Women make up over one-half of the world’s population, yet throughout history women have been kept out of power; they have been oppressed and disregarded, and have often had their stories ignored. This is a tragedy not only for women but for all humankind, because we all have much to gain by hearing one another’s stories, and by experiencing one another in all of our rich fullness – not from a preconceived notion that one group or sex is superior to another.
This is important to note at the beginning, because history has largely been told by men. In particular, the stories we have preserved from ancient times tell things from a male perspective, and often ignore women. Thus, we often need to read between the lines and behind the words to really hear the stories of the women who played such a significant role in the events described in the biblical stories, and by extension, in our tradition.
Of course there are real differences between women and men, just as there are real differences between men, and between women. We are not all the same; as individuals, we are all different from each other. Rather than a problem, however, we can see this as one of the greatest gifts God has given us – the wonderful and amazing gift of difference. The sessions in this study will invite you to explore the stories of some amazing biblical women, to get to know them and to learn from them. How might we live our lives in response to that?
About the Author
Whenever he can choose what to do, Donald Schmidt likes to spin wool, knit, and weave. In his spare time, he also works in ministry in a variety of settings. He has served parishes in Quebec, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Hawai‘i. He has also worked as an Associate Conference Minister with the United Church of Christ, and is a retired United Methodist minister. Perhaps his favorite ministry has been as an editor and writer of church resources, for worship, education, and church revitalization. He has published 3 books, and has had a few pieces of music appear in various collections around the world. He also loves to travel, finding that visiting anywhere new and different can open us up to learn new things about others and, in the process, ourselves. More recently Donald has served with the United Church of Canada, and was Minister for Worship and Leadership Development at First United Church in Kelowna, British Columbia. He lives in the Okanagan Valley of BC. He is a grandfather of 8, and father of 3.