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  • About Us | Advocates For Free Methodist Women In Leadership

    About Us A Brief History It’s difficult to write a history of advocacy for women in the Free Methodist church, because those of us on this team stand on the shoulders of so many women who have walked this path. When exactly did advocacy “start”? With the first FM woman who woke up one morning and said—“This is not right. I’m going to do something.” ​ So many others have “done something” since. We are only the latest nine. We are grateful for their tireless, courageous work of education and advocacy. We build on it. ​ AWLFMC started with a Facebook message between two of us in February 2021. “Do you want to do something?” ​ “Yes.” We messaged four other amazing and brave women with the same question. They gave the same answer. And so here we are. Six of us as a core team began meeting monthly to decide what that something would be. We quickly determined it had to include resources for our pastors and leaders to learn more about the culture in North America and how it affects women, especially the church culture. We needed to talk honestly about what we’ve experienced and allow those stories to be heard, unvarnished. We wanted a gathering place for women in the FMC to feel heard, seen, valued, and energized. Above all, we want to advocate for women to be treated with the dignity and equality afforded to ezer kenegdo images of God—in the church, in leadership, in marriage—everywhere. AWLFMC continues to expand beyond its original six to include women at quarterly meetings where we can learn from one another's experience and hear their needs. We plan action teams to pursue different projects as expertise and passion dictate. If you’re interested in either of these options, contact us. Meet The Team Rev. Denise J. Abston, D.C.C. Denise J. Abston brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Central Region Conference as Conference Administrator. She was the first female ordained in the more than 100 year history of what was the Mid-America Conference, served as lead pastor for four churches in Oklahoma as well as in many assistant roles. A member of both the Conference MEG/MAC and the BoA, she has also served as the Assistant to the Superintendent for several years. Dr. Denise received her Doctor of Christian Counseling degree from Omega Bible Institute and Seminary, as well as a Masters of Arts in Leadership in Ministry from Greenville University. With her education and experience she has taught courses primarily in philosophy and business at St. Gregory’s University as an adjunct professor. An office administrator and paralegal for the Oklahoma City law firm of Fenton, Fenton, Smith, Reneau & Moon, she has served as the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Association of Legal Administrators for the Oklahoma City chapter and was President of the chapter from 2014-2015. Dr. Denise also serves on the Butterfield Memorial Foundation Board and is chair of its governance committee. She is happily married to her husband Chuck, who has been very gracious in allowing her a great deal of freedom to explore all the avenues God has prepared for her. Rev. Amelia Cleveland-Traylor, MD Rev. Amelia Cleveland-Traylor, MD was ordained as elder in the FMC in 2005. Her ministry responsibilities have included pastoral care, praise and worship leader, women’s ministry director, youth ministry, small group leadership, and faith and fitness. Amelia has served on the MEG and MAC in the Ohio Conference, been a member of the Genesis BOA, and was Superintendent of the River Conference from 2018-2022. She currently serves on the FMC Board of Administration. She has a special interest in justice and advocacy with pending studies of justice and advocacy at Fuller Theological Seminary beginning in fall 2022. She is also a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and has a focus in indigent health care and women’s health. Rev. Katie Sawade Hall Katie Sawade Hall is Associate Pastor at Community of the Savior, a Free Methodist congregation in Rochester, NY. She holds an MDiv from Duke Divinity School. Katie has been an ordained elder in the FMC since 2015 and spent the first five years of her pastoral ministry as a children’s pastor in Southern Indiana. She is especially interested in the intersections of liturgy, spiritual formation, and justice. Katie is married to Andy, who is a native of Lancashire, UK, and they have two daughters, Ellie and Zoe, and a golden retriever named Scout. Rev. Dr. Jill Richardson Jill Richardson pastors Real Hope Community Church in suburban Chicago. Her doctorate is in Church Leadership in a Changing Context, with a focus on the next generation and preaching. She has written or contributed to 8 books, and her articles have appeared in leading national magazines and websites. Her tagline is “Reframed: Picturing Faith what the Next Generation,” and her passion is to work with the next generation to create a healthy church for the 21st century. She’s also a writer, speaker, and (fairly) intrepid traveler. You can find her work or contact her at jillmrichardson.com . AWL Emeritae Rev. Soo Ji Alvarez Soo Ji Alvarez is the Lead Pastor of The Avenue, a multi-ethnic Free Methodist church in Riverside, CA. She is also the Program Coordinator for How To Fuel Your Passion, an online program designed to equip Asian American and Latina women faith leaders and the Conference Director for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy. She has been ordained with the Free Methodist Church since 2011 and has been a national speaker and strong advocate for women in ministry, gender equality, diversity, justice and the AAPI community. Soo Ji is Korean-Canadian and loves doing life and ministry with her Mexican-American husband Joe. They have 2 amazing kids, Juaquin and Nayara and a puppy named Oso. Rev. Dr. Sheila Houston Pastor Sheila Houston is a leader in the Sex Trafficking Movement. She has led teams to work directly with victims of domestic sex trafficking throughout Seattle and internationally, working directly involved with over 2,500 victims. From 2008-2011 she also led street teams that worked directly with men involved in pimping. Sheila is a Free Methodist Pastor currently serving in Detroit Michigan at Arise Ministries Detroit. Her credentials include an Executive Master of Not-For-Profit Leadership, Seattle University; Post Master Certificate in Transforming Spirituality, Seattle University; BA Organizational Behavior, Seattle Pacific University; Pastoral Leadership Certificate and a Doctor of Ministry from School of Theology, Seattle University. Rev. Dr. Laura J. Hunt Laura J. Hunt adjuncts for several undergraduate and graduate institutions worldwide. Her PhD used semiotics and the poetics of allusions for biblical interpretation; it is published as Jesus Caesar: A Roman Reading of the Johannine Trial Narrative . She continues to work and publish in academia, particularly on the Gospel of John and 1 Peter. Her tagline, “Making the Academic Practical,” guides her work as Associate Pastor of New Beginnings in SE Michigan and her book on 1 Cor 1­-4, The Not-Very-Persecuted Church . She loves languages, coarse bread, and smelly cheeses. Rev. Marianne Pēna Marianne Peña is a Pastor and planter of a bilingual Free Methodist Church in North Houston, Texas, Essential Church. She and her husband, William, co-pastored a multi-generational, multi-cultural, and bilingual church in Miami, Florida for eight years before being called out to plant. Marianne has been an ordained elder in the FMC since 2018. She holds an MA in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University and a Graduate Certificate in Discipleship and Spiritual Formation from Wesley Biblical Seminary. Marianne is passionate about helping believers walk in the freedom and power of the Holy Spirit and seeing women thrive within their context while experiencing the fullness of what God has for them. Marianne and William have three lively boys, Shiloh, Micah, and Mason. Dr. Michelle Roberts Michelle Roberts, a member of the Free Methodist Church since 2002 and one of the church plant leaders of Light & Life West, Long Beach, CA. She served as the co-leader of the ministry support team, “Life Support” where she assisted with groups/classes coming together for healing and support. She ministered as the online church platform leader, communications administrator, social media content developer, program developer and website administrator. 2019, Michelle became the Assistant Director of African Heritage Network. She is also the founder of JKLM Corp, a Non-Profit organization for small business technical support, workshops, graphic design assistance and an entrepreneurial hub for charitable organizations with limited resources. Rev. Heather Baker Utley Heather Baker Utley is pastor and planter for a Free Methodist house church, Tapestry Church, in San Antonio, Texas. She also works in the areas of web design and social media for several Free Methodist-affiliated organizations, including Light + Life Communications and Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy. She holds an MDiv from Seattle Pacific Seminary and has been ordained in the FMC since 2017. She has 17 years of experience working for churches and nonprofits in Ohio and Washington State in the areas of youth ministry, children’s ministry, administration and communications. Our Priorities COMMUNICATION Create and maintain lines of communication that include women leaders at all levels. Ensure they have the information they require to advocate for themselves and find opportunities in the Free Methodist Church. CONTINUING EDUCATION Create a resource center of information regarding gender issues. EMPOWERING MENTORS Work to equip new young pastors, new pastors, CMCs (ministry candidates), and women in new pastoral roles with the mentoring, communication, and opportunities they require for full use of their gifts and opportunities. PROCESSING, HEALING, SHARING STRATEGIES Create a safe space for women who have experienced sexual abuse, assault, or harassment either from an FMC leader or a person defended by one to tell their stories and find advocacy. ADDRESSING PROMOTIONAL SYSTEM Educate the FMC about gender bias and women’s unique life stages so that women can begin to make up a more representative portion of leadership and pastoral candidates. SEXIST PATTERNS OF BEHAVIORS Offer training on patterns of sexism and power. PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Work to educate and screen pastoral candidates regarding egalitarian beliefs.

  • Home | Advocates for Free Methodist Women in Leadership

    Advocates for Free Methodist Women in Leadership (AWL) is a group of women leaders in the Free Methodist Church USA (FMCUSA) who are passionate about creating a culture of equality, opportunity, and safety for women in our churches. We’re here to provide everyone in the FMCUSA with the resources to understand our theology and practice regarding the equality of women in the kingdom of God—in value, role, and function. ​ We’re also here to offer a safe space for women to tell their stories of church experience. This site is curated to assure those stories can be told with authenticity and without fear. We hope all can learn from your experiences. ​ You are welcome here whether you are well immersed in egalitarian ideas, desiring information on what the Free Methodist position regarding women is, or questioning what you think about that position. We pray you will find what you need in these pages. Join Our Next Event! PreacHer Sunday VISION The vision of Advocates for FM Women in Leadership is to help lead the Free Methodist Church USA toward an egalitarian culture in its entirety, including marriage and ordination, theory and practice. MISSION Our Mission is to be a healthy biblical community of Free Methodist leaders supporting one another and assisting the Free Methodist Church USA in understanding the societal distinctives of women in the US in order to fully recruit and empower women among our disciples, leaders, groups and churches. Highlighted Resource: On the Feminization of the Church The feminization of the church movement has argued that men in particular are leaving churches because churches and church practices have been feminized. ​ For a response to these assumptions, two articles and a book may be helpful.

  • Imagining Equity | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    < Back Imagining Equity Daniel Williams Sep 21, 2022 The gifts of Christian feminist theology Summary:'Christian feminist theology challenges traditional theology and church practices that have restricted half of God's people from serving Go and the church as priests, pastors, teachers, and baptizers. this book offers a constructive argument and biblical examples to suggest a dynamic adaptation and revision of customs in narratives, prophecy, and wisdom, including especially the incarnation and in Jesus's life and teaching. After carefully defining "feminism" and examining the biblical text, the author emphasizes that outsiders and "othered" peoples are represented in the Bible as loved and used by God, even though the privileged have actively discriminated against them and continue to do so both in and out of ecclesial structure. Christian feminists seek to find, listen to, and raise the voices of women and others' experiences through diverse means, in order to contribute to the spread of the gospel, redemption, and justice for all.' Karen Strand Winslow (Author), United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry (U.S.) (Issuing body) Previous Next

  • Biblical Interpretation and Tradition | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Biblical Interpretation and Tradition Here are just a few of our favorite articles and blogs. Check out more thorough discussions of the interpretations of various passages in some of our recommended books , videos , and websites . Authority and Submission Submission and the Legal Reality of Peter’s Rome by Jill Richardson ​ Chain of Inference: “Seeing” Male Authority as God’s Design in Genesis by Bob Edwards ​ The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman by Philip B. Payne ​ See also videos on our video page , such as: Humility: it looks different for women and men Theology of Suffering Headship in Ephesians Women Pastors and 1 Tim 2:12 There are Women Pastors in the New Testament by Marg Mowczko ​ Was Paul For or Against Women in Ministry? by Craig Keener “But What About 1 Timothy 2:12?” Ten Talking Points by Gail Wallace Women in Leadership: The Only Thing That Matters is What the Bible Says by Kelly Ladd Bishop ​ Humor: Ten Reasons Men Should Not Be Ordained as Ministers by David M. Scholer ​ See also videos on our video page , such as: Why do women preach? The pushback Adventures in Sexist Hermeneutics Modesty, 1 Tim 2:9 and I Peter 3:3-4 5 Things the Bible Does (and Doesn’t) Say About Modesty by Jill Richardson Modesty: I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means by Rachel Held Evans Church Tradition Feminine Language for Paul and Jesus in the 11th Century by St. Anselm ​ Modest, Industrious, and Loyal: Reinterpreting Conflicting Evidence for Women's Roles by Susan E. Hylen. Email AWL for full article . ​ "Women and Authority in the Fourth Century" from Chrispina and Her Sisters by Christine Schenk. Email AWL for full article . ​ See also "Holiness in Black & White" on our podcast and websites page .

  • How To's | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    How To's Whether you want to better recognize sexism or to put practices in place that promote balanced leadership, the articles below can help. Also check out our book recommendations . What does sexism look like? The Subtle Hazing of Women in Ministry by Jill M. Richardson ​ Becoming a Champion of Women: One Pastor’s Journey by Larry Walkemeyer ​ Why Hiring Women is Not Enough: Tokenism and the "Problem" Woman of Colour by Kira Page ​ The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly... by Melanie Tannenbaum ​ The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory : Can you recognize the different faces of sexism? ​ We Are Feminine (But We Won’t Fit In Your Box) by Tara Beth Leach ​ The "Feminization" of the Church by Kristen Rosser ​ The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews by Kieran Snyder ​ A Jesus for Real Men: What the new masculinity movement gets right and wrong by Brandon O'Brien ​ Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic ​ ​​​It's Time to Start Recognizing Sexism in the Church by Janel Apps Ramsey ​ 3 Female Ghosts that Haunt the Church by Jen Wilkin ​ Roundup of Concerns with the ESV ​ Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers by Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely, and Deborah M. Kolb ​ Organizational Resistance to Women in Ministry by Edward C. Lehman. Email AWL for full article . ​ How can we support women and build egalitarian environments? Local Church Assessment of Women's Full Inclusion ​ Creating Discussion Spaces Where Women Are Heard by Jill M. Richardson ​ Raising Up Allies: A Standardized Pathway for Developing Men into Allies to Women by Rob Dixon If you would rather listen to an audio version of this material, see Becoming an Ally: A Roadmap for Men Who Aspire to Advocate for Women . ​ How to Find a Church that Empowers Women by Ruth Martin Would someone looking for such a church choose yours? ​ ​​The Billy Graham Rule, or Why Men in Ministry Need to Meet with Women Roundup ​ Seventeen Resources on Women and Men in Mutual Leadership by Chris Morton ​ How to Become a Church that Welcomes Women Pastors by Jill M. Richardson Learning from My Mistakes: Being Intentional about Practicing Egalitarianism by Charles M. Metcalf 9 Ridiculously Practical Ways for Male Leaders to Empower Female Leaders in the Church by J. R. Briggs ​ Caring for the Mothers in Our Midst: The Church’s Responsibility ​ 8 Reasons to Stop Saying ‘Men’ When We Mean Everyone by Karl Vaters ​ Interrupting Sexism at Work: What Drives Men to Respond Directly or Do Nothing? (Report) by Negin Sattari, PhD , Emily Shaffer, PhD , Sarah DiMuccio, PhD , Dnika J. Travis, PhD ​ Plus a couple of suggestions from AWL: Make your presenters list as diverse as you want your audience to be. ​ Let Women Ask the First Question in Q & A and Discussion Meetings: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ How To's for Women in Ministry Six Tips for Taking Center Stage by Jill M. Richardson No Need to Downplay Your Leadership by Jill M. Richardson ​ "Tiara Syndrome" Do you have a tendency to put your head down, work hard, and hope someone will eventually notice and reward you with promotion? Some of us do, too! Here's what that is, and how to do something different. ​ See also videos on our video page , such as: Everyday Sexism ​ Lead Stories and websites such as CBE International and The Junia Project will all have lots of help and support .

  • Forgiveness and Repair | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Acerca de Forgiveness and Repair The Full Story In the experience of many women in ministry, when relationships with superiors break down, demands for forgiveness often precede or replace any work towards repair. The resources on this page will clarify and carefully distinguish between the work of apology, the work of forgiveness, and the work of repair and reconciliation. In our experience, if these steps are not carefully distinguished, victims are re-victimized and perpetrators are robbed of the opportunity to repent, grow, and change into more holy people. Power imbalances factor into this conversation as well. We have seen those with power behave in sexist or even abusive ways, stumble their way through a difficult situation without coming to terms with the harm they have caused, and then move on, putting the event out of their minds and evidently hoping and trusting that those they have harmed will do the same. For those without power, however, especially for those who were harmed, those events become flashpoints, clear evidence that those with power are not trustworthy, and those stories continue to circulate as warnings to those navigating the power dynamics in institutions in which we know we are not safe. ​ We have posted information on ways to move forward on some of our other pages. Here we focus first on making amends, and then on forgiveness. We trust that perpetrators who are focused on making amends will do the self-work necessary to center the needs of those who were previously hurt. We trust that those working on forgiving those who have harmed them will come to their own conclusions about whether moving forward means repairing or ending the relationship. We pray that God's Spirit would empower each person to recognize the image of God in themself and in the other/s throughout this difficult process. REPAIR HOW TO BEGIN TO ATONE FOR THE HARM DONE Learn More FORGIVENESS HOW TO BEGIN TO MOVE PAST THE HARM DONE TO YOU Learn More R EPAIR On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Danya Ruttenberg ​ Sorry Watch The 5 Apology Languages: The Secret to Healthy Relationships by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas ​ Although each of these resources offer a slightly different model, they all include a victim-centered approach that includes: Clarity about the wrong done and its consequences U nderstanding that leads to change Restitution if possible Apologizing without excuses Making different choices ​ Repair FORGIVENESS Forgiveness video by Laur a J. Hunt ​ Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown ​ The Art of Forgiving: When You Need to Forgive and Don't Know How by Lewis B. Smedes ​ ​ We recommend Dr. Smede's work with some hesitation, so trust your own process more than his book. Still, he suggests three useful steps for forgiveness: We rediscover the humanity of the person who hurt us We surrender our right to get even. We begin to wish the person well. Please note that reconciliation is a completely different step, and depends on the commitment of the perpetrator to the work of change. ​ Forgiveness

  • Male Advocacy Event | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Male Advocacy Event In the fall of 2023, AWL invited 4 male FMC elders that we had seen practicing advocacy to speak at our event. More than 50 people came, and this is what happened. For FMC women: If you want to add your thoughts to those of the women at the end: · What is one thing you wish male advocates knew? · How have you seen male advocates effectively making space for you and other women? comments debug "I wish.." "I've seen.." If you're a Free Methodist Woman, add your own response If you're a Free Methodist Woman, add your own response Share Your Thoughts Be the first to write a comment.

  • Resources | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Curated resources to continue your education on women and church culture. And while we are learning: 9 Phrases Allies Can Say When Called Out Instead of Getting Defensive by Sam Dylan Finch Introduction (below) Video Corner Book Recommendations Podcasts and Websites Forgiveness and Repair Articles Biblical Interpretation and Tradition How To's Marriage and Engagement Resources Abuse and #MeToo The So-Called "Feminization" of the Church Event-Themed Resource Pages: Discouragement Who Tells Your Story? Teaching Opportunities for FMCUSA FMC Women's Dissertation Corner Introduction ​ In this section of our website, we would like to invite you to join us in the work of dismantling thought patterns and institutional processes that hinder and harm women, replacing them in ways that support equity for all. This is work that all women and men within the denomination are called to do. It includes: taking seriously the stories of FMC women who have faced obstacles to leadership, and prioritizing dismantling those obstacles over protecting the status quo. (Read more on the blog.) reading the resources provided, sitting with the discomfort they may cause, and allowing this new knowledge to change previous patterns of thought and behavior. repenting* for participation in the marginalization of women in the FMC in the past with the hope of reconciliation and co-ministry moving forward. implementing new models of family and church leadership in current spheres of influence, based on collaboration and mutual regard. Repenting includes: (1) confessing to a same-gender partner the specific instances of participation in male supremacy, acknowledging sorrow for harm done and accepting responsibility for participating in the marginalization of women; (2) making restitution when possible and apologizing to the person/s impacted, if doing so would not cause further harm to that/those persons; (3) taking specific action/s to prevent further occurrences; (4) implementing a specific plan for rebuilding trust, [Adapted from Gary Chapman's The Five Languages of Apology ] Note that if you have harmed specific women, you will harm them further by expecting them to go through this process alongside you. Part of repentance includes acknowledging their feelings and their timetable. If they are unwilling to reconcile, take that as evidence of the size of the harm you caused, not the size of their faith.

  • Podcasts and Websites | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Podcasts and Websites Newly Added Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil will blow your socks off with her discussion of stepping into our callings of resisting both sexism and racism. Her wisdom and passion are sorely needed in the FMC today. Rev. Dr. Jill Richardson recently spoke as a guest for FM's Light & Life Podcast on the topic of Advocating for Women in Church Leadership. She gives us five action points--simple steps to take so that we can live what we believe. We are so excited for this invitation and the wisdom she shared. Enjoy! Rev. Dr. Laura J. Hunt gave us an overview of approaches to biblical interpretation that we can use to make sure that our sermons are empowering to women. Check out her five points below! Service Name AWL Jan event Rev. Dr. Laura J. Hunt 00:00 / 52:35 Bible stories that do not seem to empower women might benefit from removing layers of biased interpretations (Samaritan woman, John 4) being seen through the lens of liberation (Syrophoenician woman, Mark 7) being put into conversation with other texts that empower women (Luke 8:1-3 and many others) being used as discussion starters in which women are listened to (Dinah, Gen 34) being passed over in silence until we get a better handle on them (Bathsheba, 2 Sam 11-12). Lead Stories On this podcast, Steph Williams O'Brien and Jo Saxton discuss leadership issues such as burnout, breakthrough, and self-leadership. Check out this one on True Empowerment ! Marg Mowczko Marg does a fabulous job of digging into the Bible and making clear the behind-the-scenes academic discussions about the texts that are used to limit or support women. The Junia Project On this website, Gail Wallace and Kate Wallace Nunneley provide resources on biblical equality, equipping women, and resourcing the church. Holiness in Black & White: Women, Race, and Sanctification Drawing on two decades of research, Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison focuses on Wesleyan/Holiness women evangelists in the early 20th century, including Emma Ray, an African American who preached in Seattle rescue missions alongside SPU students and went on to become a Free Methodist Conference Evangelist. This was the 2013 Walls Lecture in Wesleyan Theology at Seattle Pacific University. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ CBE International CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) is THE website for all things related to the equal partnership of women in the church and church teaching. With 400 audio files , over 2000 blog posts and magazine articles , close to 1000 academic articles , almost 300 book reviews , and 90 videos , not to mention courses , you should be able to find information on all aspects of this topic. Women and Church Standings A quick reference page for various people and denominations who have a stated position on women's roles. Not exhaustive. 2013_05_01_L_Priscilla_Pope_Levison 00:00 / 1:12:21 Free Methodist Feminist Christy Mesaros-Winckles gives us the history of debates around women's roles in the FMC, and the women and men who fought them. Sorry Watch This website analyzes examples of apologies in contemporary culture and measures them against their standards for a good apology . Becoming an Ally: A Roadmap for Men Who Aspire to Advocate for Women by Rob Dixon If you would rather read a written version of this material, see Raising Up Allies: A Standardized Pathway for Developing Men into Allies to Women.

  • FMC Job Openings | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Job Openings On this page we have assembled links to FMC USA job opening lists in areas that are specifically seeking applications from women. If you know of others, please let us know! Email Us The River Conference This Conference specifically encourages applications from women, minority groups, veterans, and people with disabilities.

  • So-Called "Feminization" of the Church | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    The So-Called "Feminization" of the Church The "feminization of the church" movement, despite the historical marginalization of women from full engagement in life and meaningful work, and their segregation into household and spiritual pursuits, blames women for the failures of an essentially male-led church. These resources will get you up to speed on these issues. The "Feminization" of the Church by Kristen Rosser ​ A Jesus for Real Men: What the new masculinity movement gets right and wrong by Brandon O'Brien (If you do not have access to CT , you can download the full article here .) ​ The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

  • Video Corner | Advocates (AWL) FMC

    Video Corner Watch these videos to learn more about women in ministry, egalitarian marriages, the history of women in Christianity, or anti-sexism. To see more resources organized by topic, go to this page . Humility We often expect humility to look like stepping aside, away from the spotlight, and giving authority, credit, or an assignment to someone else. In this video, Dr. Christena Clevalend explains what humility looks like from a marginalized position. Does God say, "I hate divorce"? Malachi 2:15 is sometimes cited out of context, used to prolong marriages that have long ceased to be places of Shalom. In this video, Gretchen Baskerville takes us through this passage and gives us its context. Why do women preach? When so many churches oppose women preachers, why do some of us insist on preaching anyway? In this compilation, a series of women pastors explain. The Pushback What happens when women preach? Sometimes there is pushback. Here are examples from the NC Synod of the ELCA. If you ever wondered what microaggressions are, these are examples. Headship in Ephesians Laura J. Hunt goes through the meaning of the word for "head" in the ancient world and its uses throughout Ephesians to explain the meaning of headship in Eph 5:23 (CEB): "A husband is the head of his wife like Christ is head of the church, that is, the savior of the body." Adventures in Sexist Hermeneutics 1 Timothy 2:12 is often used to prohibit women's preaching. In this video, Jamin Hübner takes us through the principles of good hermeneutics (interpretation) and shows us the problems with this understanding. The powerpoint for this talk is here . The Theology of Gender In this series of 11 videos, Ron Pierce teaches a course on the Theology of Gender at Biola University. Each video is approximately 90 minutes long. The first video starts here; click here for the whole playlist. Theology of Suffering Because Christians follow a suffering Messiah, suffering itself is sometimes held up as virtuous. Such a theology has historically failed to motivate Christians to alleviate suffering, for abused women among others. Much has been written on different models of suffering. In her book, Race & Rhyme , Love Sechrest writes, "Paul emphasizes suffering that is endured--not embraced--as part of the cost of following the way of Jesus in ministering life and liberation to others in this life." Raquel A. St. Clair writes about suffering in Call and Consequences: A Womanist Reading of Mark , summarized here . This video, by Laura J. Hunt, offers a few thoughts. The Danger of Civility Church leaders sometimes dismiss critics, labeling them "angry," "bitter," or "too demanding." In this video Christena Cleveland explains the importance of listening to those who do not always make us comfortable in the way they present their information. Intersectionality In recent years, the term "intersectionality" has come under attack. Watch in this video how Kimberlé Crenshaw, the author of the term, explains why we need a term that allows us to address the way sexism and racism are not just overlayed on top of each other but manifest differently in various women's lives. What Were You Wearing? To help our culture move away from victim blaming, this display demonstrates that sexual assault is not about uncontrolled lust but about expressing power. Therefore, women's clothing is irrelevant to this particular discussion. Everyday Sexism A quick 2-minute video with examples of small changes you can make that will have a big impact. Listening to Michal Rev. Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson takes us through the story of Michal in a way that values her contribution and reminds us to listen well. Forgiveness An overview of helpful ways to define forgiveness. For more, see the resources listed here . Lived Experience Using volunteer actors to protect the identity of the women involved, this movie allows Free Methodist women to tell their stories in their own words. Rev. Dr. Roberta Mosier-Peterson explains and narrates.

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