As we take time to observe Women History month, I want to encourage members of our Synod to take a moment to reflect on the amazing women who helped shape you into the person you are today. As you reflect on these precious memories, give thanks to God for the women who helped to refine your Christian development. If they are still living, tell them how they blessed you in their testimonies of living.
Mary E. DeMuth in her book, “The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible: What Their Stories Teach Us About Thriving” wrote, “Ask any woman, most of us know what it’s like to be misheard, mischaracterized, or misrepresented by family, friends, or strangers. Few of us feel deeply known and understood all the time. Worse, many of us have endured long, painful seasons of misunderstanding in which the people around us have questioned—or worse, judged—our motives and actions”. The late Rev. Barbara Alexander, at a Triennial gathering of RCA Women asked the question, “why are we misunderstood as Ministers of God – but faithful to the calling of God?” These thoughts flowed from a biblical mischaracterization of powerful women of the Bible from the beginning of creation and still today. As your Synod Minister, I love many of the stories, Profound names learned from RCA Women of the Bible Summer series, Miriam, Deborah, Queen Esther, Lydia, Phoebe, Mary, Martha, and many unknown names who witness their renewal of great joy with the Creator of Creation.
Yet, our churches still wrestle with women leadership and the calling of women as servants of the Lord Jesus. Women who strongly voice their love during these Lenten days to a Gracious God. Women who pray for the helpless even when their voices for help in the proclamation of the Good News is denied. Faithful Women who are treated by some as risky, unadventurous, timid curious, shy, daredevil, fearful and uneducated to led worship.
Yes, Women continue to be misunderstood in their Christian faithfulness by their families, and church families in the life of God’s Church, but we celebrate their faithfulness to serve and witness to the Goodness of God.
The RSNY welcomes women equally in the Christian Ministry as Minister, Elder and Deacon as committed disciples and workers of Jesus Christ.
Members and friends of God, as we celebrate Women’s History Month take time to celebrate the women in your life and church community who has helped to shape and deepen your faith: Prayer warriors, greeters, givers of time, volunteers, encouragers, judges, helpers, and preachers, teachers, and many more servants of God.
Rev. Dr. Micheal Edwards