Updated: Sep 8
September 7, 2022
By Jo Wiersema
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
My two favorite Christian authors are Rachel Held Evans and Sarah Bessey.
I was introduced to Sarah Bessey after a zoom call with a PC(USA) pastor in January 2021. I was feeling my call to ministry, but I was part of a church and denomination that didn’t ordain women. I got that topsy turvy feeling in my stomach that something wasn’t quite right in my spiritual life.
After a lockdown filled with online church classes and reading any Christian book I could get my hands on, I figured I should start talking to people.
I reached out to an old friend from my theater days with a clumsily written Sunday morning message:
“You’re wife’s a pastor, right? Can I talk to her? I need to talk to a woman pastor.”
So many blessings to that wonderful husband who gave me his wife’s email and a polite “hope you’re doing well” to the person he hadn’t spoken to in years.
I sent another haphazard email to this pastor saying something like:
“I think I need to go to seminary, can you help?”
I felt like I did in my undergraduate:
Giddy and trying to find the right words to explain to my mom: 1) why I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore and 2) why I wanted to join a research lab and how cool epidemiology was.
When you’re filled with excitement for something new, where you get that tingly feeling that you’re on the crux of something big and life changing.
Quick aside: Maybe you don’t get those feelings. Maybe I get those feelings after a lifetime of watching Nora Ephron romantic comedies where the music swells and you can just feel change is coming. I personally, feel that giggly butterfly feeling when I’m at big turning points in my life, so if that’s not you, totally cool, but I still blame Meg Ryan for how much of a romantic I am.
So, I’m talking with this pastor about how I am so confident that I need to go to seminary.
I’m not sure I can or should be ordained
I’m not sure what to do about this feeling
I’m not sure even how I feel about the language in the Bible and how so many women are politely hushed in favor of the men and the husbands, and the doofus moves those gentlemen tend to make. (Please see last week’s blog)
How am I supposed to stand behind a religion and the associated 66 books who have some not so great things to say about women?
It’s been almost two years since that conversation,
and reading Jesus Feminist,
Being reminded that this Jesus thing isn’t just for the boys.
The Bible isn’t just for men. The voices and experiences of women aren’t something to be steamrolled over by patriarchal culture that disallows change and understanding about this narrative.
To live a life that is one that makes me a Jesus lover and a feminist is not incompatible. To be a feminist is to want and need a world that emphasizes equality, no matter where you may fall on the gender spectrum. A Christ centered feminism allows for voices long silenced to be a voice of change and action.
I love this sermon series.
Blessings blessing blessings,
I use a lot of binary language here... I don’t love it. Gender isn’t binary, it’s a lovely confusing swirly spectrum. The Bible is fairly Binary in how it approaches gender partly due to Greek and Hebrew being a gendered language (meaning nouns have genders, even nouns like “house” have a gender), also because we must realize the context the Bible was written in.