Archive for September, 2014

Women, Race, and the Problem of Anger

3 comments Written on September 22nd, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

IMG_3928Jo Ann Deasy is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church currently serving as a director at the Association of Theological Schools in Pittsburgh, PA.  She came to faith in a Covenant Church plant in Northern California and is grateful for those who nurtured a call to ministry in her as a new believer.  She has served as a youth intern, a Minister of Christian Education, a Dean of Students, and most recently as a solo pastor.

Have you ever seen healthy anger in a woman? Anger. Righteous indignation. The expression of hurt. A rational response to something that is wrong. I hope your answer is yes, but I know that for many of you, you may have had to think about it. Healthy, rational anger is not a response that we expect from women. And when it does happen, we rarely recognize it. We interpret it as something else. We marginalize it by calling the woman names or describing her as “hysterical” or “overly emotional.”

As part of my doctoral research, I interviewed several young women about identity and ministry. The interviews happened to be taking place as Hilary Clinton was running for president. One of the women in the group confessed that she did not think Hilary would make a good president, because she would probably be too emotional when crisis situations occurred. This was a strong young woman who considered herself a feminist, but she couldn’t imagine a woman president getting angry in a way that would serve her well as a leader. Continue Reading »

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Called to the Table

5 comments Written on September 16th, 2014     
Filed under: sermons - messages

MandiChericoMandi Cherico is a second year M.Div student at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. Raised in the Twin Cities, her interests include feminism, word-care, aesthetics, and Beyonce. The following post is a manuscript of a sermon preached at North Park Theological Seminary Chapel on September 15, 2014.

Most of Paul’s letters to churches begin with a pleasant tone, thanking God for them, praising what they’ve done. He begins 1 Corinthians by saying “I always thank God for you.” “To the saints in Ephesus,” he says in Ephesians. To the Thessalonians: “We always thank God for you in our prayers.”

The Galatians, though, get no note of thanksgiving, no compliment.

Chapter 1 verse 6, after a brief salutation:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.

When Paul doesn’t thank God for a church you know somebody is gonna get told. I appreciate the realness of that. It reminds me that church has always been hard. The Gospel has always been something people have struggled to live out rightly.

In Chapter 4 verse 19 Paul grits his teeth again, taking a maternal tone:
My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Yikes. But Paul has good reason to be angry. Galatia has been rejecting the true Gospel! In chapter two, he gives an example of another time when someone lost sight of the true gospel, and he tells the story of Peter in Antioch. Continue Reading »

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Book Review – Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry

3 comments Written on September 9th, 2014     
Filed under: Book & Commentary

Submitted by:
Dru McLeland

I am currently following God’s call in the footsteps of my great grandmother, Drusilla, who was a traveling evangelist in the Methodist Episcopal Church, my father, Paul, and my Aunt Dorothy who were ordained ministers and my mother who was a Bible teacher and speaker, all in the Free Methodist Church.  Currently, I am a full-time student at Northern Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL pursuing a Master of Divinity degree with emphasis in worship and spirituality.  I spent an exciting summer completing my clinical pastoral education requirements in the ACPE program of the Adventist Midwest Health hospital system.

One of the things that drew me to the Evangelical Covenant Church is the affirmation of “both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership” informed by the word of God” (“Covenant Affirmations” found here.) There is a long history of women in pastoral ministry in my family and denomination of origin. I am surprised by God’s call to ministry on my own life, but not because I am a woman. However, as I experienced and witnessed gender-based resistance from others concerning God’s call, I realized my own need for better understanding of this call. In light of this, I look for books that might be helpful.

women in the church picI was excited to find a book written by Stanley J. Grenz, one of my favorite theologians, and Denise Muir Kjesbo called Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1995, ISBN 0830818626). Grenz and Kjesbo engage the common evangelical debate over women in ministry from an affirming historical, scriptural and theological Christian evangelical perspective. Continue Reading »

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Women Who Inspire Us

10 comments Written on September 1st, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Evelmyn Ivens was born in Mexico and moved to the United States during her teenage years. She graduated from North Park Theological Seminary in 2013 with a MA in Theological Studies and is currently a Curriculum & Resource Development intern at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) in Chicago. Evelmyn has lived in Los Angeles, CA, Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures. She’s passionate about issues of immigration, hunger, poverty, and human trafficking.

Having lived in Mexico until my teenage years gave me some good understanding of the gender roles in that society. In my extended family for example, gender roles were very evident and for me this was very common and natural. I grew up seeing women do the cooking and cleaning of the house, taking care of the children, etc. That was their responsibility as wives. It was very rare to see husbands do the same. Culturally, that just wouldn’t look good. If men would do all these “jobs” that would mean that they didn’t have “good wives”, men were seen only as the providers. However, when I moved to the United States, and as I began to interact with people from different cultures, and having committed my life to Christ, some questions began to arise. Is this how God intended it to be? Somehow, something seemed unfair. As a woman, did I have to decide whether to have a family or to have a career? Continue Reading »

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