“God is still moving, still active, in our world today. The Church has been responding to the movement of the Spirit throughout the centuries, and gender inequality in only one more example of justice seeking in process. The Church has a rich and vibrant history of compassion and activism–and yes, over the years, many people have taken up the cause of women’s rights worldwide, even the label of feminist, again, precisely because of their deep Christian faith.”
Wow, it is hard to believe that it has already been two weeks since The Junia Project had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Bessey. We were honored to host an event with Sarah on November 22 to celebrate the release of her book Jesus Feminist. What an amazing time it was, spent with JP writers, friends, and contest winners! We packed the place out (having about 100 total guests!) and celebrated our sister Sarah and the work she is doing to support the egalitarian community. Here are some highlights from the event:
Sarah then spoke about what led her to write “Jesus Feminist,” and gave us insight into her own journey of being a woman in the Church. Sarah’s message was powerful, and her gracious and loving spirit welcomed us into the conversation and made us feel truly at home together.
Afterward, we had a question and answer time with the audience. One of my favorite moments of the evening was when Sarah and Brian answered questions together about the ins and outs of egalitarian marriage. It was beautiful!
“Like many other Christians throughout the ages, we believe Scripture teaches mutual submission in marriage, and so we strive for our marriage to be a reflection of the original God-created order–we endeavor to make our marriage a restoration of oneness, of equality, of two lives in the concert of playing second fiddle to one another; we are allies and restored image bearers slow dancing here beside the rocks in the light of the moon, affirming the truth that every marriage is as unique as the image bearers within the covenant.”
After the Q&A, Sarah truly blessed us by reading to us from the last chapter of Jesus Feminist. The chapter is titled “The Commissioning,” and it is my favorite part of her book. We sat and listened as Sarah blessed us with truth and grace and encouragement to be the women we were created to be; to stop waiting for permission to do the work of God and to live in the freedom that Christ gave us when He died on the cross.
“I pray that no matter your tool or your method (mothering, preaching, cooking, writing, organizing, washing, teaching, building, money-making–all of your whole life encompassing it all) you will walk in knowledge of the sacredness and purpose of your calling. I pray for dreams and visions, for the active leading of the Holy Spirit, and I pray you would never forget that Abba is very fond of you, and oh, what a friend you have in Jesus.”
It was a divine moment, and one I am abundantly thankful for!
We had a time of prayer for Sarah and Brian, and ended the night with coffee, mingling, and book signing. The evening was a definite success, and it was encouraging to be surrounded by so many like-minded believers.
“As a Jesus feminist, I believe we are part of the trajectory of the redemption story for women in our churches, in our homes, in our marriages, in our parenting, in our friendships, and in our public lives. This trajectory impacts the story of humanity. We are the people of God, and we are moving forward, always, prophetically embodying and moving toward God’s shalom.”
The JP team has agreed that the most significant moments for us were being able to meet the Junia Project readers. We want to say “thank you” to all of you! Thank you for traveling from Colorado, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, and elsewhere! Thank you for your enthusiasm and support! Thank you for your friendship and thank you for reading!
Kate and the JP Team 🙂
All quotes used above are from Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, available on Amazon. The book is poetic, prophetic, and engaging, and would make a wonderful Christmas gift! Read the Junia Project review here, and follow Sarah’s blog at sarahbessey.com.