Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hearing Other Voices

Our church participated in the Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching this morning with Dayna Thompson Schoonmaker as our preacher.  She brought a thoughtful and challenging message on Luke 7:11-17. Dayna is the wife of our pastor, Noel, but is also a graduate of Wake Forest Divinity School who knows how to handle herself in the pulpit.  Her presence and preparation came across strongly in the message.

Dayna is not the first woman to preach in our pulpit this year, but I am always happy when we have a woman preacher.  Hearing the Word from a woman’s perspective is always a bit different and, since over half of congregation is female, long overdue.

At the same time, having women preach is a testimony to our children and youth, both male and female, that God’s call is not limited.  Women serve in our church as deacons, committee chairs, Sunday school director, and a number of other positions. Some of the roles filled by women are rather traditional but others are not.  My conviction is that no role should be denied to a person because of gender.

As women preach, teach, and lead in the church, we are fulfilling the vision that Peter shared in quoting the prophet Joel in his sermon on the day of Pentecost:

“In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.”  (Acts 2:17-18, NIV)

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