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The Gathering: A Womanist Church
"This quick, engaging read is, in fact, a practical “how to” for this movement and, indeed, for this very moment, as recent events have exposed the deep divisions in U.S. society."
Pride Month Interviews with LGBTQ+ Clergy
"Pride is a time when I actively work to amplify the perspectives of my LGBTQ kin loudest because lack of access, lack of resources, and systemic harm still persist today."
The Intersectional Pulpit
September 11, 2017 So much to like in this post by Marcia Mount Shoop on her Peace-ing Together blog. As a pastor and a sexual assault...
Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World
Clergy or laity, Christian or otherwise, all of us carry a vital responsibility of providing hope for our rapidly changing world. Intercultural Ministry will help every reader discern diversities that had previously seemed invisible. And it will provide incentive and techniques to transcend those challenges. What a brave undertaking!
Rev. Melissa Florer-Bixlers Shares 10 Commandments for Male Clergy
August 17, 2017 "If a woman stands up to...patriarchal tradition, she faces the accusation of intolerance. Women should not be expected to 'get along' with...
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.
Sexual Assault: A Violation of God’s Body
April 26, 2017 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. CFT's Link of the Day blog will feature a variety of posts about this issue during...
Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community
As a theology professor, Gunning Francis approaches this subject through the framework of faith in action. That spoke strongly to me. I also saw, however, that what she wrote could be helpful to those who approach the work from a more secular stance.
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.
2016 #GCNConf — “weconnect” Emmy Kegler Interview
I believe the church at its core can also be a place of healing (and it breaks me when it's a place of trauma). We have confession and forgiveness, peacemaking and reconciliation, prayer and offering going back to the earliest days of Christianity. Self-examination and self-giving isn't something we can do without community...
2016 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Emmy Kegler
She connected deeply to the true good news of Christianity’s two-thousand-year-old story. Over and over, she witnessed both the church’s capacity to wound and to heal, and she grew more convinced that she had to be a part of the transformation and recommunication of God’s love as shown in Jesus.
Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution
"So what is this revolution that’s happening before our eyes? It’s a movement away from top-down, pre-packaged religion toward a spirituality centered in an awareness of God’s presence as encountered in daily life—often in places and people where traditionally we have failed to recognize that holy presence."
There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments,...
As a young woman hovering in the liminality between graduation and ordination, it was as though I had persons present with me in this wild and strange call that is ministry. With each word, I felt more embraced by an amazing community of women as they shared their responses to God’s call. Eventually, I grew to understand them as colleagues.
Together At the Table: Inclusive Communion and Intimate Conversations
The challenge each of us faces is in learning how to maintain our convictions while also respecting and appreciating a sister or brother's differing approach. Maybe the key is to start from a trusting place, believing that we all deeply desire to do what is good and right.
The Feminist Reformation, Episcopal Style
So there we have it: three excellent books celebrating 40 years of an Episcopal feminist reformation. Any one of them, or all together, they will serve to inform and stimulate the minds of Christian feminists everywhere.
The Stories Clergywomen Tell: How Women are Challenging Sexism in the Church
"Because of the challenges facing women clergy, it is encouraging to see two important resources. Written not only for women embracing their pastoral calls but also for churches and church leaders, both authors make the case that Christian communities must do more to address oppression of clergywomen."
The Trans Evangelist: The Life and Times of a Transgender Pentecostal Preacher
I strongly recommend Paula’s book to anyone who can bear to read an unvarnished account of how life has felt to a transsexual Christian living openly for many years before Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender people began to agitate for justice.
Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship
This collection brings timeless melodies, made sacred by years of being sung in worship, and places them firmly in the present with words that make sense and relate to today’s issues. When the words make sense, the message easily rides on the breath right to the singer’s heart.
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.“
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
She wrote this book for people like me, the unchurched, those who are too damaged, scarred, scared or pissed to return to a pew — people who are not traditionally religious, who, as she says, maybe listen to “This American Life,” who have more education than money, who for all our preciousness still want some kind of transcendent moment in our lives.
weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 3
When I write, I am usually writing to the movable middle. Those are the hearts that can possibly change. We will not be able to convince those who are decidedly against homosexuality that they are wrong. But we can build up the group who know it is not wrong by reaching people in the middle. But let me end by saying even our allies don’t fully understand the insidiousness of homophobia in their churches, their communities, their workplaces, and in our government.
weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 2
I think the days of being a minister as a career are numbered, even for straight, white men. The truth is that the church is on shaky ground even for those at the center. But the good news is that walking over shaky ground often leads us to find more sure footing with God.
weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 1
"I continue to find ways to serve the church as I try to be faithful in my love of God and God’s church. I am thankful for the people who are called to ministry inside the church. But most churches are not ready for me to respond to a call as their minister. For that, I am sad.
weconnect – Featured Speaker Reverend Audrey Connor
“When it is all said and done, I realize the irony of ministry is that after you learn what gifts you have, then you have to learn to give them away. I was called into existence by a God who loves much, laughs much and surprises all the time. I know that God calls each of us, and I continue to believe that God will help us all form a community of love and support for all people.”
Wounded by God’s People
I wonder if the“more severe” unshared wounds Lotz mentions in the epilogue were originally the inspiration for the writing, but were later left out to avoid causing more pain to those involved. Or perhaps it was just my own personal wounds hoping she was going to give them voice.
A Resource for Women’s Gatherings
Theologically and spiritually, the message of the Gospel is that the “spirit of fear” or “spirit of timidity” is not God’s intention for whole human beings; rather, the divine gifts already in our grasp are “power, love, and a sound mind [self-control].”
Modeling Christian Feminism, Mentoring Christian Feminists
"Women who refused to accept traditional categories of theology enabled me to examine my beliefs, to re-visit ideas I’d earlier decided to share with no one. Their willingness to challenge the church gave me courage to do so as well. Because of courageous women who reached out to me, I am more confident in my identity as feminist and as Christian."
Transforming Vision: Explorations in Feminist The*logy
Wisdom does not make distinctions between public and private or spiritual and sacred. For wisdom, all of life is full of the divine and to be lived to the full.
Changing Church: Stories of Liberating Ministers
Jann Aldredge-Clanton, a Baptist minister, is crystal clear about the relationship between God-language and social systems: “The strongest support imaginable for the dominance of men is the worship of an exclusively masculine Supreme Being.”
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.
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
Leaving Church is a memoir of finding, losing, and keeping—although with none of the preachiness that sometimes accompanies such narratives and with an ever-present consciousness of doubt and uncertainty. Taylor’s honesty on these points pervades the narrative and makes it one not to miss.
Walking with Wisdom’s Daughters: Twelve Celebrations and Stories of Women of Passion and Faith
It is not often that one comes across a worship-related book so richly layered that it becomes a prized resource far beyond the parameters of corporate prayer. This volume, a treasure trove of both scholarship and artistry, is one of those.
Gather into One: Praying and Singing Globally
Ultimately, Hawn concludes, the point of engaging in multicultural musical expressions "is not to 'feel good' but to feel again — feel a sense of the holy and an experience of community" which will move us, with all our sisters and brothers around the globe, to shout in renewed, "polyrhythmic" enthusiasm: Alleluia! and Amen!
25 Years in the Garden
All the way back in 1981 Stokes recognized that "Women in ministry have two perpetual problems with work. The first is finding work. The second is not letting the work kill us." She goes on to say, "I used to think that when work did not hurt, it was play. Wrong. Work is still work even when it does not hurt."
Holy Boldness: Women Preachers’ Autobiographies and the Sanctified Self
Using the insights of modern critical work on autobiography as a genre, Stanley explores how the experiences of salvation and sanctification empowered her subjects. Since sanctification required public testimony to it, women were both compelled and theologically sanctioned to speak out.
Leading Ladies: Transformative Biblical Images for Women’s Leadership
As I read and re-read the anecdotes Porter uses to describe each leadership style, I recognize the Midwives who mentored me, Choreographers who led rituals and celebration in many moments of crisis and joy in my life, Weavers (the woman who initiated my church group!) and the Intercessors for whom I pray because I just don't have their kind of courage.
Christianity for the Rest of Us
Although we’re of different generations, Diana and I had similar experiences of attending “Rotary Club”-type mainline churches that left us spiritually unsatisfied in our early years, leading us to turn to evangelicalism on our own as teenagers. There we found a more lively form of Christianity and an exciting emphasis on a personal relationship with Christ.
Interacting with “Grace”
As the title indicates, grace manifests itself everywhere, ... covering topics like what conversion is, how calls to ministry occur, the crisis of terminal illnesses, the struggle to hear your own voice and stay true to it, the temptations to despair brought on by institutional dynamics of the church.
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.
Two New Books by Women in Church Leadership Positions
As I write this review, television and radio pundits, not to mention bloggers, tweeters, and others quick to voice opinions through the Internet have been scurrying to their respective posts this week to offer analysis and opinions about the horrendous violence in Tucson, Arizona. Even in the midst of this tragedy, the political gulf separating the country is as wide as ever.
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:...
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...
My Fifty Year Journey with Women and Ministry…
The Pauline (as one of my students once said: “I have had enough of Paul; I want to meet Pauline!”) vision of 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.
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.
New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views
Women in the ministry and students at seminary surely should read New Feminist Christianity, but also women’s studies classes and religious studies classes, feminist book clubs, and spiritual practice groups. Just give a copy to all your friends. Tell them that this is who we are.
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.
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.
If Grace is True & If God is Love
The discussion of the will of God, human free will, questions of salvation, atonement, and redemption are presented in light of the experiences of the writers and their personal spiritual journeys.
“Porch Talk” & “Home to Harmony”
The books are deceptively lighthearted, though, for there is a seriousness behind the humor. Gulley is dealing with virtues and lessons to be learned and ways of being good. Bob Siles, Jr., doesn’t like living in Harmony. Well, someone remarks, “If we can’t find joy where we are, we probably won’t find it anywhere.”