Celebrating Women in Ministry – 2024

Rev. Dr. John Jones – Associate Regional Minister of Education

“Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.” ~Proverbs 1:20

March is Women’s History Month in the United States, allowing the opportunity to acknowledge the historical contributions of women in the US. On March 8, many countries around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day. These intentional efforts seek to highlight the stories, voices, achievements, and histories of women, something sorely needed in our world today.

When I’m teaching the doctrine of God in my theology class, I love pointing out the numerous feminine images of God from scripture: a mother eagle in Deuteronomy 32, a woman in labor in Isaiah 42, a mama bear in Hosea 13. Look up the literal meaning of “El Shaddai” some time. I believe that our image(s) of God are borne out in the things we value and the commitments we keep. If we want to keep God contained and our assumptions unchallenged, we only need to keep our images of God confined to our favorites. If, however, we want to worship the true and living God, we need to be open to the surprise and challenge of different faithful images.

Aspects of God’s character and being are often personified, Wisdom being the most common. Wisdom is portrayed as feminine. Yet, we have such a hard time receiving Wisdom. Sandhya Rani Jha writes that when God “show[s] up in the feminine form, [God is] so frequently ignored.”

Ignoring (or dismissing, sidelining, patronizing, belittling) 50% of the population doesn’t seem like a very wise course of action to me. But our fallen world is built on such strategies.

One month or day cannot remedy communal bias. But an explicit effort can be a small reminder of our fuller image of God (Genesis 1:27) and God’s manifold characteristics.

As God calls out leaders and sends God’s Spirit to energize and support them, may we be open to that movement no matter our level of experience or comfort. May our imaginations be broadened so that we might hear and recognize Wisdom calling out in the streets, especially in this most tumultuous year.

Posted in News, Staff Articles.