Jesus Protect Me From Your Followers

It is all too easy in a week like this for Christians – especially regular churchgoers – to become so enthralled with the platitudes, the church words, and the small “s” spirit of the impending Easter Sunday to become insufferable to others. 

We act like we have the answer to all of life’s deep questions. We don’t. At best we have an answer that makes sense to us. Our theology about the Divine is of our construction. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just that to suggest that somehow we can characterize the mystery that is God is arrogant and offensive to those who characterize the Divine differently. 

Walking Humbly

On this Holy Monday I share this video to remind us how some of our actions are perceived by others. We celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday. Palm Sunday is a day when, according to the gospel narratives, our ancient forebears thought they were about to succeed in propping Jesus up as an earthly king. They continually ignored his warnings about what was to come by Friday. 

So, as we journey through Holy Week, let us not forget what the Lord requires of us: 

‘With what shall I come before the Lord,

   and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before [God] with burnt-offerings,
   with calves a year old? 
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
   with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
   the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’ 
[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God? 
Micah 6: 6-8 NRSV (Read these verses in context here.)

Unladylike: Disciples Have Gender Bias, Too

I have yet to read this recently released book by Portland’s Pam Hogeweide. My comments today then are in response only to the following promotional trailer. 

While my own denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been ordaining women since at least 1888, and we were the first mainline denomination to elect a woman as General Minister & President we are not without problems of gender bias. 

How many women who are called by God and confirmed by the church, do not receive calls to serve churches because of systemic gender bias? What about subtle bias against women leaders in our churches that call women as elders and pastors? Do we name it, claim it, and do the hard work among God’s people to change it? Too often in my experience the answer has been no. The comment in this video about non-essentials and essentials of the Christian faith is particularly important to us. If it is an essential, we need to address the injustice directly and lovingly but address it we must.

Intolerance of women in positions of leadership is doctrine in many Christian bodies. In our drive to be ecumenical, do we too often throw women under the bus in the name of unity? Is our polar star of unity trumping God’s justice when we tolerate injustices against women? I do not suggest we refuse to talk to our Christian kindred who come to different conclusions about the scriptures. However, we need to be far more outspoken about the injustices inherent in that position.

Before we are able to speak with prophetic authority to other bodies of the church, however, we need to remove the log from our own eyes. Intolerance of women in positions of leadership is still practiced within a minority of Disciples congregations. (This is possible because we practice congregational governance.) What does it say about our commitment to God’s justice when we refuse to allow women to serve as elders or ministers within our own denomination? Are we accepting that which is unjust simply to avoid losing a congregation from the denomination?

So, before we get smug about our tradition of ordaining women since nearly the beginning of our movement, we need to address injustices within our own body. 


Follow Pam Hogeweide on Twitter at @pamhogeweide 

Watch #AERO8 Online for Free!

I will be leaving for #AERO8 soon. If you’re unable to attend, you can still get a taste of this amazing event by watching select sessions online.
From the Conference Director…
You can watch “Transforming Education & Our World,” the 8th Annual AERO Conference online for free!
Watch every keynote talk and nine featured workshops by following the link below.  Please pass this on to your colleagues, friends, and newsletters.

Schedule of Streamed Events (all times Pacific Standard Time).  Read more about each talk and workshop online at
Thursday, August 4th
1pm-2:30pm, Digital Storytelling with Aaron Nakai
3pm-4pm, Unschooling College: A New Model for Higher Education with Dale J. Stephens
4:15pm-5pm, Keynote: Deborah Meier
6:45pm-7:15pm, Keynote: Justo Méndez Arámburu
7:30pm-8:30pm, Keynote: Riane Eisler
Friday, August 5th
9am-10am, Keynote: Melia Dicker
10:30am-12pm, Rethinking the Line Between Us with Bill Bigelow
1:30pm-3pm, Divided We Fall: Tools for Building Bridges Across Divides with Shilpa Jain
3:30pm-5pm, Keynote: Khalif Williams
Saturday, August 6th
9am-10am, The effectiveness of an alliance strategy to promote alternative education for disadvantaged youth in Puerto Rico with The Puerto Rico Alliance for Alternative Education
10:30am-12pm, What Open School Alumni Learned From a Real Education with alumni from the Jefferson County Open School
1:30pm-3pm, Descubriendo Proyectos que Rediseñan la Educación with Mari Luce Fernández y Maria Payan (Spanish & English)
3:30pm-5pm, Social Justice & Children with Geoffrey “Ba” Luvmour
Sunday, August 7th
9am-10am, We the People: Building a Movement for Quality Education
10:15am-12:15am, Keynote: Linda Stout
Please consider support this free resource by donating to our annual campaign today:  By donating, you can receive access to high quality versions of these recordings.
Isaac Graves
Outreach Coordinator

Alternative Education Resource Organization