by Ericka Stephens-Rennie
Happy International Women’s Day!
In honour of this special day, I have a question. In response to my last post about feminism in the church, there were a lot of great comments about Christian feminism being about seeking justice for all, and specifically for women. Liz commented that Christian feminism can be – must be – rooted in the body of Christ. She writes:
We’re called to be revolutionaries, prophets, voices of justice, activists, and even (gasp) feminists!
I certainly identify with this statement, and really feel that God made me / gave me experiences that made me a Christian feminist.
My post – and some comments – spoke to the idea that God can use anyone for God’s own purposes. As God’s children, we should be open to hearing that call, and even actively listening and looking for it. So, here’s a question: how can we ensure that we are putting ourselves in situations where it is both more probable that we will hear, and more possible to follow? What do I mean? Well, Liz writes this:
I’m concerned with areas where, as women, we allow our voices to be subjugated, where we tell people that we are meant to be seen and not heard. Why do we work in the nurseries and teach Sunday School classes but don’t host the Saturday morning theology breakfasts that our male counterparts do, or preach in the main service?
How often have you been in this position? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked to make a cake instead of lead prayer. Don’t get me wrong, I love baking and cake decorating, but I don’t want to just do those kinds of things.
Of course, if you go to a church that, either by doctrine or by culture, puts women in the kitchen / nursery / Sunday School, there are things you can do. In these situations, Andrew and I have purposely remixed gender roles (eg. he works in the kitchen, I stack tables and chairs).
But here’s the thing. Andrew and I are moving to a new city in the next couple months, and have an endless array of churches we could choose from. When you’re in that position, do you consider the church structure, church doctrine, and church culture with regard to the status of women?