Staff Update: Sarah Lindsay

After a brief hiatus on the blog, we’re back with more content! Today, a staff update from me, Sarah Lindsay:

It's been an exciting few months for me as I take on some new roles that allow me to extend and develop my ministry at Savior! My job as Director of Communications remains the same, but my other job title has changed from Coordinator of Children's Ministry to Coordinator of Family Ministries. Ellen Vosburg did an excellent job of developing our youth ministries last year, and Mary I and want to continue and build on her momentum. I'm extending my role on Saturday evenings from children's worship to include youth worship as well.

So what does this mean? I'll be scheduling volunteers for both children's and youth worship on Saturday evenings; I'll help with training and curriculum; and along with Mary I will support families at Savior. I will also occasionally lead youth worship — in fact, I have already spent a few weeks doing this! It has been great to get to know some of the youth at Savior a little bit better and to have another opportunity to teach an older group.

Additionally, we've hired Daniel Gonzalez to be the Assistant Youth Coordinator; he'll be attending youth group on Sunday nights and working with Fr. Andrew Unger to serve our youth. I will be working with Daniel as his supervisor as he builds relationships with the youth at Savior. I'm very excited at the chance to work with Daniel as well as the youth.

Along with expanding my role in Family Ministries, I'm also serving as the College Ministry Resident. Savior has not had a college ministry in the past, but with an increasing number of students attending, I am excited to launch college ministry at Savior. This is an experimental year as we figure out what a Savior-style college ministry looks like, but I am thrilled to come back to working with college students (my background is teaching at the college level).

One of Savior’s greatest gifts is our sense of community, and particularly our intergenerational community. Although we do have ministries aimed at particular sections of our church – men, women, youth, children and families – these ministries work to strengthen particular groups in service to the larger whole, not to divide people into sub-communities. As I work towards building a college ministry at Savior, my overarching goal is to help students find their place in our community and forge connections with others.

College students are in a unique period of life when they are navigating new responsibilities plus the pressures of career decisions and, for some, serious romantic relationships. As the college ministry intern, I will be able to walk alongside students as they go through struggles and transitions. But I also see my role as one of connection: college students can benefit enormously from the intergenerational worship and community at Savior, and I want to help students find their place at Savior (and we older folks at Savior will, at the same time, benefit from the energy and passion college students often bring).

Working with children, youth and college students will certainly stretch me. But over the last 18 months that I've been on staff at Savior, I have come to treasure the intergenerational community we enjoy. Spending time with people of all different ages and in various life situations will help me better foster intergenerational community through all of my roles at Savior.


Sarah Lindsay currently works as the Director of Communications and Coordinator of Family Ministries at Savior, as well as serving as the College Ministry Resident. Sarah has a background in teaching (English literature and writing) and she enjoys reading and writing. She has been an Anglican since she discovered liturgical worship in college; she and her family joined Savior in 2017.

Sarah Lindsay currently works as the Director of Communications and Coordinator of Family Ministries at Savior, as well as serving as the College Ministry Resident. Sarah has a background in teaching (English literature and writing) and she enjoys reading and writing. She has been an Anglican since she discovered liturgical worship in college; she and her family joined Savior in 2017.

 
 

Resources on Women in Ministry

Interested in learning more about the evidence supporting women in ministry after Fr. Kevin’s sermon? Check out this list of resources:

Books

Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist. 2013.

  • Rather than defend egalitarianism or feminism, in this book Bessey emphasizes the love and respect Jesus had for women during his earthly ministry and still has for women today.

Bilezikien, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about Woman’s Place in Church and Family. Baker, 2006. 

  • A thorough biblical survey and theological analysis of all the “tough passages” regarding women’s roles in scripture. Comes to a full equality view of women in ministry, advocating an interpretive method that sees God's revelation of himself and his will as progressive. 

Cohick, Lynn. Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life. Baker, 2009. 

  • This book is a deep historical look at the lives of women in the early church, dispelling misconceptions and oversimplifications. Women during this period were active at all levels within their religious communities. But their influence was not always identified by titles and their gender was not always a barrier. 

Johnson, Alan F. (ed)  How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals. Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2010.

  • Stories from all corners of evangelicalism about how people have changed their minds from being closed to women in leadership to being open or enthusiastically supportive of women in leadership in the church. Edited by a former Wheaton professor.

Keener, Craig. Paul, Women, and Wives: Marriage and Women’s Ministry in the Letters of Paul. Baker, 1992.

  • Keener is a world class NT scholar and he gives a deep, contextual reading of the “problem passages” in Paul from an egalitarian perspective.  

Mathews, Alice. Gender Roles and the People of God: Rethinking What We Were Taught about Men and Women in the Church. 2017.

  • A new book by an older woman who has been studying this issue for 40 years or more. She gives a compelling interpretation of the 1 Timothy passage on women not teaching in the church. (Read Sarah Lindsay’s review of the book for Christians for Biblical Equality here.)

McKnight, Scot. The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible. Zondervan, 2008. 

  • A book about Bible interpretation, generally, but much of what he says has important relevance to the subject of women in ministry. The second half of the book contains a very valuable exploration of the difficult passages from Paul that seem to limit women.

Peppiatt, Lucy. Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts. IVP Academic, 2019.

  • Scholarly but accessible book with a foreword by Scot McKnight that offers a vision for women from scripture that is encouraging and empowering. 

Stackhouse, John G. Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gende. Baker, 2005. 

  • A short earlier book from Stackhouse offering a pragmatic, mission-centered approach in support of women in ministry, which he bases on the approach of the Apostle Paul (as he understands it). 

Stackhouse, John G. Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism. 2015.

  • Starts from the premise that solely from a study of Scripture the question of egalitarianism and women in leadership in the church will never be answered satisfactorily because the Scripture isn’t absolutely clear.  Dr. Stackhouse then approaches the topic pragmatically and thoughtfully.

Torjesen, Karen. When Women Were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church. Harper San Francisco, 1995. 

  • Details the historical evidence that women were priests, bishops, and prophets in the early Christian church. Also explains the social, political, and cultural factors that eventually led to their suppression.  

Webb, William J. and Darrell L. Bock. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. 2001.

  • An excellent presentation of the concept of “redemptive movement” as it relates to these three difficult topics. Very compelling.

Online Resources

Bailey, Kenneth E. “Women in the New Testament: A Middle Eastern Cultural View.” https://godswordtowomen.org/women_new_testament.pdf

  • Bailey draws on his decades as a professor of New Testament living in the Middle East to explain the cultural backgrounds.

Torrance, Thomas. “The Ministry of Women.“ http://www.newhumanityinstitute.org/pdf-articles/TF-Torrance-Ministry-of-Women.pdf

  • Explores the topic from a biblical as well as a historical perspective.  A bit dense but worth the read.

Witt, William G. Essays about Women’s Ordination 

  • Witt, the Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Trinity School for Ministry, offers 20 essays answering questions about women’s leadership in the church. Helpful in that it addresses both Protestant and Catholic concerns. Begin here

Christians for Biblical Equality

  • CBE is an organization that promotes egalitarian theology and supports women in ministry. They have a website full of resources, a blog, a print magazine, and an academic journal, all with a range of information on every aspect of women in ministry.

The Junia Project

  • Another website with a wealth of useful articles and resources on women in ministry; this site takes its name from a woman named Junia and called an apostle by Paul.

 



Youth Mission Trip Update

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This August, I went on a weeklong mission trip to the Edgewater community in Chicago. Since the youth group had gone there a couple times already, we generally knew what to expect from the week. We did work at familiar locations, including when we sorted donations and served food at Cornerstone Community Outreach and when we handed out food at the Care for Real food pantry. We also revisited the men’s shelter we had gone to two years ago and the women’s shelter we served last year. The fact that we had experience with all these locations meant that we were often able to jump right into service, since most of us already knew the routine.

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There were a few new locations that we worked at, all of which were more about interacting with people than it was about fulfilling tasks. The first of which was a senior home where we talked with elderly people and played games with them. The second was a facility called Lighthouse, which houses and cares for those who are mentally handicapped. There we sang songs and prayed in what was basically a mini worship session. Lastly, we went to a facility that housed seniors with memory disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s. The group spent time with them, interacting with them and keeping them company for the afternoon. While we often didn’t stay at these locations for extended periods of time, we did brighten the days of a good number of people.

Since I’m not particularly socially oriented, I often relegated myself to manual labor. And while I don’t mind that, I do wish I had taken more opportunities to do social work. For instance, when we went to the facility for seniors with mental disorders, I ended up doing yard work instead of interacting with the seniors for most of our stay. But looking back, I think it was for the best that I undertook roles like these. Even though the manual labor did feel menial at times, it still had to be done by someone. My fulfillment of that role allowed those who haven’t been on previous mission trips to have a more meaningful experience. 

As a whole, I think the mission trip went well. Yes, there were some areas where I wish I had done more. But our mission was to serve the community and show it God’s love, and I believe we did that in full. I can be satisfied with that.

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Josiah Hsu

Josiah Hsu

 
 

Resources on Justice

Below is a list of books and articles on various topics related to justice. These resources will help you learn more about a variety of issues and help frame our responses as Christians, connecting to Fr. Kevin’s sermon on praying for and seeking justice.. Updated 8/20 with YA fiction recommendations.

On Social Justice Generally:

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World, by Gary Haugen

  • The founder of International Justice Mission gives the biblical foundation for God's heart for justice and shows how Christians can seek justice in the world.

Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World, by Mae Elise Cannon

  • A comprehensive reference that provides research, history, and practical steps on issues from domestic violence and sex trafficking to bioethics and global poverty.

Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God's Shalom, by Adam Gustine

  • Encourages local congregations to not outsource justice to outside organizations and to be just in how they interact with their communities.

On Immigration and Refugees:

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, by Matt Soerens and Jenny Yang

  • World Relief specialists explain the complexities of immigration policy, debunk misconceptions, and show how churches can care for immigrants and refugees.

You Welcomed Me: Loving Refugees and Immigrants Because God First Loved Us, by Kent Annan

  • Director of Wheaton College’s Humanitarian and Disaster Institute suggests concrete and practical ways to live out the welcoming embrace of God without fear, to those around us.

Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World, by Sarah Quezada

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong, by Karen Gonzalez

Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible, by Daniel Carroll

“Christians are on All Sides of the Immigration Debate,” Christianity Today

YA Fiction:

  • A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park

  • Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai

  • Cicada Moon, by Marilyn C. Hilton

  • Refugee, by Alan Gratz

On Race in America:

Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey, by Sarah Shin

  • Shows how racial conflict and brokenness requires ethnic identity formation and crosscultural competency.

White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White, by Daniel Hill

  • A white pastor unpacks issues of cultural identity and discomfort and how whites can be agents of reconciliation in a diverse world.

Black and White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time, by Teesha Hadra, John Hambrick

  • C4SO pastor Hadra and her friend Hambrick show how racism can be disrupted by friendships that challenge our ways of viewing and living in the world.

Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, by Drew Hart

  • Challenging both white and black Christians to reconsider ways we view race and the church, while offering practical suggestions for those committed to racial justice in society and the Church.

Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores, by Dominique Gilliard

  • A focus on the ills of mass incarceration and how we can move from punitive models of justice to more restorative, redemptive ones.

“The American Church’s Complicity in Racism: A Conversation with Jemar Tisby,” Religion & Politics

YA Fiction:

  • Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

  • Dear Martin, by Nic Stone

  • One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia

On Disabilities:

Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness, by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier

  • An exploration of how Christian community that includes a recognition of our weakness can provide a counter-cultural witness to a violent world.

Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall Off, by Alice Teisan

  • Savior member Alice Teisan’s memoir about her spiritual journey with disability. Contact Alice for a free Kindle download between 8/17 and 8/24.

A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations and A Little Girl Named Penny, by Amy Julia Becker

  • Becker writes about her unexpected journey of hope and grace while walking alongside her daughter, Penny, who has Down’s-Syndrome.

We Need Each Other: Responding to God's Call to Live Together, by Jean Vanier

  • Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, provides a vision for life lived together as broken children of a loving God, humbled and inspired to love one another, no matter our weakness.

“The Ministry of the Disabled,” Christianity Today

YA Fiction:

  • Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

  • Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

  • El Deafo, by Cece Bell

Staff Update: Sandy Richter

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:1-5, 10-14

Over the years, I keep coming back to this passage and it’s synoptic twin in Luke 19, marveling and wondering at the connection between owning our childlikeness and receiving the gift of the kingdom of God. I find this reality both irresistible and unbelievable at the same time. While I feel myself drawn in to the simplicity of entering the kingdom as a child, it also seems audacious, impossible, and goes against every success-driven instinct within me. And then I wonder at myself. Is it hard to believe because it seems too easy, or is it that chlidlike faith actually seems like a bridge too far? Is it possible that rather than esteeming childlikeness I have, as the passage suggests, despised it instead?

Yesterday, Pray As You Go (a lectionary-based lectio divina podcast) reflecting on this passage, posed this question:

Jesus insists that God our loving Father wants no [little] one to be lost. Our world is full of ‘little ones’ – people who count for nothing, who are routinely ignored.  We also carry a child inside ourselves – the vulnerable person within. What is Jesus telling us about the way we treat fragility when we meet it?

When I heard that last question it struck me plainly how easy it is for me to despise childlikeness, fragility, especially in myself, rather than to see it as the gift Jesus claims it to be. Fragility, vulnerability, are scary. If I’m honest, I’m ashamed of those places that feel weak, powerless, unsure. But the passage made me wonder, what is Jesus’ invitation in those vulnerable places?

St. Thérèse of Liseux, who lived her short life in late 1800s northern France, described her own complicated relationship with childlike faith. On the one hand, she desperately desired to please God and to experience communion with him. At the same time, she felt her own weakness keenly, and wondered how she could even aspire to the great spiritual heights she so desired. The revelation she received from the Lord, and from that point sought to pass on to others, she described thusly:

...the elevator that would lift me up to Heaven is your arms, O Jesus! To reach perfection, I do not need to grow up. On the contrary, I need to stay little, to become more and more little. O my God, you have surpassed my expectations and I wish to sing of your mercies.

Rather than despise her weakness and limitations, Thérèse found encouragement to be reconciled to her childlikeness as that which would move her towards God and his gracious love. She found this freeing realization:

What pleases him is to see that I love my littleness and my poverty, it is the blind hope that I have in his mercy...That is my only treasure.

The image of the shepherd searching long and tirelessly for the one lost sheep comes to mind here. The Shepherd, does not despise the sheep’s waywardness, shows no signs of exasperation as he begins his search, but diligently seeks the lost sheep, sights set on the joy and happiness that will result when he finds that lost sheep and brings her home. Indeed, Jesus says, our Father in heaven is not willing that any lost sheep, lost child, would perish, but instead that each one should enter his heavenly kingdom, carried in the strong arms of the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20).

I wonder if you have ever found yourself despising your own fragility.

I wonder what might happen if we admit that we are lost, and allow ourselves to be found.

Little children, lost sheep… the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. What might it mean for us to receive this great grace today?

Quotes from St. Thérèse taken from Jacques Philippe, The Way of Trust and Love, p. 10 and 64.


Sandy Richter, Savior’s Pastor of Adult Formation, grew up in the Church of God, but gravitated toward 'higher church' settings in college, making her way to the ACNA and Church of the Savior in 2013. Sandy and her husband love the liturgy and tradition they have found in Anglicanism, and the warmth and depth of spirituality at Savior.

Sandy Richter, Savior’s Pastor of Adult Formation, grew up in the Church of God, but gravitated toward 'higher church' settings in college, making her way to the ACNA and Church of the Savior in 2013. Sandy and her husband love the liturgy and tradition they have found in Anglicanism, and the warmth and depth of spirituality at Savior.