Calling women ministers to come to agreement

Posted Sep 28, 2020

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Daily Scripture

(We encourage you to read all of Philippians 4 each day this week. As you do today, focus on verses 1-3, printed below.)

Philippians 4:1-3

1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters whom I love and miss, who are my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord.

Loved ones, 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to come to an agreement in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I’m also asking you, loyal friend, to help these women who have struggled together with me in the ministry of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the scroll of life.

Reflection Questions

There have been quarrels in the church for as long as there have been people in the church. The church in Philippi was no different. No other source gave any details about this struggle between two female leaders, Euodia and Syntyche. It must have been ongoing because the apostle Paul asked other church members to help them come to an agreement. He valued their ministry highly enough to try to help them work through the difficulty even from far away.

  • Some believe Paul was against women leading in the church. These verses show the opposite—he praised Euodia and Syntyche as “coworkers in the ministry of the gospel.” Following the apostle’s example, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church gave women full clergy rights on May 4, 1956. How have female pastors and teachers enriched your faith journey?
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with another person, especially someone you had worked with closely, that you couldn’t reconcile on your own? What did you do? Have you ever seen two people you cared about acutely at odds? Does Paul’s reaction to Euodia and Syntyche’s quarrel suggest a way you might respond to people’s arguments, other than just “staying out of it”?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, peace sounds like a beautiful ideal—until I find someone else who just won’t agree with me. Make me an instrument of your peace, in my own and other people’s relationships. Amen.

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Donna Karlen

Donna Karlen

Donna Karlen serves in Communications at Church of the Resurrection by creating and managing social media content.

Google search: Women in ministry

Whoa!

I was hoping to find the names of faithful women who changed the world through their words and actions. But first I had to scroll past several articles and essays about the role of women in ministry, including discussions questioning if they should have a role at all!

With planning my daughter’s wedding (it’s this Friday), a 2am visit to emergency vet (she’s better) and a little thing called “work” (did you know Resurrection is celebrating our 30th anniversary AND we are reopening for in-person worship this weekend?!...) – sorry, but I just don’t have time to get into that issue! (Except... while the Apostle Paul may have said some things in his letters that would lead some people to think women should not serve in ministry; he certainly honored the work of many women in his letter to the Romans! And obviously Euodia and Syntyche in today’s scripture were highly valued for their work in ministry!

So I will focus on some faithful women who have impacted my life.

I have the enormous privilege to serve as the communications liaison with Resurrection’s Congregational Care Ministry. And every single one of the women in this ministry, along with the men, serve as the hands and feet of Jesus!

Two dear women have helped me with my confidence, and their focus on self-compassion brought me through some of the lowest times of my life: Ginger Rothhaas and Wendy Connelly. And if you are a regular reader of the GPS Insights blog, you also are blessed by their ministry in writing!

I can’t begin to mention every faithful woman (gotta get back to designing some wedding stuff), but certainly my childhood Sunday school teachers and youth group leaders played a huge role in shaping my faith. As we get closer to in-person programming again, I hope those of you considering serving with KiDSCOR or rezlife will listen to that call! You could make all the difference for girls and boys seeking to find their way.

Last – and so not least – my mom. She and I didn’t talk a lot about faith, but I saw her live into it in so many ways. Probably my favorite memory is seeing her in her maroon robe in the choir loft almost every Sunday and Christmas Eve.

Women in ministry!

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