My Sermon Preached @ The Summit

Posted by on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

We didn’t record the Sunday morning message at the Summit. Many of you have asked for it so we’re blogging it instead. Not the same as hearing but for those of you who heard it you can imagine the wind blowing, noise at the table, smell of the grass and the cadence of my voice as these words were heralded. Mostly, upon reading this, I hope you are reminded of what the Spirit said to you that weekend. May you be ennobled, equipped and emboldened to respond. There’s no time for shrinking back, we need every one of us fully deployed. Fully deployed. When I was 38 I broke my back in two places. Wish I could tell you some fancy story like I was doing a flip while skiing on the Alps, but the truth is I was on the floor using my legs to move around big armoires in my bedroom. While recovering that summer, I read every book on women in the church. I was irritated by one author’s accusation that women were priestesses in the early church. I set out to prove her wrong. Not that I was ever going to tell her that, I just needed it for my own clarification. That’s when I stumbled upon the fact that there were conservative evangelical theologians who believed in Jesus and bible, and also they were orthodox Christians who upon study had concluded something different about the role of women in the Church. I came to Dallas Theological Seminary as a new Christian, and I didn’t know there was an issue. I was focused on figuring out how Jesus walked on water. But without knowing it, I had breathed in their complementarian position. While I was so grateful for my training at DTS, I was becoming aware that there was something else to consider. Suddenly I was reading smart theologians and mostly those writing for Christians for Biblical Equality, (CBE) and they believed the same orthodoxy as those at DTS yet concluded something different about the text surrounding the role of women issue. I had cognitive dissonance. Unsteady. What happened? What if I’m being led astray? Like Sue Russell mentioned earlier, we’re in a state of liminality. We are separated from what was before, but we haven’t arrived at our new destination yet. It is an uncomfortable place to be; however, it is also a scary place for some of us. If our theology shifts, we could lose our jobs. People may disrespect us. We may be called liberals. We may be accused of throwing the bible out. Some of you may have experienced that this weekend. I think Nicodemus experienced this when he questioned the idea...

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Men Make Me Better

Posted by on Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

First night of the Summit came to an end and my spirit was unsettled. Ray listened as I tried to figure out “what was troubling me.” He summarized, responded then gently challenged. This is what developing leaders looks like. Grateful for men in my life. Men make me better. Women make them better. We need each other....

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Great Quotes & Pics Summit Weekend

Posted by on Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

This year’s Marcella Summit was over the top. We sold out months before the event. We had people give scholarships to those who needed them. Men and women came from around the country. The weather was perfect. We had an increase of men attendees (last year 7% to this year 25%). We still have a lot of work to do on bringing diversity, but we saw increase there, too. More importantly, the Spirit was present and moving. Jesus’ name was honored. God’s vision for kingdom partnership was realized more and more. May the Lord continue the good work he began at the Summit. Jesus, change our churches, homes, and communities to align with your vision of men and women as co-laborers in your Kingdom work. Summit Quote: Those most filled with the Holy Spirit are empowering women the most....

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Dude, You’re Doing It Wrong

Posted by on Monday, Dec 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

  Years back, at an ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) gathering, I heard Dr. Sue Russell speak on brother- sister relationships in the first century church. It was brilliant. So it seems a perfect fit for her to join us this year at our Summit. We are walking through the biblical idea of Kingdom living as a blessed alliance. Brother – sister relationships are crucial to understanding how we, the Church, are to live, love and serve. I wanted to do some prep work before the Summit so Dr. Russell suggested three books.  I’ve gobbled them up. In passing I mentioned one of the books to a friend. I was elated when he sent me an email sharing his ideas about the book.  a. It’s rare someone reads my “geek” books let alone then get excited with me. So I asked Bill if he would share his insights with you too. Here’s what he said. Dude, you’re doing it wrong . . . I can’t even recall how it came to be that Jackie recommended the book by Joseph H. Hellerman, “The Ancient Church as Family” to me. Like most good books, I’m happy she did but upset at the same time. For me, it’s not a good book (especially on theology, social sciences or philosophy) if I don’t have the urge to toss it across the room once or twice. Or at least blurt a few expletives as I make my way to the last page. This was a good book . . . However, if your looking for an exciting page-turner to take on vacation with you – keep looking because this one ain’t that. If you’ve ever wondered how the social, cultural, political and behavioral influences that have occurred over the last two thousand years might have “just slightly” effected how we worship in the church, how we relate to each other in the church and the priority we place on the church . . . then read on. It’s not that the subject matter isn’t interesting, just the opposite. However, this book is an exhaustive and academically oriented study of the first three hundred years of the church and how the social constructs of family were both adopted and turned on their ear by the early church. One of the aspects of the book I found fascinating was that it relied on and referenced so many other works of early church figures. I had never fully entertained the idea that there were so many authority figures that came along after the first authors that significantly influenced the early church. The first thing that Hellerman lays out is that in those days, the relationship, loyalty, and practices...

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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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