Abstracts and Bio information included here…
The Sophia Network - Activists for Change
By Jenny Baker
Abstract: Launched in November 2007 in the UK, the Sophia Network exists to extend gender equality within faith communities by connecting women in youth work and ministry to access training, develop skills and share wisdom. This chapter explores the motivation behind the network and the strategies we are using to encourage and equip women in leadership and ministry, as well as stimulating discussion about gender within the church.
Bio: Jenny Baker is a co-founder of the Sophia Network for women in youth work, and is a freelance writer and trainer with a background in teaching and youth work. She is currently studying for an MSc in Gender, Sexuality and Society, is a triathlete and a trustee of the Greenbelt Festival. She is a member of Grace, an alternative worship community in Ealing, west London and is married with two teenage sons. Visit www.sophianetwork.org.uk
Women Hold the Keys to a Sustainable Future: How to Use Them to Heal the Earth, Help Its People, and Serve Our God
By Anna Clark
Bio: Anna Clark is the author of Green, American Style and President of EarthPeople, LLC. She writes on green living, leadership and creation care and is a member of the Greenbiz Intelligence Panel. Her her ideas for greening small business have appeared in USA Today, Greenbiz.com, FoxBusiness.com and Entrepreneur Radio. Clark and her family live in Dallas, in one of Texas’ first residences to earn a platinum-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. For more on all things green, visit www.annamclark.com.
Why We Need Mothers & Fathers & Sisters & Brothers & Daughters & Sons
By Kathy Escobar
Abstract: This chapter is written from a passionate practitioner and facilitators point of view. Theology and rhetoric regarding Biblical gender equality is plentiful, but few models exist as to how it is worked out collaboratively within faith community. What does it look like in practice? How is equality interwoven with community, the marginalized, healing, spiritual transformation, justice, relationships, diversity, and learning to love and be loved?
Bio: Kathy Escobar is a co-pastor at The Refuge, an eclectic faith community in Denver CO. She is a trained spiritual director, a group facilitator, and an advocate for friends in hard places. Kathy is a cultivator of Voca Femina, a creative arts site for women to use their voice. Kathy conducts workshops at various conferences and is also an online faculty instructor.
As a writer, she has written various articles on Biblical Equality, the Stained Glass Ceiling and Suburban Missional. Kathy has co–authored: Come with Me, an Invitation to Break Through the Walls between You and God and Refresh: Sharing Stories, Building Faith. Kathy writes for Communitas Collective, Voca Femina among others, and blogs at The Carnival in my Head and The Refuge.
Kathy is a mom of 5 (3 teenagers & twins), teammate & partner with her husband Jose, of 19 years, and readily admits, “my life is wonderfully crazy and full, chaotic and fun.”
Reimagining a Woman's Role in the Church
by Frank Viola
Bio: Frank Viola is a Christian author and speaker. His public speaking covers a wide range of topics including the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the deepening of the spiritual life, Christian community, God's eternal purpose, mission, and church planting and restoration. He has written numerous books on the deeper Christian life and radical church reform, including the bestsellers From Eternity to Here and Pagan Christianity (co-authored with George Barna) as well as Finding Organic Church, Reimagining Church, Bethany, and The Untold Story of the New Testament Church. His website is www.FrankViola.com
Coloring Outside the Christian Circle
By Becky Garrison
Abstract: This piece employs satire to deconstruct the Constantian construct of church leadership that led to the creation of a male hierarchy. Though the stories of biblical women and contemporary female church leaders, this chapter demonstrates that not granting women full equality in the church represents a medieval and modernist viewpoint that goes against the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Bio: Becky Garrison is a Contributing Editor for Sojourners and a blogger with the God’s Politics blog. Her books include Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ (Zondervan, August 2010), The New Atheist Crusaders and their Unholy Grail (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church (Seabury Books, 2007), and Red and Blue God: Black and Blue Church (Jossey Bass, 2006). Additional writing credits include work for The High Calling, Killing the Buddha, Geez, US Catholic and The Wittenburg Door. Presently she is working on another book for Zondervan and a two book series exploring new forms of UK-US Anglican church for Church Publishing. Follow her travels on Twitter @JesusDied4This
Leadership Lenses, Jungian Archetypes and Gender
By Leonard Hjalmarson
Abstract: In modernity we evolved a “Lone Ranger” leadership ideal, and this reinforced the myth that men are testosterone driven, therefore always tend toward competitive and hierarchical leadership styles. Jungian archetypes and the “Wild at Heart” movement reinforce this view and move toward a neo-Patriarchal framework. But what if both these frames: biological, and cultural-mythological, are mistaken? Recovering a biblical anthropology, and a communal view of the Imago, may be our only hope for legitimizing collaborative leadership models that offer equal space for women as for men.
Bio: Len is a writer, pastor, and software developer living among the orchards and vineyards of Kelowna, B.C. He is a regional representative for RESONATE, and was a contributor and editor of Voices of the Virtual World (Volume One of The Wikiklesia Project). Len holds a D.Min in Leadership and Spirituality from ACTS Seminaries in Langley, B.C. Len is the Director of Spiritual Formation for FORGE Canada and is married to Betty, a registered nurse who works with women in transition. Len blogs at www.nextreformation.com and edits the Missional Voice journal at www.forgecanada.ca/
Women of the Kingdom
By Felicity Dale
Bio: Felicity Dale received her medical training at Barts Hospital in London, and worked as a family doctor before leaving to look after her own family of four children. She and her husband, Tony, were active in the British House Church Movement, helping to pioneer a church in their medical college and later in the East End of London.
In 1987, the Dales moved to the United States where they developed businesses to support themselves, and again jumped heart-first into church planting. Out of these church planting pursuits, the vision and relationships developed that led to the formation of House2House Ministries (primarily a website that seeks to resource the rapidly growing house church movement in the West). Felicity has authored Getting Started and An Army of Ordinary People, and, with Tony and George Barna, is co-author of The Rabbit and the Elephant. Check out www.house2house.com
The Words of God do not Justify Cruelty to Women
by Jimmy Carter (used by permission - special thanks to the Carter Foundation)
Abstract: Editorial by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, published in the July 12, 2009, edition of The Observer. Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former U.S. president.
Shoulders to Stand On: The role of men in restoring the woman’s voice
By Jeff McQuilkin
Bio: Jeff McQuilkin is a minister in transition, a worship leader and house church pastor who served for years within institutional Christianity, and is now finding fresh expression outside the walls. He lives with his wife and 19-year-old son in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can catch up with his current ramblings at his blog, Losing My Religion.
Kingdom of God – or of Men? Questions for Thinking Through Our Current Cultural Context
By Brad Sargent
Abstract: Change is inevitable; transformation is volitional. This chapter argues that if we who follow Jesus Christ choose to be transformed within our times, we will find ourselves in an era when gender relations in faith community could make substantial progress. However, such transformation requires a radical change in paradigms, if we want to see deep shifts in our relationships. But how do we do that?
We need to start with a different framework of paradigm questions – otherwise we may do some good things, but won’t really understand the deep theology for why these actions are right. We must move from segmentation to integration, from division to inclusion, from sets to systems.
So, this chapter offers a series of questions for helping us reconstruct our paradigm framework for gender relations, and thus for women and ministry. It addresses issues on both the cultural and faith based sides of things, what some of the consequences and opportunities of change could be, how to ask new questions that befit new situations, what tends to block us from asking better questions about a holistic view of gender relations, and what might happen if we reintegrate around a new paradigm.
Bio: Brad Sargent is a culturologist, futurist, and organizational systems developer. He has a 35-plus year record as a practitioner and theoretician in promoting the providentially equal value of both genders. In his younger years he sampled theological and political forms of fundamentalism, conservatism, evangelicalism, liberalism, and progressivism. Dissatisfied with the deficits and excesses he experienced in each, he eventually moved toward a more comprehensive and holistic re-integration of his faith. However, one element that continued through those searching years and beyond was a commitment to take people at face value (which he learned from family members who are what the Bible terms “people of peace”), regardless of unchangeable characteristics like gender, age, race, or abilities. He blogs at www.futuristguy.wordpress.com.
Dancing as Well as Weeping
by Thomas Hohstadt
Abstract: Our "enlightened" solutions to the gender issues of "liberation," "fairness," "success," "equality," and "freedom" may tragically miss this moment in history. The feminine spirit will find no consolation in the blind bias of today’s formula, analysis, theory, and conjecture. Instead, answers will be found further back than further ahead. Hope will be discovered in more paradoxical contradictions than reasoned objectives.
If we only dare to see it—if we only dare to receive it—the "Lord of History" is giving women their moment of grace. It may prove the ultimate incarnate dialogue.
Bio: Dr. Thomas Hohstadt is a symphony conductor, author, and senior lecturer at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. A lifetime study of the language of music and the future of the arts has revealed more than ordinary answers to some of the pressing issues of our time. His books include Dying to Live and A Prophetic Compass for the Emerging Church. His website is www.FutureChurch.net
What God Has Joined Together…
By Linda Mader
Abstract: Unity is an essential theological requirement for a transformed ecclesia. Setting aside traditional assumptions and arguments about the issue of gender and the role of women in the church and approaching this topic through a comprehensive overview of unity throughout the narrative of Scripture reframes it within the context of the redemptive reality of unity in Christ. The New Testament reality of restoration of unity provides a solid foundation for addressing the participation of women in faith commumnity and reclaiming a unified image for the Body of Christ. The church is challenged to reflect the indwelling, perichoretic nature of the trinity by becoming communities of profound inclusion, love, and unity.
Bio: Linda is a wife, mother, friend, and Christ-follower in South Dakota. She works alongside her husband in their business and is currently working on a master's degree in leadership.
Fruit-basket Turnover (journeying from brick and mortar to organic faith communities)
By Jeremy Smith
Bio: @UMJeremy, a United Methodist minister, is convinced that nerds will inherit the earth.
He blogs at Hacking Christianity about faith, technology, and Internet-Age group theory.
Flight Training Considerations: For Women Considering Seminary
By Vaun Swanson
Abstract: Seminary-trained women are lacking full acceptance as leaders in Christian churches and organizations in the U.S. This chapter provides some new research findings, a brief historical perspective on the situation, and a look at what is transpiring with women in the broader American culture. Drawing upon the perspectives and initiatives of our foremothers, the author encourages women to move outside the walls of existing religious institutions to create new ones that will better connect with women and the needs of our twenty-first century.
Bio: Vaun Swanson, D.Min., has served in helping professions for the past 30 years as a social worker, church-planter, pastor, short-term missionary and mentor for seminary students and ministry professionals. She now offers opportunities for women to connect and grow at Pomegranate Place, a community center she recently founded for women in Denver, Colorado. Vaun has been married to Barry since 1977 and they have three grown sons. You can find her at www.pomegranateplace.org
Change is in the Wind: Taking Flight
by Cynthia La Grou
Abstract: Some of the world’s greatest humanitarian needs and injustices involve the discrimination and exploitation of women. Mounting evidence and cultural awareness points to women and balanced gender representation as the solution to many of the world’s most pressing problems. Shouldn’t values regarding freedom from oppression start with faith community and permeate society, not the other way around? Change is in the Wind challenges some of our most deeply entrenched religious mind-sets. This chapter specifically examines the spiritual, social and economic capital created by a “virtuous woman business model,” investigates the early abolitionist movement, and asks if women of faith are ready to be moved by compassion, move beyond the four walls and realize their vast collective potential to initiate sorely needed spiritual and social movements today, as they have done historically in the past.
Bio: Cynthia is Founding Director of Compathos.tv, a non profit media foundation and creative community of pro and award-winning media partners who are passionate about creating results-oriented media campaigns delivering impact and viewer action, and which focuses its resources on non-profit initiatives around the planet. She is also Founder at Compathos Productions for profit and currently executive director of Drawn from Water film documentary.
Cynthia is a creative professional with a long list of experience in design, digital media and brand architecture- everything from film, photography, web development, 3D animation, illustration, architectural, interior, landscape design – and more. She is also Creative Director and Founding Partner with her husband John, at Millennia Media Group, a suite of companies in the professional audio, recording arts and design industries.
Cynthia is lead editor for Taking Flight (Volume Two of The Wikiklesia Project) and was a contributing author and cover designer for the award winning Voices of the Virtual World (Volume One). Cynthia blogs at www.emerse.org
The Courageous Imagination - A Call to Men
by Jonathan Brink
Abstract: Deep within the heart of a man is the desire to fight for something. Yet also embedded within a man is the destructive bent to rule over the woman. History is littered with the undeniable evidence of oppression towards women. What would happen if men took up the courageous call to address one of the deepest needs of the heart by restoring one of our deepest bents, to literally change the course of history and fight for women.
Bio: Jonathan Brink is Managing Director of Thrive Ministries, and a spiritual formation coach. He is deeply committed to helping people discover and participate in God's mission of restoration and reconciliation by engaging the Way of Jesus. Jonathan holds a BA in Bible from William Jessup University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.www.jonathanbrink.com
The Weakest Foot Forward
by Todd and Angie Fadel
Bio: Todd and Angie Fadel would like to think of themselves as conductors who conduct conductors that conduct. For the last 11 years, they have devoted themselves to creativity in community, specifically stationed at the Bridge in Portland, OR. Their focus helps fresh ideas get fleshed out. Three albums of songs have been released by AGENTS OF FUTURE, a collective of artists and musicians at THE BRIDGE. Also, LOVE IS CONCRETE is "a network of artists / content-writers / think tankers and a hub for resources that engage and explore the imaginations of our communities and help draw out the stories of God's interaction with us—almost like an agency/army of worship freelancers looking for projects to stretch out with. www.thebridgeportland.org
REVIEW of church in local arts weekly, PORTLAND MERCURY: www./bit.ly/MERCbridge
AGENTS OF FUTURE links: www.bit.ly/AGENTSvids, www:bit.ly/ANGandTODD, www.bit.ly/AGENTSGB
LOVE IS CONCRETE link: www.loveisconcrete.com
LOVE IS CONCRETE in SOJOURNERS: www.bit.ly/SOJOURNERStodd