Archive for March, 2014

Disagreeing Well as Witness

Post a Comment » Written on March 31st, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Submitted by:
Valeri Chow Tao

I grew up in a church that does not believe that women should pastors, and accepted that as a reality. My first class at North Park Theological Seminary was New Testament 2. It was the first time that I heard biblical rationale for women in ministry. When we talked how the New Testament supported women in ministry, I understood that and my paradigm shifted. While I do not agree with those that understand the Bible as being against women in ministry, I can see how they might come to that conclusion and know many faithful Christians who take that position. The commonality between both sides is that each is committed to faithfully understanding the Scriptures and living accordingly. The Evangelical Covenant Church believes that there is a biblical basis for men and women to serve in ministry. While there are other churches and denomination do not hold this belief, we are all still part of the body of Christ, the Church. Women in ministry is only one of many issues that not only divide the Church, but keep followers of Christ from fully loving their neighbor as themselves and fully loving God who created their neighbor and themselves.

May we strive to love God and love our neighbors, especially those with whom we may disagree.

May we not let differences of opinion prevent us from seeing those we disagree with as fellow brothers and sisters who are created in the image of God and loved by him.

May we seek community with brothers and sisters with whom we may disagree, so that by learning from and with those created by God and in in his image, we may more fully understand and love God who created us all.

May we as the Church be a witness of the good news of Jesus Christ to the watching world by modeling the ability to disagree well and love one another in the midst of difference.

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Another great post by Jenny Rae

Post a Comment » Written on March 25th, 2014     
Filed under: Resources

Click here for an interesting read on “banning bossy.”




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Post a Comment » Written on March 7th, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Submitted by:
David Swanson

I forget that it’s not always normal. In our 4 year old church the leadership team chairperson, Sonia Wang, is an Asian American woman. We are led by three different worship leaders: two African American women – Kelly Redmond and Markeyta Boone – and an Asian American woman – Esther Gallentine. Michelle Dodson, an African American woman, is our Associate Pastor; she and I serve the Lord’s Supper together and pray for members of the church after the worship service. We’re joined in the preaching task by Ramelia Williams, an African American woman and seminarian at North Park. They are both, I suspect, stronger preachers than myself and I learn about preaching from them even as the Spirit forms me through their preaching.

Of course there are plenty of men who serve and lead our congregation, including me. That’s our normal: men and women serving and leading together, responding to the gifts of the Spirit and the needs of the congregation.

I can forget that our normal is exceptional for others until I overhear someone mentioning how grateful they are for the women who lead our church. They are remembering times and places where these leaders’ voices, experiences, and gifts wouldn’t have been welcomed- not in the same normal way they are within our community.

I’m afraid this is beginning to sound as if our young church really has our act together. We don’t. We’re a pretty normal group of people learning how to be church together. It’s just that that Gospel of the Kingdom is making the exceptional normal to us and for us. We can’t imagine it any other way.

David Swanson is the pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and the Director of Church Planting for the Central Conference. He blogs regularly at



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