Visibility Matters – Women in The Bible

For the month of January, I am preaching a sermon series called “In Her Own Words: Women in the Bible.” My sermons are based on a book by Episcopal priest, Rev. Lindsay Hardin Freeman. Rev. Freeman systematically studied the NRSV translation of the bible and catalogued the spoken words of all women, named and un-named, in scripture. It is clear in Rev. Freeman’s book that the voices of all Biblical women are important for us to hear and their stories are important for us to know.

In introducing my sermon series to the folks at Peniel, I reminded us all of the importance of visibility. We tell our children that they can be anything they dream, but when our children actually see strong leaders who resemble them, the impact is powerful! I love this story from Maine Senator Susan Collins, who told of her campaign manager’s eight-year-old daughter asking, “Can little boys grow up to be senators?” Because her whole life, she had only seen Senator Collins and Senator Olympia Snow hold that leadership position.

Visibility matters!

The women in scripture are complex characters who are motivated by a plethora of factors. Women in the Bible realize the importance of the roles of wife and mother for the continuation of legacy and line – but they can’t just be reduced to those roles!

For example:

Deborah was a warrior and a judge, Hannah, Hagar, and Rebekah spoke with God, the Queen of Sheba was an effective ambassador, Lydia and the “Good Wife” of Proverbs 31 were merchants and successful business people. Anna was a prophet, Abigail was a successful negotiator, and Miriam was a poet!

Learning their stories and recognizing their qualities that mirror my own (courageous and fearful, selfish and faithful, nurturing, creative, jealous, and bold) is making January’s sermon series in Peniel meaningful in many ways!

Speaking of visibility, I am eagerly looking forward to the Women’s March on Denver this Saturday. Women AND men will be marching for human rights for ALL. I cannot wait for 3.5 year old Hazel to see the strong women using their voices to uplift others!

Liza Stoltz Hanson, Peniel Leader and Director, The Foundation Campus Ministry @ DU


Parking

  • North side of the church are three parking lots
  • Street parking throughout the neighborhood
  • Sunday mornings only free parking is available in the underground parking structure for the Daniels School of Business [University of Denver] directly west of the church. The structure entrance is on the north end of the Daniels, off of University Blvd [by the fire hydrant and bus bench]
  • Handicap parking is available off the street [E. Warren Ave.] directly south of the church. This location is reserved for handicap parking only.

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