These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Browse category by WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
W.E.L.L. – WOMEN. EQUAL. LEADING. LEARNING

W.E.L.L. – WOMEN. EQUAL. LEADING. LEARNING

September 18, 2017 By dwayman

The Free Methodist Church in Southern California has an initiative led by a group of three excellent leaders: Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates, Rev. Cheri Coleman, Lillian Johnson  They titled the initiative W.E.L.L.  You can find their work here.

They explain:

 Core to our freedoms within the Free Methodist Church is the freedom for women to participate fully in the life, ministry and governance of the church as called and gifted by God. We want to invite you to be part of the conversation as we discuss how women are currently serving within the life and leadership of the FMC in Southern California and identify new opportunities moving forward.

At a recent meeting they had an excellent presentation by Dr. Bernice Ledbetter of Pepperdine University.  This audio presentation is presented here to provide  recent research substantiating what many of us are experiencing:  Women and Men working together make better decisions and are more effective.

W.E.L.L. Meeting 9/10/17

Keynote by Dr. Bernice Ledbetter, EdD, Director, Center for Women in Leadership.

 

NO JUSTICE, NO VALUE FOR WOMEN

NO JUSTICE, NO VALUE FOR WOMEN

July 9, 2017 By dwayman

Throughout history and throughout the world the subjugation of women has been a reality.  In this article in the New York Times the situation in Afghanistan is explained as “the violence had its roots in tribal feuds and the pervasive practice of marrying off girls at a very young age for large dowries.”  The curse on women is never more prevalent than when the culture does not value equality and justice for all – women, poor, minorities, and other “least of these” among us.

In part the article says:

“If Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman, then Ghor, a province so lawless that people often wonder if there is a government there at all, may be the country’s capital of gender-based violence and abuse. Week after week there are reports of women abused or killed in Ghor by men who never face justice.

“There have been 118 registered cases of violence against women in Ghor in the past year, and those are only cases that have been reported,” said Fawzia Koofi, head of the women’s rights commission in the Afghan Parliament, who recently visited Ghor to raise awareness about the lack of justice. “And not a single suspect in these 118 cases has been arrested.”

“There is no value for women there,” Ms. Koofi added. “It is as if she deserves to die.”

With a population of over 700,000 and located in west-central Afghanistan,

DISHONORING WOMEN DOCTORS

DISHONORING WOMEN DOCTORS

June 25, 2017 By dwayman

Language is important.  In this article studies were done and found that female doctors are often introduced by their first names while male doctors receive the title they have both earned of “Dr.”

The question this raises is whether in the church we also introduce our female pastors as “Pastor” or only use their first name.    The result of such continual referencing is noted in the article as dishonoring.  For the entire article click here.

The article reads in part:

“As sociologists, we know language is very powerful; it both reflects larger social meanings and patterns and can directly contribute to them, in many cases perpetuating social inequality,” said Allison, who studies gender equality.

“The words we use can shape how people feel about themselves and others, how they interact and how they make decisions about the distribution of rights and resources,” she said….

“Women don’t tend to be thought of as leaders. They’re thought of as worker bees and the people who work well together,” said Templeton, immediate past president of the American Medical Women’s Association. “Talking to us is no different than talking to their wives or daughters at home. They just assume, somehow, that they don’t warrant the same respect as the men do,” she said….

Anupam Jena, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said male introducers could be using first names because they felt that “the work done by female colleagues is somehow different than the work done by male colleagues.”

“Subconsciously they are not equating the stature of female speakers to be the same as male speakers,” he said.

FREE METHODIST WOMEN LEADERS BRING UNIQUE ABILITIES

FREE METHODIST WOMEN LEADERS BRING UNIQUE ABILITIES

May 19, 2017 By dwayman

By Dr. Denny Wayman, Lead Superintendent of the FMCSC.

At the 2017 Annual Conference in Southern California I presented the findings of an informal study I made asking Free Methodist Women Leaders what it is that women bring to the leadership position that is unique.  These are my findings and presentation:

 

In Genesis we are told that the curse of the fall is such that women have been subjected to men (Gen. 3:16) – AND –  it is the Gospel message that this subjugation will be so no more within the Kingdom of God (Matt. 20:25-26)  This imperative given to us by our Lord involves both humble diligence toward our own personal prejudices and a consistent commitment toward our church systems such that our sisters are empowered and encouraged to fulfill their God-given purposes.

This year we decided as your superintendents to not divide into workshops as though some of us are interested in missions, and some in leadership, and some in multiethnic ministry, and some in empowering women.  All of these five values we all share equally.  They define us as Free Methodists!

It has been said that the 21st century is the century designed for the Methodist Message.  Our commitment to relationships allows the postmodern world to be engaged in conversations that reach beneath the resistance to religion into direct relationships with God.

WOMEN IN THE EARLY CHURCH

WOMEN IN THE EARLY CHURCH

April 15, 2017 By dwayman
The Neglected History of Women in the Early Church A number of prominent leaders, scholars, and benefactors of the early church were women and—despite neglect by many modern historians—the diligent researcher can still uncover a rich history.

By Catherine Kroeger

 

Women were the last disciples at the cross and the first at the empty tomb. they remained integral to the work of the church in its early centuries. Catherine Kroeger scours historical data to compile an impressive collection of stories about noteworthy women in the early church.

One of the best-kept secrets in Christianity is the enormous role that women played in the early church.

Though they leave much unsaid, still, both Christian and secular writers of the time attest many times to the significant involvement of women in the early growth of Christianity.

Celsus, a 2nd-century detractor of the faith, once taunted that the church attracted only “the silly and the mean and the stupid, with women and children.” His contemporary, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage, acknowledged in his Testimonia that “Christian maidens were very numerous” and that it was difficult to find Christian husbands for all of them. These comments give us a picture of a church disproportionately populated by women.

Why? One reason might have been the practice of exposing unwanted female infants—abandoning them to certain death. Christians, of course, repudiated this practice, and thus had more living females.

RUTH IS NOT A ROMANCE TALE

RUTH IS NOT A ROMANCE TALE

April 9, 2017 By dwayman

In a fascinating article at MISSIO ALIANCE  the author explores how a male pastor exhibits a clear misunderstanding of the purpose and focus of the biblical book of Ruth.  It is written by Carolyn Custis James, the author of THE GOSPEL OF RUTH.  The multilayered value of this article includes the fact that male patriarchal society turns a woman’s faith journey into a romance novel using a Cinderella hermeneutic.  Misunderstanding both the motivation and cultural setting, pastors can easily miss a great opportunity to teach the true word of God.  As Carolyn James says it:  “Driscoll needs to realize that the Bible is not a Disney movie, but an earthshaking existential confrontation with the deepest issues of life in a fallen world and of the hope that is Jesus.”

in part she writes:

…Abandoning Cinderella for a Better Love Story

Within the patriarchal culture, a woman’s chief contribution in life was to produce sons for her husband. Women in the Bible are desperate for sons. None of them are begging God for daughters. Under patriarchy, a woman’s value is gauged by counting her sons. Sons are essential for family survival. The fate the ancients feared most was for a man to die without a male heir to perpetuate the family for another generation.

So when a post-menopausal Naomi loses her husband and both her sons, she plummets from the status of an honored mother of two sons to a zero.

GENDER WAGE GAP

GENDER WAGE GAP

April 6, 2017 By dwayman

Due to our FMC value of treating men and women with equality, some of this generalized study of the pay gap may not apply.  However, there is much that does.  Here is the conclusion of the article:

“Finding church-wide solutions

In that vein, Simmons encourages churches to intentionally include women in those committees and councils and denominational efforts. “If they have a diaconate, another board, a finance board, board of elders—make sure that there are women who are part of the human resource effort,” she says. “Make sure that there are women there who can make the case: not women who will agree with the men, but women who will make the case. . . . You don’t see enough women in those positions that determine salaries and bonuses and work hours and how you get ordained. You don’t see women in those positions. And until that changes, much of this will never change.”

According to Simmons, another key step in the path to change concerns awareness and discussion among male clergy and staff—not just female. “You have to do both,” she says. “You have to talk to women, but you certainly have to talk to men.”

In her interactions with male pastors, Simmons has “help[ed] them understand what is just, what is fair, and—when their budget increases—who to take care of first, because these are the people who are doing the heavy lifting.”

Ultimately, however, “until women are willing to join the fight for their own liberation and proper pay,

JUNIA PROJECT

JUNIA PROJECT

March 31, 2017 By dwayman

The Junia Project is led by two Free Methodist women:  Gail Wallace and Kate Nunnelly.  It is a resource for great articles on Women in Leadership.  You can find their website here.

Here is their greeting:

ABOUT THE JUNIA PROJECT
Welcome, and thanks for dropping in!

We are a volunteer community of women and men advocating for the inclusion of women in leadership in the Christian church and for mutuality in marriage.

We believe that when interpreted correctly, the Bible teaches that both men and women are called to serve at all levels of the Church, and that leadership should be based primarily on gifting and not on gender.

 

 

WOMEN’S SERVICE IN THE CHURCH:The Biblical Basis

WOMEN’S SERVICE IN THE CHURCH:The Biblical Basis

March 28, 2017 By dwayman

NT Wright in his article here sums up his exegetical study of Scripture with this conclusion:

“I believe we have seriously misread the relevant passages in the New Testament, no doubt not least through a long process of assumption, tradition, and all kinds of post-biblical and sub-biblical attitudes that have crept in to Christianity. Just as I think we need radically to change our traditional pictures of the afterlife, away from the mediaeval models and back to the biblical ones, so we need radically to change our traditional pictures both of what men and women are and how they relate to one another within the church and indeed of what the Bible says on this subject. I do wonder, sometimes, if those who present radical challenges to Christianity have been all the more eager to make out that the Bible says certain things about women, as an excuse for claiming that Christianity in general is a wicked thing and we ought to abandon it. Of course, there have been plenty of Christians who have given outsiders plenty of chances to make that sort of comment. But perhaps in our generation we have an opportunity to take a large step back in the right direction.”