Monday, October 24, 2005

Silencing Voices

(Notes taken from a Walter Brueggeman conference last fall in Georgia)

What are the reprocussions of silencing the female voice?

  • Denied wisdom, gift, and talent of 1/2 the population
  • Left machismal violence unchecked of the worst kind
  • Recovering much more. .. will affect the nurturing demension of ministry
  • Great distortion in so many ways due to lack of diversity in perspective

These words of Brueggeman's haunt me.

As a child, I was drawn to the sacred. Liturgy, confirmation, the religious calendar, and the sacraments were treasured experiences for me. Certain sanctuaries (childhood church, the local monastery's cathedral, my college's chapel) fill me with peace. I still physically run to them when I am overwhelmed.

When the time came to make decision concerning my future, ministry as a "vocation" never crossed my mind. Full time ministry was never a consideration until a dear mentor sat me down and told me, "Caroline, what in the world are you doing? Go to seminary! You are a preacher, girl!" What a shocker?!!

This experience causes Brueggeman's words to haunt me. No job or situation on the planet would ever cause me to consider myself incapable. Now, one was revealed. I did not think I could minister because I was a woman. I was silent.

However, my voice is finding life. . .

What happens when women answer God's call on their life and begin leading? This question continued to pop up over and over in Glorieta. What does female leadership look like?


Blogger Melvin Bray said...


You ask the question, "What does female leadership look like?" (and I imagine you mean particularly in this post-colonial context). I pray and trust that you and all the many other women who are experiencing God's call upon their lives will begin to courageously flesh out the answer out so that my little girls (2 & 6 mo) will be able to start a little further down the road picking up the charge just as you're needing to take a rest. May God bless you to reimagine and co-create this realm of ministry with Him.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thank you so much for encouraging your girls in such a way. I pray that our decisions today will support those leaders in the future.

3:38 PM  

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