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Tag: Personal Reflections
Oh Love, Come Close: A Memoir
Oh Love, Come Close is a deeply personal reflection on one woman’s journey to confront her chronic depression and its underlying causes.
The Christian Narcissist and the Misunderstanding of Belief
"How this must devastate the God of truth, such abuse being carried out by the cruel hands of those who claim to love, honor, worship, and represent an all-loving Supreme Being..."
A ViewPoint on Abortion
"One in four American women will access abortion in her lifetime. And my own abortion story is why I am ardently pro-abortion. I believe, as humans created in God’s image, one of our greatest gifts is agency. That includes agency over our bodies."
The Stars in April
"Wirgau uses sights and sounds to convey experiences: the oppressive heat on the train rocking through India; the agonizingly slow maneuvering through the Suez Canal by the ship, the gorgeous view as the ship passes Morocco, and the first blast of cold wind on the faces of passengers arriving in Southampton, England."
How Gender Roles Contribute to the Abuse of Women
"It wasn’t until I was older that I realized what an extraordinary thing it is for survivors to speak up, especially if they grew up in a system that valued their silence and submission above all else."
Lessons I Have Unlearned: Because Life Doesn’t Look Like It Did in the Pictures
"According to Gildea, we all have ideas about what we think life will be like – ideas we pick up from books, films, music videos, the adults around us, and even church. We think we have a roadmap that will guide us toward success. But it isn’t long before life throws some curveballs at us."
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. "
To The Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories...
"Though Uttaro’s treatment of Christianity is gentle, he explores his own faith and the ways in which his beliefs have helped him persevere and serve, without being heavy-handed or pushy—a method that may very well come from years of practice in listening without judgment and guiding without usurping agency and autonomy from the survivors he works with. "
Light Shines in the Darkness: My Healing Journey through Sexual Abuse and Depression
“I see in my mind’s eye that we women are standing in a circle, holding hands and singing. The picture reminds me of my feminist days in the ’70s, when we banded together and fought for women’s rights,” writes Lucille.
All the Good
"TThe simple act of dropping my envelope in the mail was an act of love. They may not have thought about it like that, but I do."
How Are You Feeling?
"These are challenging times. Have you seen the “We are all in this together” commercials? We aren’t. People are out of work. People are losing their homes. Landlords are evicting people because they can’t pay their rent."
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."
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."
I Bow to You
June 2020 Poetry Selection
I bow to every flower I see and
every flower I remember,
every scent that surprises or lingers
that I can still recall years later...
I bow to every flower I see and
every flower I remember,
every scent that surprises or lingers
that I can still recall years later...
"I envy people who experience various activities, like folding laundry or baking bread, as forms of prayer. I now believe that, for me, above and beyond prayers of petition, intercession, etc., as crucial as they are, prayer is essentially for my connection to God."
Special Poetry Selection
in this plague spring
when the leaders fail us
we try to keep each other
alive we are midwives
of solitude and survival
in this plague spring
when the leaders fail us
we try to keep each other
alive we are midwives
of solitude and survival
The Collective Response of Males
"A collective response is different from a set response. A set response is when the teacher asks for questions from us, so we raise our hand, the microphone goes around, and one person at a time has the floor. The collective response is the teacher asking the entire class a question."
A Lamb’s Exodus: Overcoming Religious Fundamentalism, Sexism, Racism, Fatphobia, and Conversion Therapy
With remarkable openness about her own faults, misunderstandings, agonies, and willingness to grow, Mary Lokers has told her own story. She reveals what life is like for a lesbian of non-binary gender who has been trapped in the legalism, judgmentalism, and terror of fundamentalist religion.
Is God “Father” on Father’s Day?
"I usually feel closer to God when I visualize her as a mother, another gentle man introduced me to Abba in a way that broke through my resistance to Father God."
Pink Sunglasses and Yoga Pants: 31 Reflections on Biblical Feminism
“You get a sense [while reading this book] that the author truly wants to improve the lives of women in their religious community, both their physical presence and how they are impacting the world. She wants to make a difference.”
Confession Time: I Pray the Rosary
The way I see it, beauty and spirit are all around us, and the rites and rituals of the faith I choose help me facilitate that connection in a way that is moving and meaningful.
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.
September 2018 Poetry Selection
I see the shape of the Alef and the shape of the Lamed / I see the shape of the final Tzadi and the shape of the Hay / I see the shape of your Nose and the shape of your Hands
I see the shape of the Alef and the shape of the Lamed / I see the shape of the final Tzadi and the shape of the Hay / I see the shape of your Nose and the shape of your Hands
A Gracious Heresy: The Queer Calling of an Unlikely Prophet
I highly recommend A Gracious Heresy: The Queer Calling of an Unlikely Prophet to all who delight in a captivating story and who want to join the story of bringing liberating change to church and society. The thought-provoking questions at the end of the book provide a guide.
Confessions of a Recovering “Pro-Lifer”
Ask yourself why a fetus is worth fighting for and not a child separated viciously from their immigrant parent who happens to be undocumented. Consider that in my clinical office every week for the past fifteen years, I’ve seen the tragic results of attitudes and actions by religious people who have refused to see the wider meaning of “thou shalt not kill.”
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
"I’m Still Here" clearly articulates that Christians are called to seek justice, and compellingly argues that systemic racism, white fragility, and the myth of “nice” white people means that true racial reconciliation has not been realized.
Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else
... Melanie Mock has given her readers a psychology course that liberates us by forcing us to look beneath the surface of our expectations for ourselves. She teaches us how to “interrogate the Bible” (p. 222) and how to “stop, be quiet, and affirm the stories of others through active listening” (p. 229).
Given Up For You: A Memoir of Love, Belonging, and Belief
"There is a distance between the author and the reader, mimicking the emotional distance between White and other people in her life. A battle rages inside her, and she’s facing it alone."
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 Journey from Fundamentalist to Feminist
"As I released the old religious rules and began really listening and learning about God for myself, I began to feel an outpouring of love within me. It was as if God was giving me a great, big hug and slowly healing all my wounds."
Book of the Heart: A Personal History of Seeing
What makes this book so extraordinary is that the author is not only humble and patient and curious enough to allow herself to explore what lies beyond and within the events of her life, but she is also articulate enough to allow the reader the opportunity to witness this internal process
Changing Denominations — Never-Changing God
A strong connection to a specific church or denomination can give us a feeling of comfort, heritage, and belonging, but in a culture that demands we categorize everything, defining oneself by a denomination can also get in the way of centering our identity first and foremost in Christ...
Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity
Very Married, by Katherine Willis Pershey, is aptly described by its subtitle, “Field Notes on Love and Fidelity.” The author, an ordained minister, draws primarily from her nearly fifteen-year marriage, with additions from her pastoral experiences, to reflect on a broad range of topics related to marriage.
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.
Ally Kern Speaks about “The Exile of Abuse”
October 12, 2017 October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), and here on Christian Feminism Today we are featuring a variety of links about this important topic. One...
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.
Til Death Do Us Part: Looking Back on a Long-Lived Love
I couldn’t imagine how I could survive—or want to—the loss of John. We walked with Godde and knew that Divine Love and Grace would save us from despair when that day came.
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.
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.
What Falls From the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with...
She evolves from someone desperate for the external validation of blog hits, YouTube views, and Facebook “likes” to someone who goes alone to a church that spiritually pulls her in from the street, to the back pew, to the baptismal font, to service in an impoverished village in Nicaragua.
2017 #GCNConf Reflection by Elyse Kitrakis — “The Inspiration to Move Forward”
Once I was set free from the bondage of a fear-based faith, my life became full, and my faith has grown these last 20 years to be more inclusive and less judgmental. In 2004, I became more politically involved, recognizing the important role we, the people of God, must play in the governance of God’s world and the care for the things God cares about.
Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D. — #GCNWomenConnect Speaker
Identification with and support of LGBTQ people began, I would say, with the effort to make sense of my uncle coming with Johnnie from their home in Southern California to enjoy the fall change of season and to visit family. Nothing was ever said except that this was his friend, Johnnie, and my grandmother loved them both.
To Drink from the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond
The memoir as a whole makes clear that Redsand has been deeply influenced by Judaism and humanism as she has journeyed toward “home.” I love her description of life’s purpose: however we find our own particular work in the world, the idea is to “remember the deep root of [our] being…and give [our] life to the one who already owns [our] breath and [our] moments” (p. 312).
Love More: Trump and the Country We Know
We can react by demonizing those who brought the next four years upon our country. We can judge them and denigrate them and turn on them. And in doing so, we will perpetuate the very situation that led us all to this point. Or we can try to figure out how to love more and love better.
I Love to Tell the Story: 100+ Stories of Justice, Wisdom, and Hope
How would you like to own — or give to someone you love — a book that carries you along on its own joyful stream of stories? Yes? Then I have just the perfect book for you: the Reverend Dr. Nancy Wilson's I Love To Tell the Story: 100+ Stories of Justice, Wisdom, and Hope.
Ending the Silence about Sexual Assault
Today, as in the biblical narratives, instead of focusing on the details of the rape and the sufferings of the women who were victimized, we focus on the accomplishments of the powerful men who caused their suffering. We may even support them without thinking about it.
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.
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.
Returning to Yourself
Returning to ourselves is not some huge, life changing decision or action. It’s not a one-off, or something that happens to you after some kind of crisis, though there’s nothing like a good crisis to shake us out of our complacency. Returning to ourselves is something that must happen over and over again. If we are brave enough, we make it a practice.
A Dumb Blonde, a Woman Driver, and a Preacher Walk into a Bar
Research from Western Carolina University shows that dumb blonde and women driving jokes are more than innocent fun and games. Psychologists have proven exposure to sexist humor like that “gentle tease” about women drivers leads to tolerance of hostile behavior toward and acceptance of discrimination of women.
I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship
Because some of these scholars began as fundamentalists, their growth beyond the inerrancy view of Scripture comes up repeatedly in these essays. '[W]ords like "inerrancy" are inadequate descriptions of what is going on in the Bible,' writes Scot McKnight.
Spiritual Sobriety: The Promise of Healthy Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad
"Can a person have a 'persistent, compulsive dependence' on religion? Elizabeth Esther makes a compelling case for religious addiction in her new book, Spiritual Sobriety. Drawing from personal experience, as well as the stories of others, Esther writes extensively about the characteristics of religious addiction and its impact on faith communities, specifically Christianity."
Toward an Inclusive Incarnation: Easter and Male Divinity
Don’t question what it means that a man saved us from sin; don’t question what it means that it was a man who died for humanity; and don’t question why it is a man who promises to raise us all in the same way.
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. When I soon after found that there is a book that teaches children such behavior from an early age I knew it was something about which I needed to spread the word.
Dear Princess Grace, Dear Betty: The Memoir of a Romantic Feminist
Alida invites us to join her on her journey from romantic fantasy to romantic feminism. She offers no clues as to what part religion, scripture, or spirituality have played in the conclusions she reaches, and her telling of her story bounces around between chronological and topical presentations, which occasionally left me wondering exactly how or when various events unfolded.
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!
Disconnected Generations: #NotHereForTheBoys
Clinton, Steinem, and Albright have devoted their lives to public causes and progress for women, and the thought that none of them may live to see—or in Clinton’s instance, be—the first female president when we are so close to the dream must be a hard pill to swallow.
2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Kirsti Reeve
I'm grateful that the space of GCN exists for those people who do desperately need it, for whom the weekend was spent in tears and overwhelm, and who can, hopefully, leave with a little more of a belief that they are loved and accepted by God and by others just as they are.
2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Bastian Bouman
When those in my group started talking about their hopes and dreams for future relationships and discussed models of relationships, I realized I’d made a huge mistake. The Side B people I had dismissed were exactly the people I’d been looking for.
2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Sam Koster
I worshiped in a community of strangers that felt like family. I cried in front of a crowd of parents who held me in their arms like I was their own child. I felt like I was being given a glimpse of what heaven feels like, or maybe what I hope heaven feels like: open arms of strangers full of love and grace.
2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Jann Aldredge-Clanton
As I listened to people’s stories, my heart ached over the pain they have suffered from denunciation and rejection by church and family, and I felt inspired by their courage in claiming who they’re created to be and working to liberate their churches from homophobia and unjust, unloving actions.
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."
The 2015 Parliament of World Religions— Sophia Lives!
Without a fundamental shift in how we conceive of God, we will continue to be a people of oppression, bondage, war. And yet there is a failure in our faith traditions to see that oppression, bondage, and violence are by-products of masculine portrayals of God; of patriarchy baptized by religion. If we fail to recognize the interconnection between our theology of God and how we treat others, we cannot work for justice, liberation, or peace.
Birth, Breath, & Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula
Glenn also articulates well the universality of birth. She sees it as participating in life’s creative energy, whether the endeavor is physical, intellectual, spiritual, or emotional. All bring us to the depths. She then suggests that the techniques that help birthing women are applicable in other labors, too; specifically, the practices of rhythm, ritual, and rest.
The Inscrutable Sacred Thread
“Everyone Is Welcome,” announces a small sign over the door of the gothic brick edifice. It was first placed there to make sure people of color knew it was safe to enter in the sixties; later it served as an indication that people with AIDS were welcome too. Now it whispers carefully to me each time I enter. If the sign were any larger I’d be spooked.
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."
The Long Overdue Conversation about Mental Illness
"We don’t bat an eye asking the church member in a wheelchair if we can reach something on a high shelf or help them navigate a crowded aisle on the way to take communion, but we avoid the person with social anxiety, who can’t look us in the eye, or who is visibly nervous and stands alone during the social hour. I wonder if, deep down, we are thinking, 'It’s not my responsibility to deal with their problem.' ”
Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life
Stevens is particularly adept at making profound connections between the natural world, scriptural images, and real-life experience. In an essay called “Grow Tree Roots,” [the] accompanying verse refers to the tiny mustard seed that grows into the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree...
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.
The “Dirty F-Word” and Its Consequences in My Life
That empowerment of choice allowed me to let go of the resentment I had towards what are traditionally considered domestic tasks or “women’s work,” to support women’s engagement in them when it was their choice, not a role imposed on them, and to seek to learn to love those who did not act in love towards me—even those who refused to accept the “dirty f- word.”
A Charleston Lament – #BlackLivesMatter
I am convinced that this is the lesson of Gethsemane / Not Jesus crying humanly about his own impending suffering and death / But rather Jesus's awareness of the depth of the intractable ruin of us / The universal suffering of the other who threatens the status of the entitled just by being
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Searching for Sunday describes Rachel’s struggles as a millennial (coming of age about 2000) to find a satisfactory community in the church. She organizes this churchly memoir around the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage.
Therefore I urge us to remember that if we are willing to expand our notion of anger, if we allow ourselves (and others) to truly and deeply grieve anger, then we see potential for a transformation from fury to passion. We will see an urge for bringing about change that never runs tired. We will see hope for a hurting people.
Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God
We confront the “self-hiding God” or at least hints of that fullness but never a final face-to-face experience during this life. Winner states, “The self-hiding God seems to be the God who wills Her own disclosure”(p. 236).
The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection
They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances. You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.
Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe
We start by thinking we are going to find the perfect church; then we become disillusioned when we learn it doesn’t exist; and, finally, we begin again by learning more slowly the art of finding out how our gifts—and questions—contribute to a bigger picture of who the church is called to be.
Joan Chittister—Light and Wisdom
To live as a prophet is what we are called to be, and to do so, this is our handbook. This collection of Sister Joan’s writings is an absolute must to keep on hand as a reminder of what it means to be a follower of Christ and a faithful and honest part of the church in our criticisms and our supports.
The Real Emergence
I became aware how scared, how cruel, how utterly detached from Spirit’s compassion human beings can be. I became aware that shades of genocide play out every single day in much less sweeping terms, as well. A woman stoned, a trans* person beaten to death, a black man shot down in the streets.
The Gay Christian Network Conference: The Kingdom of God Unfolding
At the GCN conference, in spite of current cultural tableaus, these two unlikely identity categories converged: LGBT-identified people and Christian-identified people. We worshipped. We prayed. We nurtured one another in the sharing and receiving of our stories. And the results were luminous.
How Marcus Borg Taught Me to Read the Bible
I no longer need to avoid looking at its flaws as I do with my image in the mirrors in my home. The Bible’s pages reveal whispers of the Spirit, glimpses of vistas where justice reigns, and winding valleys where our ancestors never seemed to find their way out of the muck.
Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing
With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.
Our Job Starts and Stops with Loving Each Other
There’s no safe choice. The wounding is pervasive. And we all are perpetrators when we project our expectations and our own unique experience onto other people we consider more like us than not. None of us is the same. None of us knows the heart and mind of any other. As LGBTQ people, it is certainly our calling to become all we are meant to be. But that’s an internal process for the person looking out into the world. Where we stand, looking into each other’s eyes, our job starts and stops with loving each other.
It’s colder now. The stars look brighter. The air is crisp and tastes clean. I’ve started wearing a coat when I go out to walk and pray at night. Orion, my bow tie friend, is no longer hugging the edge of the sky. He’s ascended high overhead, because it’s his time now. And I have begun to let this in.
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.
I Am in Recovery and I Am Blessed – #RecoveryMonth
I want to live. I discovered that when I hit my “rock bottom” and found myself face down on the floor, sobbing as if I would never stop, telling those I love most that I didn’t want to live anymore. My life became a series of small, tentative footsteps, one at a time..."
On Healing and Recovery – #RecoveryMonth
Several weeks ago I attended a charismatic worship service. As the musicians played, expertly modulating the spiritual energy in the room, as the liturgical dancers danced with flags and ribbons, as the crowd, arms up, singing and swaying, pressed forward seeking healing from their Source, the ministers of the Word moved among them, praying and touching, before gently lowering the shaking bodies of the healed to the ground.
Shame: Five Letters
Shame does everything it can to crowd Her out. Shame tries to fill up all the space in my heart and mind. Shame finds God's resting place and throws an obnoxious party. Shame looks for stillness and fills it with trembling and all the wrong words. Shame knows, I think, that surrender to the sacred is best thwarted by addictions and by believing the lie that there is urgency to the mundane.
Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most
[Borg's] concise and ordered way of doing theology gives me words and concepts to better explain moves I’ve made in my own faith and theology. I was also pleased to read about his mystical experiences, which adds another dimension to his obvious critical abilities."
In the Roar of the Storm
Often, being honest about how I really feel seems unfair, as if my struggle and my pain is something that can reach beyond my body and hurt you. I have been convinced by life that you prefer it when I act like I'm doing "just fine" all the time. I have a conviction that it is my duty to protect you from my unhappiness and, in doing so, I am serving God, you, and the greater good.
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."
Fred Phelps is dead. And I’m glad for him.
But most of all, I enjoy imagining that the line between Fred Phelps and millions of beautiful and loving LGBT people has been blurred. That his liberated soul is now one with Christ/Sophia, and he finally knows us. He now moves through the Light. Through Love.
Girl at the End of the World
This is clearly a story that needs to be told, to be shared and recognized, so things may begin to change. Esther makes it clear why so many people living under these conditions don’t leave: it’s all she knew. Her entire history was founded in this one way of life, a way that thrives on secrecy.
Oriented to Love— The Huge Knot of Misunderstanding
Oriented to Love brings the people together who are willing to move beyond the adversarial paradigm, who are willing to accept that reconciliation might be possible, and willing to sit down in a room together to begin the slow process of untying the knot, one strand at a time.
Oriented to Love— What Am I Really Afraid Of?
But what if, deep in my body, there are pockets of anger, tucked away like time bombs waiting to go off? What if I harbor hurt and resentment about the treatment I have received during my life, about the possibilities that I have been denied, about my ambitions that have been thwarted? How can I love that in me?
Oriented to Love – Of the Mystery and Miracles
When we stop paying attention to the mystery and the miracles of God, when we ignore that which we cannot describe, cannot understand, cannot categorize, cannot explain-- when we ignore that, we ignore God. Because God is not our logical, ordered existence. God is not the sure thing, the safe bet. God doesn't make sense. God doesn't dream safe and steady dreams for our lives. God doesn't move us in comfortable directions.
On Christian Femininity and Bragging Rights
But if our greatest treasure is our spiritual gifts, then men and women together should lift up the riches offered by the women of the church. We should open wide the doors to this storehouse of wealth. It means being a little less quick to slap down a compliment with, “Oh, isn’t God great? God did it. I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me.”
Rabboni, My Love: A memoir of Jesus’ Wife, Mary Magdalene
What Kerr has done is exactly what the original authors of the New Testament Gospels have done: Assembled a variety of sources and traditions, rearranged and rewritten them in a pattern that makes sense to them, and filled in the blanks in such a way as to address burning contemporary questions.
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.“
weconnect – And There Was Singing
When we sing together, we draw ourselves closer to the Expression of God. God is in each of us, certainly, but She is magnified exponentially, She becomes more Herself, when we express Her presence as a group. The best practice we have, the gateway drug to the magnificence of God, is singing together.
weconnect – There Will be Some Tears
I cried for me and I cried for everyone I was going to meet. I asked Divinity to be present with all of us as we sought and found a way through our pain and longing to reconnect with Her love. Not just Her love for us, but Her love for everyone, especially those who cause our pain.
Why Doesn’t Church Work Anymore?
I do not reject the digital church. In digital church I see healing happening. I see a flattening of hierarchies that were made up in the first place and have been profoundly destructive. I see people telling the truth. And I see other people listening.
When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting...
Overall, this is a challenging story that is told with vulnerability and a bit of humor in beautiful, lyrical language. For those who grew up in this subculture and experienced similar challenges in adulthood, this is likely to provide a great deal of comfort in knowing that you are not alone. For those who did not grow up in this subculture, it is a good introduction to the mindset and emotional drives of those who did experience it, which may provide a new level of understanding for those who struggle with the after effects.
weconnect – Susan Shopland Interview, Part 2
And if my son could take the risk, how could I not? I will say it makes a huge difference to have support; I am deeply grateful to the members of GCN who have mentored, inspired, supported, equipped, and empowered me.
weconnect – Susan Shopland Interview, Part 1
I know what it is like to try to “fly under the radar,” keeping silent so people won’t notice the way I speak, trying to avoid the inevitable ignorant questions when people found out I had lived in Egypt: “Did you live in a pyramid? Did you ride a camel to school? Did you like it over there?”
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.
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."
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.
Reflections from South Africa Upon Nelson Mandela’s Death
Archbishop Tutu put it well, calling Mandela “a terrorist turned into an icon of reconciliation.” Mandela turned to weapons at a time when there seemed to be no other recourse, but he also spent his years in prison learning Afrikaans, the language of the oppressor, as a tool for peace-making.
Dave Ramsey’s Missed Opportunity
I know what it’s like for me to feel poor. It’s the feeling that led me to Dave Ramsey in the first place. But I would never presume to know what it feels like for any other person to be poor, and although I can share my experience and make suggestions,
More Than One Way to Do Money God’s Way?
I don’t disagree with Evans: I’m well aware that my picture of financial peace does indeed come straight out of middle class American privilege. Nor am I interrogating here the systemic injustices that condemn people living in at the bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum to generations of poverty.
A FemFaith Farewell
"But yet, it’s not really an end. Those of you who are just now discovering the FemFaith discussions can be assured its archives will remain, and the topics of our posts are as relevant today as when we wrote them."
To Welcome Her Stillness
So much of this must be naked trust, walking away from the stack of tasks, walking into the stillness. This is not a responsible choice. This is not a logical choice. This is not the right choice. If we are to belong to Her, this is not a choice at all.
mending broken: a personal journey through the stages of trauma + recovery
She writes delicious paragraphs about how yoga changed her relationship with her own body—paragraphs that would make even the most cynical reader want to sign up for a class. Pasquale also derives healing from her work as a trauma therapist.
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.
It’s Not All About Millennials!
"As I witness all this hand-wringing about the millennials and their place in the church, the explanations and apologies and deconstructions, I can’t help but wonder why we assume that middle-aged folks attend church for the inauthentic worship experiences, seeking only an artifice to carry them through Sunday morning. And that the elderly are more intrigued by style than by substance."
There’s something missing at the Wild Goose Festival
Realizing that scheduling nothing is just as important as scheduling something, might help the people involved in a weekend of spiritual discovery to become aware of how Spirit is moving through them, or to engage in relationship building, or participate in spontaneous spiritual practice together.
Diners, Authenticity, and Why I Journeyed to Wild Goose
When you don't know me, but you stop and meet my heart right where we are standing, I know we are all made of the same stuff— holy stuff that simply must connect, even for just a few minutes, with more of that holy stuff. And I desperately need to be reminded— every single day— that we are made of that holy stuff.
Child-Free Again. Sort of.
Hello Church. I’m looking at you. Let’s stop assuming that all women want to help with children’s programs. Invite men AND women to participate. I have helped out here and there over the years, but I chose support roles that did not require my spending time with small children when I was home with my own all week.
God Places the Solitary in Families: Childfree Doesn’t Mean Childless
For me family is a much broader and expansive concept than the nuclear family. Jesus said that anyone who obeyed God was his mother, brothers, and sisters. I see no reason to limit my family to those I am biologically related to, and I think part of our responsibilities as Christians is to cast a much larger definition of what a family is.
Wild Goose – Where Anything Can Happen
It's not about following the rules or joining a club. It's about how I can be a better companion to my fellow human beings while we share this time on earth together. It's about how I can spend less time thinking about myself, and more time thinking about how I can be more loving and compassionate toward others.
The Journey to the Wild Goose
When the story we choose for ourselves divides, when it perpetuates judgment, fear, and anger, when it has nothing to do with humility and love, it's time to let it go. I guess I thought I was going to Wild Goose looking for something, but maybe I'm really going to learn how to let something go.
Wild Goose 2013 – Troubadours of Divine Bliss Interview
We were both raised with an awareness of God and our hearts were opened early to that relationship. What a gift to be introduced to that presence. Over the years we have realized even the strongest ingredients that have been added to our soul soup— strict rules, judgment and punishment— have mellowed in the abundance of grace, compassion, and love that have been added since. We walk in a state now where everything is holy, and there is nothing that can separate us from the miracles offered by the Divine.
Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Jared Byas Interview
My whole life has been about trying to “change the world” but now I understand Jesus to be calling us to obscurity, to changing not the world but our world, by the way we pay attention to those around us.
Is There a Litmus Test for Christian Feminists? Should There Be?
Else we come to a place where feminism demands autonomy in all things, so that when I want to blow cigarette smoke in a random child’s face, that’s my choice; and when I want to make poor dietary choices, thereby making myself sick and putting extra burdens on the health care system, that's my choice...
How It Begins
I cry because my heart swells open and the love spills out and flows all over my body and makes the top of my head pound before finally pushing the tears from my eyes. That's how I know Her. And using this like a compass, I sometimes manage to keep up with Her for a few moments before I (time and again) lose track and get wrapped up in the mundane ego business of being me.
Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism
Reviewer Mark William Olson writes, "Nevertheless, in reading [David Swartz's] narrative, you may find yourself thinking that women and feminist concerns are getting short shrift. On one level, of course, that’s simply a truthful reflection of what happened at the 1973 'Thanksgiving Workshop' that created the 'Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern.' It reflects what happened at various follow-up meetings as well. Men ran things. The concerns of women were regularly pushed aside because they simply didn’t match the agenda of the dominant males. As David’s book honestly acknowledges, nervous, self-serving men sometimes rushed to bury feminist concerns, fearing that other leaders in 'the evangelical world' would write off the larger effort if they thought it was giving support to women’s ordination—or some other apparent 'outrage.'"
What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up and Sit...
"Atteberry’s goal is pretty clear: she wants to help those who have been influenced by an ideology based on traditional gender roles to realize not only the problems embedded in its assumptions but also to have some inkling of a way to read the Bible differently.
Fearing the Feminine or Embracing Our Mother
"Multiplied over the course of a lifetime, it is easy to see how our culture reinforces male preference at the same time it methodically undermines any sense of well-being and confidence a woman works to cultivate. Our exclusive language continues to make women invisible and in some cases our derogatory language aimed at women reinforces an insidious sexism that is more difficult to expunge than the more easily located, explicit variety."
Personal Tragedy Meets National Tragedy: The Boston Explosions
"Will we respond with anger, casting about for someone to blame, someone to hurt with our words or actions? Or will we make the difficult decision to respond only with love, searching for ways to connect with each other as a people and support those affected, perhaps even directing our attention to creating a world of peace and equality where violence is never considered necessary to achieve an end?"
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her...
"A Year of Biblical Womanhood" is not just for women. Dan Evans is characterized in the book as a partner who trusts, supports, and respects his wife. Dan’s example is a reminder that one does not enact “biblical womanhood” in a vacuum; it is always a performance in relationship and community.
“Having it all” or “Being it all”?
"Much of the media buzz about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,' has focused less on what I consider the book’s intended message and more on the unending debates about whether women can combine marriage and children with pursuing a career outside the home..."
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith
Until her late thirties, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield and I had a great deal in common... We both advised many students and groups, especially (but not exclusively) LGBT people on campus. The big difference? I was openly Christian, while Rosaria prided herself on her postmodern and materialist worldview.
Christian Feminists Weigh Pros and Cons of Women in Combat
"Last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ruled that women can now serve in combat roles with the United States military. I reacted to this decree with decided ambivalence, as the ruling challenges two ideologies I hold closest to my heart, along with my Christian faith.
A Strange Stirring: “The Feminine Mystique” and American Women at the Dawn of the...
Women who stayed home and raised their families and yet did not feel the corresponding presumed bliss were grateful to Friedan for enabling them to see beyond their self-imposed guilt and their anxieties that 'something was wrong' with them.
Christians, Contraception, and the Affordable Care Act
"Among evangelical Protestants at least, it seemed to be taken for granted that every couple would somehow find their own way and could feel free to decide for themselves what to do about contraception, how many children to have and when to have them, and even whether or not to have any children at all.
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present
After detailing the cultural milieu of 1960 America, Collins provides a compelling story of the women’s movement, sometimes unwinding the narrative decade by decade, and sometimes year by year.
When Women Are Companions—Not Objects To Be Consumed or Feared
"It took me several years to question these assumptions and even longer to believe it might be possible to have professional relationships with men, to trust that they might not see me as dangerous or even to think we might be able to work together in effective and respectful ways."
The War on Christmas: Or, Why Some Christians Really Bother Me This Time of...
I am wearied by this manufactured battle to make everyone recognize the reason for the season; by the attempt to make corporations, interested only in their bottom line, profess some kind of fidelity to Christ; by the idea that Christians are a persecuted population in our country; and, most significantly, by the belief that more than any other faiths, Christians should be free to display their religious symbols in government buildings."
Being a Feminist or Being a Christian—Must I Choose?
I had to find out the truth. Did the Bible really limit women as those letters had insisted? Would I have to choose between being a Christian and being a woman? During that spring and summer, I searched the Munich University library for books in English about women and gender roles, especially on biblical interpretation.
Reflections of a Christian Feminist: On Being All We’re Meant to Be
So when I think about or talk about feminism, it means I’m convinced that the church needs women and men to be working together in full and equal partnership and applying all the principles listed above.
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.”
The Food Network: A Challenge to Gender Equality?
Perhaps I am being too critical of the Food Network, it is, after all, only entertainment, not intended as serious fare. But it does seem to me an illustration of the pervasive challenge to equality embedded in all aspects of our culture. And, while seemingly identifying the problem themselves, it is clear executives had little awareness about how to address this inequity on a sustained basis...”
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."
Creating Learned Helplessness, One Potluck at a Time
It seems, in my experience (and by what I’ve observed) that most church potlucks are still initiated, organized, and managed by women. Why is that? Why are women the ones who stay long after everyone else is gone, cleaning the kitchen (while a few men linger to stack chairs)?
Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires and Emotions for Faith
Faith, says Clifford Williams, is an emotion , but emotions are often misunderstood as detached from reason. Williams’s mission in this clear and well-argued book is to explain how faith is motivated and existentially justified by need, emotion and reason.
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. . . ."
Three Books on Giving Up Church: A Review Essay
As we drove away from our church one bright, sunny Sunday, my husband turned to me and asked if I had found the worship service boring. “Well, yes” I answered, “but I guess that is pretty normal for me.” The truth is there are few Sundays when I feel like going and even fewer when I’m glad I went. I’d much rather be doing something else: taking a walk outside if the weather is warm, curling up under a soft blanket reading a good book if it is cold, or enjoying a leisurely brunch.
Celebrating Women’s Athleticism? Or Cultural Beauty Ideals?
But honestly, when I read about the denigration of female athletes who don’t meet our cultural standard of beauty; when I witness the pervasive misogyny in our country’s sports fans; when media images remind me that female Olympians continue to be prized as sex symbols first, and athletes later, it’s harder for me to embrace the idea that beauty = strength, or to feel that I am also created in God’s image.
Fear, Fairness, and Feminism: Does It Have to Be So Lonely?
Over time I became convinced! Jesus did not condone treating any group of people as secondary and in fact demonstrated how going against societal norms was often necessary to extend grace, love, and genuine hospitality especially to the least and the last. And yet, living in this boundary where only a small number of people have chosen to put down roots at the intersection of feminism and Christianity can be lonesome.
Standing Firm in My Convictions (Maybe. . .)
Sometimes, when I don’t respond to what I consider an offensive comment, when I let claims about “how women should be” go unchallenged, even when I bypass a teachable moment (as with my student), I wonder if I am merely a coward, unwilling or unable to put myself out there not only for myself, and my feminist identity, but also for my sisters and brothers who are oppressed, if only by the church’s expectations about what it means to be a woman, or a man.
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.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Lamott is not pious at all. And yet, she has a deep, abiding faith and strong sense of God's presence in all the parts of her life. She leans on God. She talks to God all the time and asks God for what she needs.
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
Much that Sue Monk Kidd writes about her journey from complicity as a "good daughter" of patriarchal Christianity to her rebirth as a daughter of the Feminine Divine resonates with me. I have traveled much of the same path as she.
Sabbath Sense: A Spiritual Antidote for the Overworked
Just as Sabbath Sense provides a "spiritual antidote for the overworked," this prescription, if taken to heart, could bring healing not only to our own lives, but to a society which is also desperately in need of renewal.
A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists
This is the kind of book I would want to read if I were a skeptic or atheist. The book would not persuade me that Christianity is true, since that is not its aim, but it might prompt me to look more closely at Christianity.
Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found...
I’d heard that Franky had been expelled from boarding school and never finished high school. He’d gotten one of the young and lovely L’Abri students pregnant and they were newly married. Yet it seemed clear that despite his history, and all the gifted, spiritually mature L’Abri members (including his sisters), Franky was L’Abri’s heir apparent.
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."
Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community
Bass is telling us two stories. As she describes it, it's "the story of intertwined journeys -- how one woman observed and experienced the shifts and struggles of mainline religion as she lived her own journey in eight Episcopal congregations over two decades. And it is the story of each congregation at a particular moment in its history" (p.18).
A Woman of Salt
Three threads of this story [there are many] seem especially powerful to me: (1) the conflict with the mother that starts when Ruth enters puberty; (2) the attempt through much of Ruth's life to pretend that her body doesn't matter; (3) the struggle to discover the life of the spirit through the mind alone.
It is every inch as good as Isobel Miller's lesbian classic Patience and Sarah. And as a fan of Alice Walker, Dorothy Sayers, Iris Murdoch, and Laurie R. King, I am always happy to find another woman who writes good fiction with strongly theological overtones.
Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour of the Countries, Factories, and People that...
Timmerman’s research began with the simple act of checking the labels on his clothes, curious about places of origin for his shirt, jeans, boxers, and flip flops. He then decided to travel to those places—Honduras, Cambodia, Bangladesh and China—to go undercover as a garment buyer in order to meet the people who made his clothes.
Woman Spirit Awakening in Nature: Growing into the Fullness of Who You Are
The child-like wonder and delight in nature is recaptured, and the healing power of the Divine in nature comes through clearly in their words. Chickerneo refers to these times as finding those “metaphors-in-waiting,” and reflecting on them for self-discovery and understanding.
Faith Cure: Divine Healing in the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements
It's amazing to see how our own times' distrust of conventional allopathic medicine and the interest in alternative medicines mirrors a powerful movement of the previous century that looked for healing methods apart from drugs or doctors.
Broken We Kneel: Reflections on Faith & Citizenship
In these hard days, in these dangerous times, we need witnesses and prophets like Diana Butler Bass. Bruised and broken, we can abandon our vision. Bruised and broken, we can flee our faith. Or bruised and broken, we can kneel, dreaming of love, striving for peace, pleading for grace.
My Life So Far
Finally, I love the way Fonda describes her conversion to Christianity and her hesitation once she comes up against “certain literal, patriarchal aspects of Christian orthodoxy.” She is reticent enough to avoid glibness, but outspoken enough to make clear her commitment to Christian feminism.
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.
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home
Her memoir’s final image beautifully captures the healing power of those surrounding her. On a one-day bus excursion with her parents and other elderly Mennonites, Janzen stops at a lavender farm; the group is swept up in spontaneous hymn singing (as Mennonites sometimes are).
Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest
Perhaps now that a woman has publicly claimed her priesthood, we will recognize ourselves within her story. Perhaps we will find each other and then, one day, like the walls of Jericho, and the Wall in Berlin, the wall between the men and women of the Roman Catholic Church will just come tumbling down.
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...
Unfinished Lives:Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims
Sprinkle laments the continuing rise in the number and the brutality of violent crimes against LGBTQ people; young people in America’s schools and neighborhoods are especially being targeted at an alarming rate, as much for their non-traditional presentation of gender as for their sexual orientation.
The Sacredness of Questioning Everything and Evolving in Monkey Town
God help us to become genuinely evangelical, somehow finding ways to share the good basics of life with the least among our human relatives. A good beginning might be to read and share these books with people of every religion and no religion, whether living in Omelas or walking the road out of there.
Two Tributes to the Strength of Women’s Friendships
Author Geraldine Brooks is a person of faith who, through Anna, raises all of the theological and existential questions that mysterious disease and death raise. --- While Caldwell is not a religious person, she ponders the suddenness of Caroline's death and then the miraculous escape and recovery of Clementine after being attacked by two pit bulls.
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:...
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..."
Taking Leaps of Faith
by Jeanne HansonWhy would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I’m still pondering the answer to that one. All I...
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. "
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.
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!
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.
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.
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...
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.
After the Locusts: Letters from a Landscape of Faith
"What is life worth living for in troubled times? When the locusts come and eat away at everything we hold dear, when the fires tear through our hearts, what makes it worth going on? What I liked best about After the Locusts was the author's honesty.
Soul Sisters: Women in Scripture Speak to Women Today
Recurrent themes include the silencing and disempowerment of women and our pain at being defined and controlled by our cultures at the expense of our own voices and identities. Gateley's writing rings out, calling for women to define ourselves, to challenge the systems that imprison us in gender roles
Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism
Aronowitz and Bernstein encounter a number of young women who have already denied a feminist identity, either because the word seems connotatively loaded, or because they find the word too exclusive—a term unable to fully capture the complexity of human nature.
The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
In my words, each tradition must hold its deepest theological convictions firmly and humbly with enormous respect for the other’s perspective. The God of Israel and of the church is One and the same; we need not fear dialogue under the wings of a loving, merciful God, portrayed both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
This is a book that can be used by religious. educational, and civic groups. Acknowledging her appreciation for the work of Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Letha Dawson Scanzoni in Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? Boesser integrates religious issues into this work but does not focus on them.
“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.”
Semisweetness and Light
I think Semisweetness and Light will delight and move every reader. Its small size makes it easy to carry around, and you will find yourself having a conversation with Cartledgehayes sooner or later.
Growing into God — Book by Edwina Gately, CD by Kathryn Christian
[Gately's] life has been plagued with roadblocks erected by the Catholic hierarchy, self-doubt, and sometimes despair and periods of spiritual dryness. Yet, through it all, she has managed to maintain her dignity and become a truly gifted writer, poet, and speaker.
The Truth Book: Escaping a Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses
One of the primary tenets of the Jehovah's Witness faith is to always tell the truth as Jehovah did. From early childhood that is exactly what Dr. Castro did and continues to do. Unfortunately, while living with her stepfather, Joy's truthfulness frequently resulted in beatings.
The book began as an exploration of the “un-testimony… an unruly story, a story that refuses to conform to a simple before-and-after pattern,” writes Hannah Faith Notess, the book’s editor.
“When One Woman Cries. . .”
Hi Kimberly, We seem to have come full circle, having begun this blog three and a half years ago with a discussion of Betty Friedan...
More on Friedan: Marketing of Desire and What Language Hides
Hi Letha, Thanks so much for your last post on Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, in which you helpfully outlined the historical realities that many women were facing...
What Betty Friedan Did and Didn’t Do
Dear Kimberly, You and I are so much on the same wave length and such good friends that I can’t recall our ever disagreeing, even...
Hi Letha, I appreciated so much your discussion of the many forms of violence–especially verbal violence. I know a lot of women (and men) have...
Connections Between Feminism, Religion, and the Greek System
Dear Letha, I hope you are enjoying the festivities of the holidays. I finished up a rather grueling semester (120 pages written just the last...
Stepping over Boundaries and Finding New Metaphors
Dear Kimberly, Since you’re inundated with your Yale studies and deadlines for papers at this busy time of year, I’m happy to help out by...
“Paradigm Lost” and Slippery Slope Panic
Dear Kimberly, After reading your September 14 post, I purchased Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. I didn’t want to discuss something that I hadn’t even read! As you...
More Thoughts on the Writings of Elisabeth Elliot
Hi Letha, As you know, I’ve just returned to school, after spending a summer working in the Pacific Northwest. It feels good to be back...
Relationships: Complementing and Complimenting
Dear Kim, It was wonderful to see you at the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Gathering in Indianapolis a few weeks ago and to continue these intergenerational conversations before...
Experiments with Pedagogy: More Thoughts on Approaches to Learning
Collaborating well across the disciplines thus also requires a kind interpersonal agility, a skill which is connected to self-knowledge. If we don’t know ourselves well, we won’t have an awareness of our patterns of relating to the other. Knowledge of interpersonal styles of relating, though, does not seem to be a primary point of concern in many forms of higher education.
Think Critically, Question Constantly, Learn Continuously, See Connections
Dear Kimberly, I was moved by your March 30 post as you continued our discussion of empathy and othering. Our conversation seems especially timely in...
More Thoughts on Othering and Empathy
Letha, Your last post, in which you illustrated so well the harm of “othering,” named a topic that is more and more becoming a core...
Empathy: An Antidote to “Othering”
Dear Kimberly, I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately, and it ties in with something you referred to in your December 1 letter --...
Normative Restrictions: From 19th Century Victorian “Ideals” to Twilight
Dear Letha, I appreciated how in your last letter you nuanced the different patterns through which cultures control women. In this letter, I’d like to...
Dreams without Boundaries
Dear Kimberly, Last weekend, the film discussion group that I attend regularly viewed an advance screening of Amelia, the story of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who...
Women, Education, and Expectations
Hi Letha, Thanks so much for your last letter about “great and not so great expectations” for women.” Right now, I am thinking about how...
Great and Not-So-Great Expectations
When Steven Goldberg's controversial book, The Inevitability of Patriarchy was published in the 1970s, he argued for the existence of a "biologically-based male superiority" that equips the male sex for dominance and achievements. He claimed that "there is not a single woman whose genius has approached that of any number of men in philosophy, mathematics, composing, theorizing of any kind, or even painting."
From Images of Women in Western Pop Culture to the State of Girls in...
Dear Letha, I loved your last letter, especially how you juxtaposed the situation in Swat Valley, Pakistan with the situation of Susan Boyle in the...
Dreaming a Dream, Lighting a Light
Dear Kimberly, Your further thoughts about pride, lookism, racism, and anti-feminist religious teachings were right on the mark! I want to pick up on that...
Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl
Campbell’s style romps happily from formal where needed to down-home whenever possible: “Dead people look like wax candles that have lost their wicks.” A “fundamentalist is an evangelical who is pissed off about something.” The attraction of fundamentalism is that it offers “a definite yes or no when you’re not comfortable with the maybes."
More Thoughts on Women and Pride, also the Interplay of Lookism and Racism
Dear Letha, Now it is my turn to apologize for my slow reply to your last letter! As you know, this past month has been...
More about “Lookism,” also Are Sins “Gender-specific”?
Dear Kimberly, So many things in the news have recently reminded me of your last letter about how women are judged by their appearance, causing...
The 1968 Beauty Pageant, Women’s History, and “Lookism”
Dear Letha, Now it’s my turn to apologize for a late response to your last letter! As you know, my life has been rather busy...
Feminism Has an Image Problem
Letha, I really appreciated what you touched on in your last letter, especially your explanation of the typology Yates uses to understand second-wave feminism. The “women...
Faith, Rebellion, and a Larger Story
As a college sophomore I went into the office of my professor of Christian Doctrine, breaking down in tears and telling him why I was going to give up my faith. I could not submit to these expectations of submission and subservience placed on my femininity within the church circles I knew, and I could only assume there was therefore no place for me within Christianity. I was either committed to women’s rights or I was a “Bible-believing” Christian. I could not, surely, be both. (It seems that my black- and-white, either/or thinking, so trained in me by fundamentalism itself, was even at work in my recanting!)
P.S. Women, Politics, and a Day of Remembering
Hi Letha, I know this is sort of unusual for our exchange of letters, but I realized that I wanted to let you and our...
Remembering, Grieving, and the Pursuit of Wholeness
Hi Letha, I just finished watching the trailers of the movies you mentioned in your last letter, and I look forward to watching the actual...
More on Mothers…But Where are the Dads?
Dear Letha, Two things strike me after listening to the NPR segment you mentioned between Alice and Nina Rossi, as well as the humorous song...
Developing Wholeness in Both Men and Women
Dear Letha, When I go back and read our letters these past few weeks about parenting and gender roles, I realize again how difficult these...
Who Can Nurture? More Thoughts on Parenting
Dear Letha, It is a very curious thing for me to sit back and try to look with a “beginner's mind” at all these notions...
Why Is Feminism Resisted?
Dear Kimberly, I loved your "Mr. and Mrs. Christian" wordplay on the "Mr. and Mrs. Human" heading that I used as part of my previous...
“The Feminine Mystique”– Then and Now, Part 2
Dear Letha, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what your world was like when you first held The Feminine Mystique in your hands. You are right...
The “Feminine Mystique”–Then and Now, Part 1
Since you've set the stage with the story of how we met and began corresponding, Kimberly, I'd like to begin our dialogue with an...
How It All Began
What began that night of first “meeting” was a series of emails, letters, and phone calls, in which Letha and I have become friends and learned from one another as we discuss life, faith, and feminism.