This fall, in downtown Hamilton, a group of male pastors from America ran a conference called “Act Like Men”. The conference was part of a far greater movement that believes it is crucially important for men to “step up” as the leaders in their church and home. Most of us would agree that men should be mature and Christ-like, and we celebrate that aspect of their conference. However, many of us were very familiar with this particular “men’s movement” and the emphasis it puts on male leadership in the home and the church.
This caused a bunch of local Christians, pastors, and church leaders to gather together and ask the question “what does the bible say about gender?” We aimed to ask this question, and broaden the conversation by inviting in eight presenters to talk about the bible and gender.
Eucharist partnered together with St Paul’s Presbyterian, Epiphaneia, and many other Hamilton churches (The Commons, Mount Hamilton Baptist Church, Little Bethel Baptist Church, and many others!) to pull the event off, and we think it was a huge success!
You can read more about the event, the spirit behind it, and reflections on the evening on The Hamilton Commons Blog (another excellent church in downtown Hamilton)! Click here to read their reflections.
Many people were unable to attend the event, but were interested to hear what it was all about.
We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to hear the presentations themselves, so they were all recorded and have been uploaded below for free! Please share them around and help us spread this Good Gospel News.
To download a session click on the speakers photo, name, or title, and it will begin to stream. To download directly, right click and click “save link as…”
You can also download all of them through iTunes by subscribing to the Eucharist Church podcast!
Karen Elliott Lowe is an ordained pastor with the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. She is transitioning into being a pastor after working as a frontline social worker in Hamilton for about 10 years. She is excited to be co-directing Lectio House, an urban retreat house, with her husband Dr. Matthew Lowe. Karen is seeking certification as a spiritual director in order to be able to provide direction at Lectio House. She is currently between pastoral roles but is looking forward to sharing news of a new pastorate soon.
Stuck in a Moment — The story of the creation and fall of humankind has been used to justify patriarchal and complimentarian viewpoints. This presentation will provide a re-reading of Genesis 2 and 3 focusing on God’s prognosis of Adam’s situation, “It’s not good for the man to be alone,” and Adam’s justification for disobeying God, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Is humankind destined to be stuck in that moment of blame, or is there a way for us to live into the beautiful realization that both male and female have been created for each other in the image of our God?
Dr. Westfall has been at McMaster Divinity College since 2005, teaching courses in New Testament, Greek exegesis, biblical interpretation and women in ministry, which are devoted to a commitment to transformation by God’s word through its application to all aspects of life and ministry. She is completing a book on Paul and Gender for the Library of Pauline Studies, which is a work that concerns one of the most pressing issues in evangelicalism. It offers a fresh perspective on texts that have been a conundrum while weighing in the significance of additional data of Paul’s teaching on both genders.
Wendy is an internationally recognized contributor in the conversations around faith and sexuality. As an avid student of the church, she is committed to equipping the local congregation to nurture radical hospitality.
Dallas Friesen has been pastoring at Mount Hamilton Baptist Church with his wife Leanne for over eight years. He has studied at a Lutheran and a Baptist school and has recently completed a doctoral program at Tyndale Seminary. He is a father to two kids. He loves to play basketball, the Appalachian dulcimer and bass guitar. He is a repurposer and enjoys making soup. This talk is about the story of a man who is in love with his wife, his family, his church and his senior pastor. Dallas has served as a Pastor alongside his wife for over eight years. From this experience, he has gained some insights about the role of women in the church and the importance of communication in relationships.
A PhD student who pursues dialogue between evangelical, pentecostal and/or queer people, Rob Walker hopes that his life as a gay man and lover of Jesus can be of service to God’s Church. He is a postulant for ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada with a passion for healing ministry through prayer and writing, perhaps especially because he lives with Cerebral Palsy. Rob also loves science fiction (especially all things Star Trek) but hopes no one will question his manhood because of it! He blogs at http://theologywriter.wordpress.com
The Reverend Doctor Dorcas Gordon is the Principal and Associate Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Preaching at Knox College, University of Toronto. Prior to that, she was Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at the Toronto School of Theology. She is an ordained minister in The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Dorcas has been active in international ecumenical agencies throughout her ministry. She is President of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, serves on the Advisory Board of the Auburn Centre in New York and of the Bat Kol Program in Jerusalem, Israel. She is married to Noel; together they have four children and five grandchildren.
The New Testament sets out the significant roles that women played in the early Christian communities. A careful reading of the biblical texts argues that they were called with men to be ministers, missionaries, apostles and church leaders. This presentation will describe some of these women broadening the traditional conversation that even today wrongly assigns them a limited role in the Christian community.
Joanna Manning is a feminist activist and former Roman Catholic nun currently living in Canada. Originally from Britain, she joined the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and studied medieval history before leaving the religious life and marrying in 1970. She then moved to Toronto and worked as an administrator within the Roman Catholic school boards.
Manning eventually grew dissatisfed with the teachings of her church and sought to reform its patriarchal system from within, something which provoked the ire of the Archibshop of Toronto. She has written a number of books about her demands for reform and has written for local Toronto newspapers on the topic. Following the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Manning was received into the Anglican Church of Canada in which she was ordained a deacon on 1 May 2011 by Colin Johnson and a priest on 27 November 2011.
David Fitch grew up in Hamilton Ontario. He now resides with his wife and son in the Chicago suburbs. According to Christianity Today, “David Fitch is an unusual church planter because he is also a theologian, occupying the Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary… This double life has made his writing … must-reading in emerging, evangelical, and mainline setting.” David loves coaching church planting for the C&MA in the U.S and just living in a neigbourhood seeking God’s Kingdom with fellow believers. He has published numerous articles, and books including his latest Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts Into the Missional Frontier (Jossey-Bass 2013). He writes for numerous websites and his own weblog, Reclaiming the Mission.