By Dana Barber
Have you ever heard someone say, “she’s just a girl!”? Maybe you have said it yourself. Sadly, in the years that span the New Testament, in the society in which Jesus (and the Apostles of Jesus) spent their days, these were common thoughts. They may not have used the term, “she’s just a girl” but in the Greco-Roman world, girls and women were seen as lower class and sometimes even just a commodity. When Jesus arrived, he treated women equally in public (see John 4 and John 8), he saw their intrinsic worth (see Luke 13) and held them accountable for their sin (John 4 & John 8). Paul also gave women equality based on his call for wives to submit to the Lord above their husbands (Ephesians 5 & Colossians 3), this was revolutionary and counter-cultural. Women began to have influence; they taught, prayed in groups, provided generously, and worked hard. Women and men worked together. They were noticed for all the right reasons by those who knew Christ. These women were hearing the words of Jesus, and obeying his instructions. They were bringing Good News to others.
The influence of Canadian Baptist women has impacted lives at home in Ontario and Quebec, and globally for well over a century. The obedience of God’s call on women’s lives have resulted in faithful teaching that raises the next generation of leaders; stomachs and souls being filled with good things; warmth being provided in the name of our Lord; and the good news that Jesus trusted the women in the garden to take to His disciples is still being taken to those who will hear and believe.
Whether you have been with CBOQ for a short time, or a long time, there is probably at least a dozen women you can think of that you see contributing to this beautiful Baptist family. Maybe you remember the Missionary Education Union, or Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec; or Rev. Muriel Carder (first female ordained by CBOQ); or Rev. Tanya Yuen who has led in multiple CBOQ churches and now supports leaders as the Children and Family Ministries Associate. Perhaps, when you think of the contributions women are making, you think of some of the many Pastors and Councillors, that uphold the Good News of Jesus Christ, such as Rev. Della Bost, Rev. Julia Bowering, Rev. Dr. Vivian Chan, Rev. Leanne Friesen, Rev. Cheryle Hanna, Rev. Lola Mather-Dyer, just to name a few. In these people, we see the gifts that were shared by Priscilla, Phoebe, Mary, Lydia and others. They mirror the women in the garden that encountered the living Christ, honored him, heard his instructions, and obeyed what Jesus asked of them. CBOQ is better because we work together instead of saying “she’s just a girl!”
2 thoughts on “Not Just a Girl”
Dana, I can’t see your name on this article, but thank you if you wrote it. It is inspiring to see how much women have contributed and are contributing today in Kingdom work. I reflect myself on the many who have shaped my life…pastors and pastor’s wives, Baptist Women leaders, Christian musicians, my sisters and my Mother…. all who demonstrated grace and courage as well as inspiration and dedication to the cause of Christ. My own experience on staff at BLEC allowed me to see great potential in young women who now lead and guide others toward God.
Many blessings to you.
Firstly I great you all my friends in our Jesus Christ,it is very important to think about Women’s role today in our society and in our church,and then in Rwanda we celebrate Women’s day.Women have a great role in different sectors especially in leadership like in parliament.