Way Out of My League But Doing It Anyway

Posted by on Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

2016 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace   Marcella 100 member Vicky Gunning was recently named Managing Partner of Locke Lord where she oversees 300 employees along with her role as Chair of the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Finance Practice. Vicky also is a member of the International Board of Directors of CREW, a network guiding a membership of more than 9,000 commercial real estate professionals in more than 70 chapters across North America. Today The Marcella Project will join Vicky at the CREW gathering in NYC where we will have a booth. It seems Vicky thinks attorneys need to hear about the work we are doing, too! In her big announcement interview in the Dallas Business Journal, she was asked about her favorite book. Tell me about your favorite book and why you love it. “Lime Green” is a wonderful book written by an incredible woman named Jackie Roese about her story of being the first woman to preach from the pulpit in her conservative church. There is so much to love about this book. It has profound truths about men and women and how we need to work together as God intended. And, if you don’t laugh out loud at Jackie’s stories of her first encounters with Dallas women and our matching handbags (the “light pink women” as opposed to her “lime green” personality) then you have lost all sense of humor. ...

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What Now? That’s the Question on Their Minds

Posted by on Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I am tired, I am full, I am amazed. We have just completed the Lime Green Tour and since you are one of the 626 women and men who attended our Lime Green discussions and or helped fund its publication, we wanted to update you on the impact and influence of those gatherings. We went to LA, Houston, Dallas and Austin (3x) Grand Rapids MI, and South Bend Indiana. We sold over 1200 books several to pastors shepherding more than 12,000 congregants. That’s why I am tired. However, it’s the sense of God’s moving that has me amazed! Permit me to tell you just a few from these last three months. My husband and I were invited to the home of a mega church leader where he shared that his church has been in a year-long discussion on the “women’s issue”. They had spent a year learning the 42 reasons the word “authority” in 1 Timothy 2 means this or that. The 62 reasons head cover means this or that. (Yes, I’m being a bit over the top.) But it was the sharing of a real woman’s story (mine in Lime Green) that put skin on all that diligent and important study. It tipped the scale. Now they are about to announce a shift in their Church’s position on women in the church. A shift that will rock through the evangelical mega church in their sphere of influence. A woman who attended a discussion in Austin gave Lime Green to her pastor and invited him to host a church wide Lime Green discussion. Another woman in Austin emailed that she saw the book on her pastor’s desk (and he was reading it). Discussions were happening in the hallways. Another woman purchased several books in hopes to host a discussion with her senior pastor and others within her large church community.  A senior pastor of a church of 500 shared his staff was writing bylaws and wanted to know where I could direct him towards resources on the role of women. Another woman, who serves on a city-wide ministry, asked “How we can get more women to the table” in business, civic and church settings – she sees women in a new light now in all those arenas. Sandy, a leader in a nation wide ministry, called to see how The Marcella Project could train her female leaders to preach. She said the women leaders go without much training and rarely get promoted into the higher levels of the ministry and yet are expected to communicate the gospel with excellence. How can we help? Another question we are addressing. In Houston home over 20 women leaders of a multi- site...

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Sometimes I Self Abuse

Posted by on Thursday, Nov 19, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

It’s not often but every once in a while I find myself engaged in negative self-talk. Oh, let’s be honest, it’s more like self abuse. It looks something like: Who do you think you are preaching to others? You’re a sinner. You don’t even love people better this year than you did last year. You take your work too seriously. You do know others don’t really care. It’s insignificant. On and on it goes. Blah Blah Blah. For several days. I know scripture so quoting it to me won’t help. “My dear Jackie, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) Truth is, sometimes I start to loose heart, thinking it is useless. I start walking off the playing field ready to take the bench. Is this just sin? Or is it spiritual warfare? Or simply raging hormones? I suspect it’s a cocktail of them all. That’s where I was when a man called my husband with an invite for a drink and conversation. We joined him and his wife to learn that his church had been in a discussion about the role of women for the past year. They had spent a great deal of time in study, learning the 42 reasons the word “authority” in 1 Timothy 2 means this or that. The 62 reasons head cover means this or that. (Yes, I’m being a bit sarcastic.) He proceeded to share how my new book, Lime Green, which he recently read, was crucial in his understanding on the issue. Not because Lime Green is all that theological but because it was from a woman’s voice sharing what it’s like being a woman leader in the conservative faith community. For him, the book was the linchpin to the discussion. The next day I received a text, “Pray for me, I’m about to meet with my pastor about hosting a church wide discussion on Lime Green.” Nancy (not her real name) had asked her pastor to read the book, which he did, and now Nancy was meeting with him to hear his perspective. He disagreed and agreed. Consideration for a discussion is in the making. Another woman emailed to say she saw Lime Green on her pastor’s desk. Another woman came up during Wine, Women & Jesus and said she’d bought the book in hopes her church leadership would read it too. To top it off a senior pastor asked if I could direct him to resources on the role of women since they were in the process of writing their church’s bylaws. Yes, yes I can. At Wine, Women &...

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Unapologetically Black & Blue

Posted by on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015 in Blog, submission | 0 comments

Sometimes I hear profound things and think, “OMG somebody tweet that!” Like when I heard Christine, a reformed biker girl turn Christian blurt out, “Why is being a christian wife so much like being a patched old lady in a biker gang?”  Christine was at the wine bar in Grand Rapids where we held a Lime Green discussion. She used to be in a biker club, a “patched old lady” (never heard of that till now) but got saved and clean. But, much to her surprise, she found some similarities between what she “learned” as a biker chick and what the church taught about women. Here’s what she said.   There was a time in my life that I was a “patched old lady” in a biker club. It was a local club but think “Hell’s Angels” to get the picture. Being patched means that the women wore a cloth patch on the back of a leather vest that said “property of” on one patch and the man’s name on another patch. In between those, were the “colors”, or symbol, of that particular club, or gang. It was a status symbol in that the woman who wears that patch is of higher importance that the other girlfriends or the one night stands. It was viewed as a marriage. And, she is not only property of the man, she is property of the club and has to follow strict rules in the clubhouse and at events. After a few years, I got out of that lifestyle. I got clean, got sober, got saved and went to church. I grew fast and advanced into some great leadership positions in areas where I was gifted. I really loved being a leader and I was good at it. Then I got married. Slowly the leadership positions were taken away from me, they were replaced by being told where I should serve, or fill in, all making sure that none of those positions had a title that involved pastor, leader, or director. I was trying to learn to be submissive to my husband and the church and I was struggling and I was failing. Why would I allow this? How did I get into this position? I never stuck up for myself or what I thought the Bible said about it.. And I thought, why is being a christian wife so much like being a patched old lady in a biker gang?! This is not right! I felt just as stifled and suffocated as I did back in the biker days. Only this time I wasn’t high on drugs to mask the pain. I feel like I allowed my self to be put in that position....

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In 9 Minutes

Posted by on Friday, Sep 25, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments

Asking a preacher to “fit it all in” in 9 minutes is like asking a race horse to trot around the track. We are not made for that. But I did it. A 9 minute talk on gender and the Church. The response was very affirming. Several male pastors asked if we could have some “sit downs” with their staff to discuss this issue further. Several women shared they felt validated. One guy simple wanted to shake my hand and confess, “I’m scared of you.” I blurted out laughing. It was a great night. An affirming night. God is on the move  and we get to be a part of it. Reshaping our view of women (and...

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