as you all know, i am passionate about equality in the church. i believe so much beauty, freedom, wholeness & healing is missing in Christ’s bride because half of its voice and heart is often silenced. i also have the privilege of seeing what can happen when men & women learn how to live and love and serve together alongside as equals. it is lovely!
through the carnival blog i have met so many amazing people who inspire and encourage and challenge me. one of these people is cynthia lagrou, who is one of the founders of compathos, a “non-profit initiative which inspires action, advocacy and global citizenry through purposeful media.” they produce some amazing stuff, telling stories of justice & mercy being infused around the world. check it out; it’s really beautiful work.
cynthia has a passion for renewal in the body of Christ in all kinds of ways and worked hard at putting together a collaborative book project called “taking flight: reclaiming the female half of God’s image through advocacy and renewal.” she edited the book with caleb seeling, who is also from denver. what i love about the material is that represents 17 different male & female voices. cynthia asked me to participate & my chapter is based on one of my favorite blog posts at the carnival called “why we need mothers & fathers, sisters & brothers, daughters & sons.” some of my lovely friends in real life & from blog-land also contributed including linda mader, vaun swanson who is the founder & director of pomegranate place here in denver, jeff mcquilken, jonathan brink, becky garrison, len hjalmarson & our dear friends from the bridge & love is concrete in portland, todd and angie fadel.
here’s a little description of the project from the introduction:
“[taking flight] is not a collection of essays about theology, gender equality, or women in leadership–although these topics are mentioned. it is an anthology focused on living in right relationship with each other in inclusive, Christ-centered communities through forms of mutual submission and blended authority, based on gifting and humility (rather than gender) which restores dignity, achieves balance, an empowers all. how that is modeled authentically in personal, professional, local, and global settings will inspire others and have a lasting impact on the human family and the planet….”
i know there are some who say “aren’t we past this?” but the truth is, we’re not. oppression against women in very subtle & direct ways is rampant here & around the world. i believe strongly that we, as the body of Christ, have a responsibility to not just advocate for something different, but to live out something different.
cynthia is going to be in denver this upcoming week for 2 events to highlight taking flight and ongoing dialogue an this issue. if you live in denver, we’d love for you to be part. on monday, october 18th christians for biblical equality denver chapter is hosting a conversation at their monthly gathering at denver seminary. it’s from 11:30-1. there’s a panel of contributors from the book including cynthia, caleb, vaun, jeff, and me (i’ll be the one looking weird standing up the entire time since i can’t sit down). then, that same evening there’s a fun book launch & open house at 6:30pm at pomegranate place. if want to join us for either one of these events, i’d love to see you. they are both open to all.
some days i have great hope for what could be when it comes to real equality for all, across gender, race, socioeconomics and all the other things that divide us. and on other days, when i hear certain stories, i can become discouraged & sad. but i do cling to this–the ways of the kingdom are not the ways of the world. following Jesus will often require going-against-the-grain-not-just-of-the-world-but-also-in-the-religious-establishments and will sometimes come at great cost. i know for me, my beliefs about inclusion aren’t popular in a lot of circles, but on behalf of my daughter & sisters & friends-on-the-journey, i will continue to do my small little part to advocate for & live out equality as best i can even when it costs me in pride & money & a lot of other things that don’t really matter.
thanks for how many of you are trying to live out equality in new & beautiful ways. you inspire me, and i’m thankful for your example & encouragement.
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ps: this saturday october 16th is our first voca femina live event outside of denver, in phoenix! i am so sad i had to cancel because when you can’t sit, you can’t fly on a plane! but my two lovely friends, phyllis & stacy, will still be traveling down to facilitate. if you are in phoenix and want to come, email me and i’ll get you the details.
ppss: i have a new post up this week at communitas collective called i love people.