Archive for April, 2013

Full Mission – Women In Leadership

1 Comment » Written on April 27th, 2013     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Submitted by
Gary Walter, President
Evangelical Covenant Church

In the Covenant at our most elemental we are simply people of the Book who have joined together to do mission. So for us, these two questions are always paramount: What does the Bible say? And what does the mission need? These two questions are relevant to the work of the Biblical Gender Equality Commission.

bibleAs to what the Bible says,  as we read the entirety of Scripture, we are convinced the Bible normatively affirms women in leadership  throughout the pages of both the Old and New Testaments. Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Esther, Anna, Rachel, Hannah, Abigail, Ruth, Tabitha, Lydia, Priscilla…the list of stories recounting women in leadership in Scripture goes on. Of particular interest to me is Romans 16, written by the Apostle Paul. He lists 27 people of importance and influence, 7 of them women. There appears to be no distinction in leadership roles based on gender, listing both for the same positions, notably Phoebe as a deacon and Junia as an apostle. Continue Reading »

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Strengthening Women

2 comments Written on April 21st, 2013     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

exercise 1Doing ministry is hard work. It is especially challenging for women who have school age kids. Juggling schedules takes careful planning and good communication. Women do very well at multitasking. Ask any woman who is pastoring a church and they will tell you it involves collaborative efforts at every level.  It is refreshing to see more husbands who are not threatened by the gifts and calling of their wives. Godly men who are authentically advocating for women. Single women are also answering the call to ministry.

Many churches are learning that being a mom does not exclude women from being effective leaders. On the contrary, it empowers them. My sons have never known me not to be at some capacity of leadership in the church from Senior Pastor to Church Planter to Chairperson of several organizations. I have also preached before, during and after pregnancies. Being a mom has only served to enhance my leadership capabilities. Continue Reading »

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Beyond Identity: A Journey of Ethnic Discipleship

1 Comment » Written on April 13th, 2013     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Written by Cindy Wu

stonesAsian. Woman. Disciple.

As a disciple of Christ, I recognize that my primary identity is who I am in Christ. I find, however, that my ethnic, cultural, and gender identities actually serve as the initial filters through which I view my primary self. Sometimes my identity filters enhance the primary image; oftentimes they compete with it and I struggle to live out my identity in Christ to the full. Why should any identity ever have the opportunity to usurp my primary one? One reason is that as a second-generation immigrant, first-generation Christian, Asian-American female, I sometimes go through an identity crisis.

I am Asian.

I was born and raised in America to immigrant parents from Taiwan. Technically, that makes me “Taiwanese-American”, although I usually introduce myself as Chinese-American to emphasize my ethnic, rather than cultural or political, identity (sorry, Mom). As a generalization, “Asian-American” works pretty well, although as an insider to this label I still want outsiders to realize how much diversity resides within “Asian” without being too much of a stickler for nomenclature. I think we all understand the term “Asian” in this context to mean “East Asian”, or its outdated predecessor “Oriental”.  It is important to note that those terms are not monolithic. Among East Asians, we differentiate ourselves by our language, food, physical features, and culture. In a room full of black-haired men and women, I can often “Name that Asian” by distinguishing between Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Cantonese based solely on appearance. (Of course, sometimes I get it wrong.)

I’m not just Asian, but Asian-American. Navigating between those east and west worlds sometimes gets my compass needles crossed. But that’s another story. Continue Reading »

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Book Review – Half The Sky

Post a Comment » Written on April 7th, 2013     
Filed under: Book & Commentary


“Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” Matthew referred to this powerful prophecy from Jeremiah 31 as a comment on Herod’s slaughter of all the boys in the region of Bethlehem around the time of Jesus’ birth.

I’m convinced that Rachel’s weeping has become a bitter wail – for her female children and for her sisters.  I’ve recently learned that more girls have been killed in the past fifty years – precisely because they were girls – than all the men who died in the wars of the twentieth century. Every year at least two million girls worldwide disappear because of gender discrimination.

These citations come from the introduction to “Half The Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, which is a powerful indictment of and for our times. Simply put, this is one powerful book.  Yet it’s that rare read that causes you to experience emotionally polar extremes – despair at the inequities and brutalities experienced by women, yet feeling hopeful for their future. Continue Reading »

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