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I agree with all you have written Kathy. Women and girls get a raw deal in churches that follow the directive to keep women submissive and quiet. I’ve been observing the way men run churches and it lacks something that only a female was created to do. In general (I’m aware that I am stereotyping) women contribute empathy and care. They gravitate towards language and actions that are akin to a warm embrace, rather than a checklist. And for those women and girls who have no gifting or desire to be homemakers and childrens ministry workers, being shut out of roles of leadership to the entire church is frustrating. And they leave.

Regret from a male church leader is not appreciated by those women frustrated by the church’s stance. I have many gifts that are completely ignored by church leaders. Not because there’s something wrong with them but because there’s something wrong with me - I’m a woman. I don’t want to be in the children's ministry, the church kitchen, or the ladies’ group. 

The discussion may be theoretical and academic, a hermeneutical tennis match, but the frustration is the reality. 

Don’t tell me I should be having babies and staying out of the church council room. It’s not helpful.

I can’t believe people actually spend their life going over the same issues with the same arguments. Do you realise these ideas you are quoting have been around for hundreds of years, probably since Paul first wrote his letters. And it matters not a jot to a person’s qualifications to enter heaven. Women will be in heaven whether they’ve been preaching or a submissive wife. Men will be there regardless of whether they encouraged their daughters to enter the ministry, or forbade them. However some people will not hear the gospel while we are busy ‘parsing’.

Those who want to oppress women will not be swayed by anyone’s studies of this word or that word. And do you think a woman in Iran will be comforted to know that God doesn't want women to be abused by their husband, because she now has a correct understanding of the meaning of a single word? 

 

This made me cry. The hurt never goes away, especially when those in leadership pretend the issue isn’t there anymore. I don’t live in a country where churches of the reformation allow women to be leaders. My greatest sorrow is seeing women remain silent and accepting the status quo. And men (leaders) who just shrug and say it’s too difficult to change the system.

I took this approach many years back in a UK church while on a working holiday. I was asked to teach a children's Sunday school class of 5 year olds. The story was of Elisha and the woman who had a jar of oil and a jar of flour. While I told the story the children each had a lump of bread dough to manipulate. Then we put their bread shapes into the oven. As the church service next door came to its conclusion there was a delicious smell pervading the sanctuary, and the people were literally following their noses as they left. All they found was a dozen small children munching on freshly baked bread.

Number 6 Elect elders and a pastor who would be prepared to have an intergenerational service every service. Kids shouldn't be expected to work so hard to fit into a model of church service designed for college educated adults who are audio learners. Give the poor kids a break!

This is a fabulous list. All of them essential items for sure.

Your scissors injury reminded me of a time I was making holes in cardboard boxes. I had forgotten to bring my trusty, blunt, vegetable knife so I grabbed the only knife I could find - large, very sharp. A little boy watched from a distance, went to the play kitchen, found a toy knife and another box and came close enough to watch what I was doing. And imitate every move. I ensured he was at a safe distance. As I hacked into the box the knife slipped, glanced across my thumb, and an impressive little fountain of blood squirted up. In one smooth action I grabbed a towel and banged it over my hand. At the same time I looked at the boy. His face was contorted with surprised and horror. He immediately jumped up and ran to his mother. 

PS. No lasting injury to my thumb. But I doubt that boy will ever play with knives. 

Posted in: Talk to Me!

I wholeheartedly agree. Now to convince Church leaders that the same is true for adult church services and adult education.

I have been buying a Nativity picture book for my family every Christmas for the past 20 years. Before this, not as frequently, but often enough for us to now have a collection of over 40 picture books. I avoid those with talking mice and cattle, and those by Max Lucado ( blind spot on my part!). 

I enjoy learning about and exploring Christmas traditions from around the world, but there's nothing as precious as the family sitting around the Christmas tree after all the gifts have been opened, and reading/looking at the account of Jesus' birth in a picture book. And none of us is younger than 28!

As an Australian I'm particularly pleased that you love the Julie Vivas book. It's one of my favourites, and a great hit with the many children with whom I have shared it.

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