our pain and carry us home to the larger wonder that connects us all."
The Dance of Miriam, located at the Moscow History Museum

Did Miriam the Prophet Write Down Most of Genesis and the First Part of...

"Historians and archaeologists point to evidence of ancient women’s leadership roles, particularly in composing and performing songs of triumph, and suggest [the chorus in Exodus 15:21] may have been ascribed to Miriam before it was transferred to Moses."
Angry Sky, Rainbow, and a Crooked Church

UnUnited: LGBTQ Inclusion in the United Methodist Church

"The United Methodist Church’s legislative body, the General Conference, voted in 1972 to prohibit qualified LGBTQ individuals from being ordained pastors and prohibit United Methodist pastors from performing same-sex wedding ceremonies. Since 1972, these prohibitions have been subject to a contentious debate and efforts have been made to repeal them."

Kol Isha from a Whisper to a Song: The Voice of a Jewish Woman

Our tradition encourages, even requires, us to examine things from different angles, to question, and to make sense of ideas in the context of our own time and place.
Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans — Reaching Across Generations

Rachel Held Evans "had doubts and questions that many in that religious subculture appeared not to think about or wouldn’t admit because of where such thinking might lead and how others would regard them."
Eden -- Drawing by Bex Canner

Genesis 2-3: Betrayal and Blame in Paradise

Careful reconsideration of the [Yahwist creation narrative of Gen 2:4b–3:24] in context can ... bring healing to those harmed by over two thousand years of misappropriated patriarchal interpretation.
Sandstone Church Image Compliation

No Longer Trapped: Insights on Spiritual Abuse Recovery

Survivors of spiritual abuse can feel justifiably averse to anything having to do with God or spirituality after emerging from the war zone of spiritual abuse. However, cutting off the aspects of oneself that are yearning for healthy, edifying connection to something other than the self—the essential definition of spiritual expression—can be equaling damaging.

When #MeToo and #TimesUp Came to Church

By January, 2018, #TimesUp, a related movement for empowerment was gaining ground, led in part by celebrities in the entertainment industries who wanted to call attention to lesser known grassroots activists who were doing amazing work for social justice
Detail of photo by Zoe White

The Gift of the Graveyard

The key is receptivity, the willingness to accept the invitation into stillness—the stillness that is at the center of all movement—and to become immersed in it. Stillness is not death; on the contrary, it is a quality of presence, pure and alive. In fact, it's perhaps only in the heart of stillness that life truly lets itself be known and delighted in.

My Introduction to 21st Century Muslim Women

One of the most surprising things I was told by the women I interviewed was that not only are they are aware of the general public’s belief that they are somehow repressed for dressing the way they do – but also indicated they dress the way they do based on their own choosing.
Photo of a Girl by Coe Burchfield

Being Womanish Is Not Bad

Womanish girls rebel against the patriarchal standard imposed on them to be silent and invisible. By being themselves, they challenge patriarchal child-rearing structures that stifle young black girls.
Abstract depiction of cells

Immortal Moral Reminders of Henrietta Lacks

One might ask how differently Lack’s story would have gone if the social injustices that disregarded her as a person with agency had long ago been undone. The science and healthcare industries must help address unjust socioeconomic structures that deny the basic humanity and rights of disempowered groups of people before any lasting changes in care can be expected.

Silenced/Unsilenced: My Christian Feminist Journey

While I broadly perceive my calling as helping others, particularly marginalized others, to find and use their authentic voice—to become unsilenced—if my actions, in whatever manner God sees fit, can contribute in any way toward the building of God’s kingdom here on earth, then I am all in.
Mary and Martha, Painting by He Qi, copyright 2014

Ora et Labora (Prayer and Work): A Sermon of Mary and Martha

Women are forced to partake in ferocious competition for limited resources instead of being immersed in a faithful community where there is not only enough for all but in which all are valued.
"Crucifixion" by Eric Drooker

A Provocative Representation of The Divine Feminine: Eric Drooker’s “Crucifixion”

I view this piece and know I can gather the hurting world in my womb. I can allow my feminine-specific suffering under patriarchy to be the conduit for my passionate pursuit of justice and my spark of love I extend toward others. For truly, I am the arms stretched out inside the fallopian tubes. The darkest night of my soul under patriarchy can become the very hope for others to find light.

Revisiting Re-Imagining

"We worshiped as feminists, sharing rituals grounded in women’s experiences and using feminine language for God. These rituals included a milk and honey ritual that celebrated the goodness of women’s bodies and a song that affirmed the wisdom of women as created in the image of God..."
"Esther Talking to Mordecai" By Aert de Gelder - Google Art Project, Public Domain, from Wikipedia

Was Esther a Post-Colonial Feminist?

Esther was in the same situation that many women in the postcolonial world are in; and in the end, like her, they do what they need to do in order to survive.

How I Learned to Call God Mother: A One-Person Experiment

I can see now that, like my spiritual director said long ago, my image of God was all wrong. My gut feeling was that my own best interest was second to God’s. The image of God as Father left me with too few harbors to go for emotional safety. He would send me out to sea, endlessly, on some errand of his own design, as he did Jonah.

Reclaiming Your Story: Mary Magdalene and Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Mary Magdalene is a person in her own right. Her real story is remarkable, and can be uncovered through the accurate interpretation of scripture. Mary Magdalene is featured in the New Testament more than any other women, with the exception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; she’s mentioned in 14 different verses.
Rev. Erica Lea

At First Blush

God is with us. Sophia is with us. Woman Wisdom is with us. We are with each other. We can continue to move forward together on this journey of shalom as we lean on God and lean on one another.

Developing A Divine Feminine Version (DFV) of the New Testament

"Of course we were confronted with innumerable problems and questions as we worked through the text. We understood that our task had to be about more than simply swapping out a few words and changing some pronouns. "

Christian Feminism for the 21st Century

I’m grateful that in today’s world, we can “have it all”; we can have careers and families—but this also worries me. Are we as feminists not simply buying into another of our culture’s lies, the promise of ever-more, of consumption and waste, of degradation and disposal?"

Bathroom Legislation: Unconstitutionality Is Only Part of the Story

In this article, I explain why HB2 is clearly unconstitutional. But I will also stress that constitutionality is always only one small part of understanding why legislators do what they do. A hostile feeling (or animus) toward transgender people becomes an important part of the legal discussion.

My Life Was Transformed by a Children’s Book— Heart Talks with Mother God

Just two months ago I found that the only thing which comforted me on a day I felt heartbreakingly useless and worthless was sitting in Mother God’s lap and letting Her hold, pat, and comfort me until I felt completely soothed.

A Testimony: God’s Kindness to Me

God has been really merciful and kind to me. She has supplied real-life experiences just when I needed them most, in order to help me feel something I otherwise could not have grasped. Lately I have been sensing that before I die—after all, 84 is a pretty ripe age—I should acknowledge God’s kindness to me, and do it in writing. So here goes!

Islamic Feminism Clarifies the Tasks of Christian Feminists

Barlas points out the irony that out of a collection of 70,000 Islamic sayings, only about six can reliably be called misogynistic. But it is always “these six that men trot out when they want to argue against sexual equality” (p. 46). The parallel to using the Bible against homosexuals is obvious, but so is the parallel to male supremacist theories in the Jewish and Christian traditions. We Christian feminists need to lift up such ironies, repeatedly and without apology.

After the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage: A Long Road Ahead

First, I’m so happy about the result [the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage]. But second, I need to point out that the Court’s decision did little to help guide us in balancing the rights of the gay community with the interests of conservative religious people. This issue of balance is at the root of a lot of conflict in the areas of employment and consumer protection.

A New View of Mary and Martha

Hanson raises important questions about the traditional reading. She points out that we read into it things that aren’t actually there. For example, we assume that Jesus and twelve other tired, hungry men showed up on Mary and Martha’s doorstep unannounced. Any decent host would be alarmed. But the passage doesn’t state that any other disciples were present.

Coming Back from Coming Out

"Coming out ruined my life. At least, that’s the way it seemed. To claim my identity as a lesbian meant sacrificing everything on the altar of my own selfishness, of my need to be “true to myself.” To come out as a 43- year- old woman meant walking away from a tolerable twenty- year marriage, leaving behind a career in church ministry, and learning to negotiate custody arrangements and a new solo life. To come out, for me, meant walking away from God."
White Fractal

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope Thinking

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

"During those years, I purchased every book Elisabeth Elliot wrote, and each time I looked forward to the next one. Like many women of my generation, I considered her a role model, an example of what a strong, intelligent, confident, courageous Christian woman could be. "

Scarcity vs. Abundance: Moving Beyond Dualism to “Enough”

"Author and speaker Brené Brown emphasizes that scarcity and abundance are actually two sides of the same coin. They are not opposites. She says that the opposite of scarcity is, in fact, 'enough.' Scarcity and abundance work together as a positive feedback loop..."

The Civil Rights Challenge of the Coming Decade: RFRAs, Wedding Cake, and Faith

... those of us concerned about both religious liberty and equity for LGBT citizens are caught in a bind. I believe in equity for LGBT people, but at the same time I believe faith-based institutions should be allowed room to shape themselves according to their deepest beliefs. Is it possible to have both?

What Can Christians Learn from the “Mystery Dress” Phenomenon?

"This is the most obvious lesson; yet it may be the hardest to accept. If we hear someway say, 'I just can’t see this the way you do,' it probably doesn’t occur to us that what they’re saying might be literally true! "

The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Part 1 of a Three-Part Series

When the Supreme Court agreed to take up this matter of same-sex marriage, it articulated the questions it was going to answer: First, "Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?" and second, "Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?"

Evolution and Creationism: A False Dichotomy

If Christians intend Christ’s church to be a place of welcome for people of all walks of life to come for instruction, healing, and guidance, they must take care to treat others and their beliefs with respect – especially beliefs contrary to their own. Such extraordinary, boundless love is no less than Christ’s calling for his followers in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Rather than opposing sides in an eternal battle, belief in God’s creation of the universe is compatible with belief in evolution. As Pope Francis declared late last year, “Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of divine creation.”

Introducing the Divine Feminine Version (DFV) of the New Testament

The editorial team of The Divine Feminine Version did not simply sort through the New Testament and swap out pronouns, however. We wrestled constantly over the best strategies to deal with patriarchalism, anti-semitism, and a variety of other problems that we encountered along the way.

How to Help a Victim of Domestic Violence

If someone is being abused, they feel responsible for the abuse. Why this logical inconsistency? Because if everything is the victim's own fault, they have the power to change it. I would advise you not to take that sense of power away, but, instead, to model what it is like to not accept responsibility for what the abuser is doing.
Mary E. Hunt

Feminist Faith-Based Social Justice

Backlash is a subtle thing. It can result in even the bravest of us stepping back from what we know to be right because the cost is so high—the loss of a job, perhaps, because of principles, or some dreaded implication for our children, who can become pawns and/or casualties in social justice skirmishes.

Hobby Lobby, Pluralism and Frustration

Our country has a two hundred year history of protecting religious belief. And, for over one hundred years , courts have recognized that religious belief impacts both what an individual does and what institutions do. Since the Civil Rights laws of the 1960s, legislation has granted religious institutions exemptions from employment laws, recognizing that even though non-discrimination is important, protection of religious identity is important also.

Forgiving the Apology that Never Comes

Forgiveness isn’t easy to write about or to practice in our lives. When the church community I loved broke apart (not once but twice) over disputes regarding two different ministers, the issue of forgiveness was raised by those who opted to leave. I wasn’t able to tackle the topic then. Even now, two years later, I find forgiveness an unsettling area of discussion. I can’t point to one simple solution or easy fix, especially when no one admits fault or wrongdoing yet many people feel deeply hurt.

Is There Healing for the Church’s “Mother Wound”?

The patriarchal, task-based church cannot affirm anything outside its box, because – like all good patriarchs – it must banish anything it cannot fix. Unless the patriarchal church squarely faces its Mother Wound and allows the nurturance, tenderness, and compassionate caring that has all too long been associated with the feminine (and thus rejected) to come in, it will not only fail to heal but will grow increasingly irrelevant as it fades away.

Removing My Inner Blockages to Love: How A Course in Miracles Transformed My...

The word miracles in A Course in Miracles refers simply to a change in perception, not to miraculously healing the sick or raising the dead. But in fact my changes in perception did heal my sickness of self-hatred and separation. And they did raise me from the deadness of valuing my own “rightness” at the expense of other peoples’ “wrongness.” Are you up for miracles? Do you have any perception you would be willing to see transformed?

Climate Change and Neighbor Love

"What is neighbor love in an era of climate change? That ancient question, 'Who is my neighbor?' remains pertinent. I suggest that two shifts may help focus our ecological lenses for neighbor love— how we understand neighbor love, and who we understand our neighbors to be."

Christian Ecofeminist Theology Today or Gaia, Sallie McFague, and You Walk into a Bar....

Patriarchy and an industrial military complex, whether implicitly or explicitly, promote masculine conquering of the feminine or the perceived weaker "other," as is common in complementarian and/or hierarchical understandings of the world and Christianity.

Sister Wives, Prostitution, and a Biblical Role for Government

One thing we have to think about is whether the law— in a country that includes people of all sorts of different backgrounds— ought to regulate intimate behavior. We might agree that certain intimate behaviors violate biblical norms, but does that mean these behaviors should be illegal? Christians differ in their perspective.

The Adventures of a Small Town Female Pastor (or Why I Left the Parish...

“They were a very loving and caring group of folks who had a great deal of resistance to anything that would bring about the future they spoke of as 'their dream.' They wanted new people to attend— but only as long as nothing had to change.“

Women and Transitions: A New Year’s Reflection

"Change often involves chaos, the abyss of not knowing, an emptiness, an awareness of loss —and can include intense emotional drama, grief, and fear. But change can also (thankfully) involve release, a new way of experiencing ourselves and the world, and can open us to a new sense of hope and meaning. "

My First Encounter with Religious Doubt: The Day I Stopped Believing in Santa Claus

"I was trying so hard not to believe, yet I couldn’t let myself believe in my unbelief! Here I was, thinking Santa might not exist, but at the same time I was afraid he was angry with me for doubting his existence. I agonized over what to make of it all."

Prayers, Santa, and a Nativity: Government Support of Worldviews

". . . for Christian feminists this concept of pluralism is an important one. We have to decide if we believe that government should make room for a variety of perspectives or if government should be a tool by which one perspective dominates. "

Contraception, Religious Freedom, and the Supreme Court

"The Hobby Lobby case is fascinating, but it is not the most important issue of our day. Access to contraception is a key tool in promoting the health of women and for reducing abortions. But this case is not likely to impact access to contraception per se. Similarly, religious freedom is key in our constitutional framework, but this case is not likely to impact real religious freedom in our country either."
Letha Dawson Scanzoni

Announcement Regarding Letha Dawson Scanzoni’s Retirement

Although I have been an active member of EEWC since its founding, my years as editor of both our former print publication and the website have allowed me to serve even more closely with so many talented friends—writers, reviewers, web developers, council members, and office managers— who have worked with me in a spirit of collegiality, spreading the Christian feminist message through both print and the Internet.


"But something happens as she nears adolescence and her 'self-ownership is negated,' writes Hancock. “Suddenly, well before puberty, along comes the culture with the pruning shears, ruthlessly trimming back her spirit” (p. 18). Then, according to Hancock, “instead of crystallizing an identity during adolescence, women as adults reach back to girlhood to retrieve the original sense of self” (p.232).

The Gospel of Mary: An Inclusive Gospel

The spiritual path to authentic humanity is dramatically displayed in the central drama of Mary’s Gospel, a narrative often described as the ascent of the soul (Mary 15:1-17:7). The narrative relates Mary’s vision of a soul encountering (and overcoming) seven malevolent powers that seek to keep it bound and drag it down.

A Christian University, a Transgender Professor, and Employment Justice: Conflict in the Law

"But on a deeper level my hope is that Christian universities like Azusa Pacific and my own school will start a better conversation about what it means to know and to love the LGBTQ community. What a wonderful opportunity we have to say, 'We do not understand transgender; there are so many things about homosexuality we do not understand. But, we want to listen and to learn.'”

Disappearing Bees, Disappearing Believers

"In the U.S., and in many other parts of the developed world, institutional churches have been suffering from a religious malaise that is clearly analogous to 'colony collapse disorder.' People are leaving and not coming back. Congregations are shrinking and dying in record numbers. Although the problem has been developing for years, a recognition of its seriousness is only now beginning to reach a wide audience."

Remembering EEWC-CFT Member Marillia Hinds

Marillia Hinds was a woman ahead of her time. I remember her telling about injustices she became aware of through her reading, which prompted her to write to the CEO of the company or organization to share her opinion of the unfairness.

Ordered Order—Conservative Christians’ Love Affair with Hierarchy

"In times of social change, any hint of change in the status quo stirs up fears of disorder. The more rapid the change, the more loudly come the calls for clamping down, holding back, conserving the status quo, stressing hierarchy over equality, law over grace."

When Christians Contemplate Suicide

Although faith can give one a sense of self-worth, hope, and purpose, it cannot eliminate the chemical imbalance in one’s brain that causes bipolar disorder or supply the vitamin D that one needs to prevent seasonal affective disorder.

From Kingdom to Kindom—and Beyond

But in the larger context of the New Testament, both “kin-dom” and “kingdom” make sense. The Apostle Paul plants small house churches, and when he writes to them, he calls them adelphoi—sisters and brothers—united in a kin-group not by blood but in a common loyalty to the Lord Jesus, over against the Lord Caesar. To these tiny outposts, Paul promises the coming victory of God over all other empires, through the return of his representative, Jesus.

There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."

Friendship Bonds and Witness Trees

"...while touring the Susan B. Anthony house in Rochester, NY, the docent called our attention to the large horse chestnut tree in front of the house. Apparently the city had tried to cut it down while Ms. Anthony was living there, to make room for new sidewalks, but she fought to keep it. "

The “She” in My Pocket

Over time She became a part of my everyday awareness. She became part of my language. And gradually, She became something I understood, as I understood myself. In the process God became something like me, something OF me, not something entirely different. I have never believed that men were better than women. As someone who carries the awareness and expression of both genders, I realize there exists no real duality, just many different expressions of the same humanity.

Recipes, Crafts, and Funerals? A Professor Shares a Student’s Surprising Story of Pinterest

"Subversive uses for Pinterest are out there, however, and I learned about a beautiful one in my Women Transforming Language class at Southern Oregon University, where I teach in the Department of Communication. The students had just read a chapter on Native American feminist Paula Gunn Allen’s rhetorical theory. We were discussing Gunn Allen’s concept of “Death Culture,” the phrase she uses to illustrate how white America’s obsession with death is so strong that she believes our own annihilation is inevitable."

The Justice Conference 2013

EEWC-Christian Feminism Today's Marg Herder is attending and reporting on the 2013 Justice Conference, currently being held in Philadelphia, PA.
Cobble Stone Pavement

My Path to Christian Feminism

I've always been impressed with those white Freedom Riders who chose to stand in solidarity with their black brothers and sisters, risking life, limb, and reputation because they believed in the rightness of the cause, not because it necessarily affected them personally.

The Heartbeat Benediction

As a college instructor for the past fifteen years, I’ve never liked that feeling of the students departing loudly as I was still talking. Eventually I hit upon a solution, a counter-ritual to leave-taking behavior I refer to as the “Ruggerio Benediction.” On the first day of class, I explain that the students are not permitted to pack up and go until they have been formally dismissed with the sentence I use to close every class session: “Go forth and use wisely every heartbeat.”

Carolyn Briggs: Pressing on to Higher Ground

As we talked, I mentioned that so many women who have left fundamentalism are extremely bitter because they have been so hurt, and their anger comes across almost as a “fundamentalism” of its own—as though they want to “de-convert” people away from faith. “Exactly,” she responded. “And I have received many emails from people who want me to join them in that bitterness. I’m just not going to. I’m not going to go there. . . ."

Advocacy and the Climate Crisis: Reflections from a Canadian Christian Feminist

I realized that Jesus and His disciples travelled “light,” and that I was not living in a way that was ultimately sustainable on this earth. While I had for a long time been concerned about our consumer culture and the values of compulsive “getting and spending” that it promotes, I had not thought through the moral and ethical dimensions of what it means to build a culture and an economy of sustainability.
Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Jann Aldredge-Clanton Interview

In Changing Church I tried to reflect not only racial and ethnic diversity, but also diversity in sexual orientation and Christian denominations. To pursue their calling some of these ministers have overcome obstacles not only of sexism but also of racism and/or heterosexism.

The UMC Trial of Beth Stroud: A Mother’s Perspective

I refuse to give into despair and instead have hope that attitudes in our churches, regardless of denominational affiliation, will change. In many ways, it is the church that is on trial.
Dr. David Scholer

David Scholer – In Memoriam

Anne Linstatter remembers Dr. David Scholer. "Let it be known that one man on the evangelical side of the fence spent a lifetime working to give women access to Christian ministry."
Kimberly B. George

The Work is Not Done

For all of us who are feminists and claim faith—whether we are 27 or 72— there still remains the most profound work of all: the work of hope. Together, we are called to seize hope and imagine the beauty for which we long.

Mary Had Twins? Who Knew?

by Kathleen Fogarty Every Christmas for the last thirteen years, I’ve produced a music program at the Quaker school where I teach. We sing Nativity...

Friends for All Seasons

by Linda Bieze and Alena Amato Ruggerio (Ed. note: This article is a departure from the usual organization of our Christian Feminism Today feature articles....

An Introduction to Nancy L. Wilson

by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. At  EEWC’s 2008 conference in Indianapolis, as Nancy Wilson approaches the lectern, I hope you will be prepared for greatness.  Not...
2004 EEWC Conference Logo

Blessed the Waters That Rise and Fall to Rise Again

If this organization is to survive and persevere; if we as individuals are going to sustain our work of love and justice, we need to know that behind the ebb and flow of waves and water there is a Power, an Energy, a web of Wisdom we call God, creating, empowering, sustaining. "Blessed the waters that rise and fall to rise again."
Celtic symbol of St. Luke

Salvation For The Least: Reading Luke’s Two-Volume Work

The last major theme of Luke's Gospel concerns Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. Despite Mel Gibson's violent "Passion" movie, there is no substitutionary atonement in Luke. Rather, Jesus is the good, noble, self-giving, innocent martyr who challenges the powers of evil and is killed by them.

Kathryn Christian: Mysticism, Music, Marriage, and Ministry

One day I profoundly needed comforting by God, and I needed to be sung a lullaby like a mother and child. So I started strumming around with lullabies in three-quarter time, and then I was thinking of images of God as my Mother, caring for me.

A Third Wave Feminist Speaks Out

My first conference was one of the only times I have felt positive, inspirational feminist community. Should this privilege be reserved for the few women who discover an EEWC poster and tentatively attend? Should we not be more "out there" with our God-filled organization? Women of EEWC, I ask you to reach out to my generation with your message.
Virgin Mary Statue with Flower Offerings by brandtbolding

The Ordination of the St. Lawrence Nine

Those who are part of the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement "along with women in the Anglican (Episcopal) and Evangelical and Protestant traditions, share the common vision of reforming the church structures from within, of re-imaging and designing a new model of priesthood..."
Patricia Smith Gundry

Christian Feminism Online: A 1997 Interview with Pat Gundry

"Christian feminists haven’t even begun to tap into the full range of possibilities offered by the Internet, which may be the greatest communication tool ever devised," writes Pat Gundry.

Justice, Love, and Compassion on Trial

--Why I Took Part in the Jimmy Creech Protest Demonstration by L. Victoria Peterson Why did more than 100 persons leave their homes and jobs and...
conference room

Rejecting Patriarchy to Transform the Workplace

Linda Bieze writes that one of the ways Christian feminists" can make a difference is in the way we can support each other in questioning and challenging the hierarchical model that prevails in business, academia, the health professions, legal professions, the religious establishment, and in most other areas of life."
Colleen Fulmer

Finding Colleen Fulmer

Known for her social justice/feminist Christian music in the 1980s and early 1990s, Colleen Fulmer seemed to have disappeared from the music scene. EEWC Update decided to search for her.
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

Feminism and Evangelicalism: An Interview with Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

What Christian evangelicals have in common is the conviction that meaningful living requires a direct personal relationship with God, and that the Bible should be taken seriously. But what that means can differ widely, and our social attitudes differ tremendously."

God’s Motherly Care for Us

"I have been blessed with many images of the Divine which have helped me to pray and find comfort. But the one image that I return to, that I cling to when I am in my most desperate moments, is Mother. 'As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you,' God says in Isaiah 66:13."
fresh apples in sunrise light

A Reluctant Feminist: The Books That Led Me

by Peggy Michael-Rush I first came across Helen Bruch Pearson's book, Do What You Have the Power To Do: Studies of Six New Testament Women (Nashville, TN:...

God’s Gift of Motherhood Comes in Different Ways

After long, prayer-filled waits, I have been given the gift of motherhood, and this, in turn, has allowed me to comprehend God’s nature in profound ways. I experience biblical metaphors describing God’s love for her children more powerfully now.
music abstract with notes and flowers

Songs as Yet Unsung

by Mary Louise Bringle My vocation as a Christian feminist hymnwriter began accidentally—and perhaps even a bit irreverently. Never let it be said that God...

A Spiritual Heart Transplant: An Interview with Joan Chittister, OSB

You knew that in this very hierarchical, patriarchal structure you were not a person--that anybody could reach in at anytime, do anything to you--and that was all in the name of holiness.

God’s Daughters Have Always Prophesied

by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Our conference theme for this year brings together two announcements from the beginning of the Book of Acts. The first is...
Nancy A. Hardesty

The Life and Ministry of Nancy A. Hardesty

This past spring, EEWC-Christian Feminism Today was deeply saddened by the passing of one of our organization's founders, Dr. Nancy A. Hardesty, who died on April 8, 2011. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years earlier and was 69 years old at the time of her death. We want to share with you some of the highlights of her life and career.
Conference Room

On Being Evangelical and Ecumenical

Some limit use of the word evangelical and call themselves "biblical feminists" or "Christian feminists," as did the women who published Daughters of Sarah.

My Journey to Feminism

"Ever since my feminist awakening, the proverbial “fire in my belly” has burned for those countless evangelical women who are faithfully practicing the spiritual tradition that has been handed down to them, unknowingly replicating a sexist, exclusivist hierarchy of privilege..."
EWC Logo

Remembering: Writing EEWC’s Herstory

I recall a friend from San Francisco telling me that one should never write a dissertation on a topic that has personal meaning. I told him that those rules just didn't apply to a feminist person such as myself, but I now understand that such passion invested in a long research and writing project does indeed deplete the body and can stir up surprising emotions.

Taking Leaps of Faith

by Jeanne HansonEditors Note: Take a minute and read Jeanne's life story here. She lived a pretty amazing life, well worth reading about.   Why would...
Pedicure Image

Meditation on a Pedicure

So as I go through what I now call my three-quarter life crisis, I must be open to dialogue with my physical body. It tells me: “Exercise, Kathy, or you will slowly lose my ability to carry you around, and pay attention to your sleep apnea or you’ll stop breathing. "

God’s Call

Blessed is the journey, in and through the turmoil. And blessed is the One who seeks the abandoned, who sings the harmony of life, who sows the seeds of justice and reaps the harvest of peace. Send us. Send me. So let it be. Amen and Amen.
Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson

Come to the Table

We live in times that need women and men of spirit to be willing to be changed by the table Christ prepares for us. May you return from this conference, from this event, ready to live into that change — for Jesus’ sake and the sake of all who need the realm of God to be embodied on earth.
Four Keys

Four Keys That Opened My Way to Consciousness

A great part of my joy is the knowing that my open, questioning heart was the key to receiving the answers I sought—that God and I were, and continue to be, co-creators of my life. My journey into consciousness continues every day, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Holy Hellion: The Rebellion of a Faith-filled Feminist

by Erin Lane Beam Unlike my conversion to Christianity, I had no baptism into the tenets of feminism. I imagine if I’d been asked at...

Crossing Things Off the List: A Reflection on Retirement

by Linda Brebner When I retired from a retail job a little over a year ago, and having retired from the ministry several years before...
Young student listening to lecture

Adventures in Teaching “Texts of Truth”

The more widely I read, the more complex my beliefs become. That is not to say that rationality and belief are antithetical; another goal I have adopted for my course is to challenge the dichotomy between the academy’s knowledge of the mind and religion’s belief of the heart.
colorful illustration

My Advice to Newly-Minted Feminists/Womanists/Mujeristas

Androcentric women and men are projecting their addiction to the domination model onto the work of gender-justice makers everywhere. I know we hate to repeat ourselves, but we will have to do a lot of repeating until society begins to act on the premise that all people are created equal.
Two Hands Touching

Contemporaneity: “The quality of belonging to the same period of time.”

EEWC, with its mix of young and old and every age in between, and its sense of contemporaneity -- we're all in this together at the same time and place in history and each of us has something to contribute -- provides countless opportunities for demonstrating what it means to be a feminist and Christian at any age.
Mountain Climbing Woman

Climbing the Mountain of Age

Nowadays when I look in the mirror, I see an aging image that is incongruent with my perception of myself. I know my 75-year-old body is steadily "hiking" toward old age and I can't stop it. And it's carrying the real me right along with it!
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (2002)

Harvard Divinity School’s Conference on “Religion and the Feminist Movement”: Two Perspectives

I was saddened but not surprised to hear Ada Maria Isazi Diaz's remark that the more she identified with Latinas, the more she became invisible. And moved by my old friend Riffat Hassan's distress that only two Islamic feminists were on hand to represent 500 million Muslim women.
Female Statue Illustration

Ancient Wisdom from a Foreign Woman

Unfortunately, much in our political justice and tax systems today seem to be working against the needs of the less fortunate. Using an image from Lemuel's mother, we see too many powerful corporations get drunk on their profits and "pervert the rights of all the afflicted."
College Students

God’s Grrrl — Biblical Feminism and the Secular Third Wave

But where is God in the third wave? Most of the first-person accounts in these young women's volumes ignore religion, citing it as neither a barrier against liberation nor a potential source of it.
Mary Daly

Remembering Mary Daly

My personal story points to the internal conflict many biblical feminists might have felt upon the passing of Mary Daly, the blazingly brilliant woman who moved further and further away from our theological territory with each book she published.
Mary Sidney

Mary Sidney

Her Psalms versions were famous during her own lifetime and are worth rediscovering today. They can work well for private devotional reading and even for reading aloud in public worship.3

Tenure Downturn

by Kendra Weddle The economic downturn precipitated my tenure “downturn”—or  maybe it would be more accurate to reverse the terms and say “turn-down.”  And my...

Grandma, I’ll Go to Hell with You

I looked into the eyes of this most precious granddaughter, and thought about what she knows of my life. The secure home away from home my life partner and I provide for her. The loving, caring relationship she witnesses. She loves my partner, her “Mormor,” and understands about the daily commitment I have to Mormor’s mother who lives 10 minutes from us.
Carolyn Bohler

Carolyn Bohler: One God, Many Metaphors

She writes, “God is like a Father, a Daddy, Abba Mia, My Daddy, ”but only in the same sense that God is like a Nursing Mother or Shepherd or a nonparental image such as Intimate Friend, or Guide or Rock or Light. “

Answering God’s Call to the Soul: Marjory Zoet Bankson

by EEWC Update editor Letha Dawson Scanzoni I see ‘call’ not as a vocational choice but as a special way of understanding what we are...
Lindsey Huddleston

Praise God’s Name with Festive Dance

She is saddened that so many fear and deny their bodies. "People 'stay in their heads' a lot to protect themselves," she said. "Rhythm gets us in touch with the unconscious and takes us out of our heads.
Abuse - Fist Image

Twelve Ways to Increase Awareness of Abuse and Bring About Change

11. Encourage pastors to name mental illness among other illnesses that are mentioned in prayers and sermons. This destigmatizes it and gets out the message that mental illness is just another illness.

Great Women in Church History

Central to all of these women's lives was their love for God, their devotion to Christ, and their compassion for others. Love. Christ commanded that we love God with all our heart. These women did so, often with an intensity and selflessness that affronts us the the post-Freudian, narcissistic world in which we live.
Margot Goldsmith

In Memory: Margo Goldsmith, June 3, 1919 – August 24, 2010

Throughout her life, Margo Goldsmith served as a role model in demonstrating what women can achieve and how they can use their achievements to make the world a better place.
Light through prison bars

Capital Punishment of Women and the Mentally Ill

The function of a governor in granting clemency is to mete out mercy. An insightful article about the Karla Faye Tucker case and other executions in Texas during the governorship of George W. Bush was written by Sister Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun whose story was told in the movie Dead Man Walking.
Mary Ann Kirk

Martha Ann Kirk, Th.D.-Embodying Christ to the World

“Peace is built as men and women learn to have historical perspectives. Uncovering and recovering women’s stories can contribute to a more egalitarian, less domineering world. Stories of ancient women travelers give people today courage to travel. Women’s history is as important for men as for women”
Glass Mosaic

My Fifty Year Journey with Women and Ministry…

Galatians 3:28— the text used in the ordination sermon of Antoinette Brown in 1853, the first woman ordained in the USA in a recognized denomination—continues to be a critical beacon light of and for the gospel.
A public domain image of Clarina Irene Howard Nichols

Clarina Nichols: Godly Woman – Revolutionary Voice

While some of the other women's rights leaders gave up on organized religion, Nichols did not, for she knew that many women would not support women's rights if they thought the Bible said otherwise.
Unbinding The Gospel

Real Life Evangelism

“An old idea that everyone has bought into—I don’t care what part of the church—is the idea that if we believed certain things we’d be safe. In conservative congregations, it means we won’t go to hell. And in liberal ones, it means we’ll be part of a community that’s doing vibrant social action.”

My Pastor

Last Sunday when she served me communion / I said “Blessed be.” / I don’t know where I’m going. / I do know that I’ve again said “Yes” to God.
Woman smoke abstract

Calling Her by Name

When I call Her by name, / especially in community, / I find comfort, support, solace, strength, / I am held in Her loving arms. / In relationship, I pray / and worship.
God the Mother

God the Mother

You cannot be God / Without being mother / To those you have birthed, / Whom you have held in your arms / And fed at your breasts.

Our Marriage Was Taken from Us

A personal reflection on Marriage Equality written by Rev. Marie M. Fortune in 2009, well before the Supreme Court case that legalized all same-sex marriages...

Two Paintings of the Supper at Emmaus

The Emmaus story has always been one of my favorite New Testament stories. As the account unfolds, I think we quickly feel that we could be one of those disciples — sad, perplexed, needing to talk, amazed that anybody could be in the neighborhood and not know what has been going on.

What’s a Feminist like You Doing with a Father like That?

"Though my father would defend God’s sometimes violent behavior in the Old Testament on the grounds that God was free to do what he wanted, Mom thought otherwise."

Dreadlocked Mom

“I’m starting to think that the seeming contraciction of my hair and my profession is actually a perfect illustration of who I am. I am more than you were expecting. Iam complicated. I’m unique. I’m a feminist homemaker, a domestic activist-a dreadlocked mom.”

The Inclusive Bible

Not only is the appearance of one-way submission corrected in a way that is actually more in line with the Greek text, but the insights are made accessible to people in nontraditional relationships. In fact, the Priests for Equality frequently use the word partner where the Oxford version sticks to the more traditional husband and wife...

Remembering Ruth Schmidt

Longtime EEWC member Dr. Ruth Schmidt died May 24, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was 79 years old. Ruth wrote one of the earliest articles on the equality of women and men and always worked for women's empowerment. Her article, "Second-Class Citizenship in the Kingdom of God" was published in Christianity Today in 1971 and was later reprinted in Ginny Hearn's book, Our Struggle to Serve. Ruth's personal story is also told in that book.
Nancy Hardesty and Letha Dawson Scanzoni

Some Thoughts on Living and Dying

by Nancy A. Hardesty When my oncologist in Atlanta, William Jonas, told me that the PET scan showed that my pancreatic cancer had metastasized in...

Subject, Once Again

The answer given to women at this seminary is that “God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands’ leadership,” and doing so involves “learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.” Students in class mention cross-stitching, “freezer pleaser” meatloaf, and using the Internet to track grocery coupons.
Public Speaking

Slaying the Public Speaking Mastodon

So you must always make explicit to your audience where you are in the progression of your thoughts: tell ‘em what you’re going to say, say it, and tell ‘em what you just said. Choose only one to four main points for the body of your speech. If you have more than that, combine categories or pare down.
Ordain Women Now

Of Buttons, Baptists, and Don Quixotes

While working as an associate pastor at a large church, she was told by a colleague that “when she was in the pulpit, he could not focus on what she was saying because she is a woman.” There was also a man in her congregation who covered his eyes whenever she preached.

Church Ladies vs Harriet Miers

It may seem like the safest thing to do—uphold patriarchal structures for the powerful rewards of economic security and male approval. Once a person starts down this path, any doubts may be silenced by others in the group or by one's own need to avoid cognitive dissonance.
Heart painted in watercolor

The Andrea Yates Tragedy: Three Commentaries

by Anne Linstatter On June 20, 2001, many people were reading and talking about the latest sensational news story: a mother in Texas, Andrea...

Celebrating Title IX As God’s Good Gift

by Melanie Springer Mock This October, in Oregon’s chilly pre-dawn, I will line up with nearly 10,000 other runners for the start of the Portland...

The Christian Feminist Spiritual Practice of. . . Genealogy?

When in prayer I focused on the truth that God has created and known every person who ever lived, and every non-human being as well, my mind brushed up against some conceptualization of the magnitude of the Divine.
Empty Pew

An Empty Pew

Careful to avoid parking in the reserved "visitor" space, I found my way to a few United Methodist Churches within fifteen to twenty minutes from my house. Comforted that none of my choices turned out to be mega-church wannabes with huge white screens and coffee-house coffee, I felt somewhat hopeful that my opening to faith community would end favorably.

I Found EEWC and Everything Changed

Then WHAM, once again God opened my mind to the truth of what I was hearing. These women did love and follow Jesus, and the church was oppressing them. The Holy Spirit spoke plainly to my heart that I was guilty of ignorance, arrogance, and sinful judgment.
Susan Campbell

A Profile of Writer Susan Campbell

“I think today’s girls are given a great advantage for understanding the sky’s the limit,” she says. “Now if we could only tailor our appetites in the media to reflect more on the beauty of the girl inside, rather than the surface nonsense that gets in the way….”

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse

This quilt of text and music is not a warm, cozy listening experience... It is very challenging music and painful text, richly expressing the anger, despair, and, ultimately, courageous healing and hope of survivors of child sexual abuse.

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