faith-filled & feminist | theology, poetry, ministry, activism

Rachel Held Evans is hosting a week-long conversation about women's full equality in the Church, and while I'm more than happy to lend my voice in support, another part of me is saddened that this is up for debate in some circles in 2012.

But I am not naive. Even in congregations where women's gifts have been affirmed for decades, there remains a stained-glass ceiling. How can the Church hope to speak prophetically to culture or about justice if the women in our own congregations experience stifling limits and patriarchy in the pews instead of honor and freedom in Christ?

I write often about feminism from a Christian standpoint and wanted to gather a few favorites for Rachel's synchroblog.

Un-silencing Eve | Part 2
Yet with one empty tomb, Jesus disarmed the powers of sin and death. Christ the Word speaks redemption over every battered heart, shattered relationship, and system rank with decay, and he invites us into that same reconciling ministry. A post-Resurrection world calls the daughters of Eve to remember our identity as image-bearers of One who makes all things new and to govern creation as God intended.

Ministry, Mentors, & Holy Imagination
We are all–women, men, and children–gifted for ministry, created for good works, and blessed to be a blessing. We won’t always serve from the front, but we need diverse voices there, too. The harvest is plentiful and the workers few. Jesus called us to pray for more laborers in his field–not to bind and gag those with the will to be sent. 
Permission to serve in the Kingdom is none but the King’s to grant, and in him alone are we able and equipped.

Worship, Activism, & the Roots of Womanist Theology
At twenty-one, Nannie Helen Burroughs was already a dynamic force on the intellectual and religious scenes. In 1900, at the first meeting of the Women's Convention, Auxiliary to the National Baptist Convention, she delivered a fiery address entitled "How the Sisters are Hindered from Helping."

Burrough's description of black churchwomen's "righteous discontent" is a fitting characterization of their resistance to exclusion and injustice. African American women were not content to remain at home in the manner prescribed by white culture's cult of domesticity, and they continued to envision themselves as fully answering God's call through public service.

words like weapons (forget not your name)
Big girls cry hot tears
(and we're women, thankyoumuch).
We bear on our bodies the
wounds of un-winnable wars 
A porn-soaked culture values
sexy, submissive, and available;
a bar set canyon low and
unreachable all the same 
He hated her more than he loved her

And a new one about marriage (and friday night lights):  Full Hearts

To read more posts affirming gender equality (or to link your own), head over to Rachel's place and follow along on twitter #mutuality2012.

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