“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and now, I’m certain, in you as well. That’s why I want to remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline.” II Timothy 1:5-7.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Gifts to Share - Part 1
As I started doing research on women from the different branches of Friends who have been recorded as ministers, I realized that this topic is fraught. People have strong feelings about whether Friends should record ministers at all, and about women in ministry. Instead of addressing these issues in the abstract, the purpose of this paper is to share some of the stories of seven women who have been recorded as ministers by monthly or yearly meetings in the United States.
The women I spoke with come from various branches of Friends: Conservative, Liberal, Evangelical, Independent, FGC, and FUM. Most have been to seminary, many at Earlham School of Religion or George Fox Evangelical Seminary, and three participated in the School of the Spirit program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer. Their ministries are as diverse as they are. They work as pastors, in counseling, teaching, leading retreats and workshops, clerking committees and monthly and yearly meetings, chaplaincy, mentoring, and campus ministry.
As a young minister, I found their stories fascinating and encouraging, and I hope others will too.
[From the research paper I wrote for the School of the Spirit on the stories of women from different branches of Friends who have been recorded as ministers.]