As Women’s History Month draws to a close, here are a few recent articles by United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ authors, along with some great compilation resources.
1) History of women’s leadership in the church
“Nevertheless, She Preached” by Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History, writing on the GCOSROW blog. Quote:
“For millennia, women have been intentionally written out of the Christian narrative. Their submissive roles have been assigned to them by the leaders of society and by those who write history—not by biblical mandates. Their theologies, stories, missions, calls, and contributions have been pushed aside, deemed improper, unauthoritative, unimportant. But women have continued on. They kept writing, kept preaching, kept calling others to God. They maintained missions, wrote declarations, gave speeches. They occupied pulpits, legislatures, and homes.”
2) United Methodist Women Bibliography List
“A Working Bibliography” is a massive 23 page list of women’s articles and history books, well categorized by the official women and children’s agency of The United Methodist Church. There’s also a page dedicated to Women’s History Month, a magazine subscription, and a Racial Justice Timeline.
3) Women in Christian Art
“Embodied: Women, History, and the Posture of Prayer” by the Rev. Dr. Lori Walke, a UCC pastor in Oklahoma City, writing for the Kansas-Oklahoma conference of the UCC. Quote:
On the walls of catacombs in Rome, on reliefs on sarcophagi, on the mosaics of holy places, even on jewelry and on household objects, there are hundreds, maybe even a thousand images of a praying figure: arms outstretched, palms open, head lifted. This praying person, called an ‘orans’ (Latin for – wait for it – ‘praying person’) shows up in both Christian and non-Christian art from the second to sixth centuries…It seems that women in the early church so regularly and passionately embodied prayer and prophecy that they inspired the church to designate the orans as female in the context of Christianity. The power and the potency of these anonymous women figures standing in early Christian art let us glimpse the power and the potency of the earliest women in ministry; women who inspired generations of faithfulness.
4) Fascinating People in Women’s History and Today
“Celebrating Women of Courage, Character and Commitment” by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in The United Methodist Church. It’s a great resource to scroll, click, and read!
5) Black clergywomens’ experiences today
“Black clergywomen’s stories offer insights into racism” by the Rev. Josephine Whitely-Fields, an author and retired pastor and non-profit executive, writing on UMNS. Quote:
Systemic racism, sexism and economic discrimination are also demonstrated by the location, financial ability and vitality of the churches where Black clergywomen are assigned. Many of the cross-racial appointments are in rural areas or small towns where few or no Black people reside. The location is a cultural shock for the Black clergywoman, and relating to a Black clergywoman is a cultural shock for the congregation. The Black clergywoman is assigned with no attempt to bridge the cultural or racial divide, as she is literally dumped on the congregation.
What articles have inspired you this month? Leave them in the comments!
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