Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Commending to You: "Half the Church: Exploring and Embracing Gender Inclusivity in Churches of Christ"

I'm late with this link, but I highly recommend checking out the new online resource, "Half the Church: Exploring and Embracing Gender Inclusivity in Churches of Christ." It contains a recorded panel conversation (from ACU's annual conference Summit) of women sharing their experiences in churches of Christ as women, and the problems and solutions raised in the process. I had the opportunity of participating in something similar last summer (2009) at the Christian Scholars Conference in Nashville, and it was an enormously affecting experience, as it seems this was as well.

Along with nationalism and violence, the question of gender -- as it relates to leadership, worship, charism, ministry, partnership, marriage, witness, culture, the very substance of the good news we proclaim -- is one of the most pressing challenges for the faithfulness and vitality of churches of Christ today. This new resource succeeds precisely because it recognizes that the most important, the very first thing we must do -- particularly when the "we" in question are male -- is to listen to the actual women who have endured and undergone so much in our churches. Only by listening, by creating space for the Spirit to move our hearts together in unity and creative response, may we be given to move forward in healing and, by God's grace, to the profound kind of transformation called for by the gospel.

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