Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Feminism Archives

Centuries of Institutional Church Chauvinism…Based on a Mistake?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard both men and women in the church say—about women in leadership or women’s ordination issues—something to the effect of,  “It’s just impossible to ignore certain Scripture passages” (the “certain Scripture passages” […]


Women Bishops Are So Passe

As a former Episcopalian with great affection for Anglicanism, I’m taking a little break from our regular Tuesday and Thursday series on holy space with photojournalist Katie Archibald-Woodward to get on my soap box and give thanks for yesterday’s overwhelming […]


Pope Francis On “Nonsense” of Proselytism, Grace and Following One’s Conscience

It’s not every day that you get to sit down at tea time with His Holiness. But that’s precisely what happened a couple weeks ago for the prominent Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari. An unexpected phone call from the […]


Mental Health Break—The Nunsense of Praise Music

Yesterday NPR featured the “singing nuns of Ann Arbor, Michigan.” The Dominican Sisters of St. Mary have produced a debut album, Mater Eucharistiae, following on the heels of two separate albums by Catholic nuns that rocketed to the top of […]


Four Tips for Following Your Dream (a.k.a. Personal Calling)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a short novel about a boy who follows his dream to find hidden treasure across the seas—only to discover that the treasure he sought was actually right under his nose where his dream first originated. […]


Finding One’s Voice and Why It’s Important

Yesterday I made my first visit to my daughter’s prospective new school.  Founded in 1938 by the formidable Katherine “Kitty” Cathcart Hamm, the embodiment of the best in Southern gentility and herself the mother of a deaf son, the Atlanta […]


The Ripped, Bikini-Clad Preacher Earns Another Win

Fellow saint and sinner Amy Richter has drawn my attention to an article that appeared in The Huffington Post a few days ago, and has thanked the Fellowship for its early coverage.  Apparently, Amy’s story, “The Ripped, Bikini-Clad Reverend,” which originally […]


“The Beautiful Wife”: How One Woman Is Crusading to Save Christian Marriages

Reading the book, The Beautiful Wife, by author and speaker Sandy Ralya, whose agenda to save so-called “biblical marriage” seems a bit dubious from the start, feels like the times I’ve been asked to buckle up during a spate of turbulence […]


The End of Biblical Womanhood?

And, finally, my review of Rachel Held-Evans’ latest book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which aired on Sermons That Work two days ago and is reprinted here with the permission of The Episcopal Digital Network: If “biblical womanhood” were a rutabaga, then Rachel Held-Evans, […]


Til’ We Have Faces

In the last 72 hours since the airing of my post, Facebook’s “Disappearing Mothers”: The New Form of Women’s Self-Effacement?, I’ve heard a lot, learned a lot, and, been surprised and even flabbergasted, thanks to those of you who weighed in with your […]

More Thoughts on “Disappearing Mothers”

My last post and popular blogger and author Rachel Held-Evans’ subsequent shout-out in her Sunday Superlatives (for “Best Conversation Starter in the Blogosphere”) have generated a throng of readers and a string of interesting comments, most of which seem to be […]

Facebook’s “Disappearing Mothers”: The New Form of Women’s Self Effacement?

Last week Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, dished out her latest “must-reads” for NPR, this time on the subject of “The Modern Woman.”  Financial Times writer Katie Roiphe’s article, “Disappearing mothers,” was on Brown’s short list, […]

Why the Dearth of Women Emerging Evangelists? An Interview with Matt Brown of Thinke

Some of you probably recall that not long ago the Facebook page “Emerging Evangelists” gallery of exclusively male blogging evangelists (excepting a couple brave, smiling wives) elicited an outburst.  What was so “emerging” about an all-male club of evangelists in […]

Independence Week

Last night I was reading an excerpt from Simone de Beauvoir’s autobiography, The Prime of Life, in which she describes in almost ecstatic tones the wonder of working and living on her own as a writer and philosopher.  She was […]

“Ask Sister Gramick Anything: How Would You Reform the Church?”

I’ve just made the virtual acquaintance of Sister Jeanine Gramick, thanks to yesterday’s installment of Andrew Sullivan’s series, “Ask Sister Gramick Anything.”  Sr. Gramick may be best known for her work at the helm of an organization that she started […]

The Skimp on Recent Developments

Fellow saints and sinners who weighed in on a popular post from last year, “The Minister and the Little, Black Dress,” will be mildly amused to learn that I finally did it: on Monday evening on the occasion of my […]

Mutuality in Ministry

Yesterday marked the end of a week-long “Mutuality” series with Rachel Held-Evans.  For technical luddites like myself, it was also an introduction to “syncroblogging”: Held-Evans invited bloggers everywhere to reflect on the theme of mutuality between men and women in […]

The World of Biblical Literalism: Men With Short Hair and Women Without Jewelry or Leadership Skills

Fellow saints and sinners have left some interesting comments during the last few days!  Someone with the online name of “Roodness” writes the following in response to my “Coffee with Jesus” lampoon of manliness pastor and cage fighter Mark Driscoll’s […]

Boobie Traps: Breastfeeding in Church

Boobs and breastfeeding have been a “protuberant” topic these days. First there was the recent TIME magazine cover story that sent ripples through the blogging community. “Are You Mom Enough?” went the headline.  By first impressions, the picture shows a Photoshopped model (young, […]

A Mother’s Day Tribute

You may have heard me tell this story once before here, in the context of “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” (, but with Mother’s Day tomorrow, it’s worth a retell as a tribute to my mother and the many of you engaging in […]

Mary Magdalene’s Tears: A Homiletics of Remaining

If you’ve been wondering why FSS has been a bit catatonic in the last couple of days, it’s because I’ve been writing a final paper for my women’s theology class- about how to preach to those whose lives have been […]

A Dog, A Chicken and An Armchair Theologian

My husband jokes that I cry at road kill, so you might imagine my reaction when yesterday’s stroll turned into a scene from the PBS program, “Predator and Prey.” The scene started out almost bucolic-like. There I was with two […]

“The Lamb of God”: Jesus Epithets Continued

“Look!, [John the Baptist] said.  “There’s God’s lamb!  He’s the one who takes away the world’s sin!” -John 1:29 “God is angry with us every day,” someone exclaimed to me the other day. And if truth be told, there was […]

6 Ways to “Shush” Insecurity, Via Mechthild of Magdeburg

If there were anyone who knew about insecurity or a sense of not “measuring up,” it would be the thirteenth century, “stealth theologian” Mechthild de Magdeburg: she wrote as a woman in a largely male-dominated world of letters; she did […]

Move Over, “Cosmo.”

  “Love me passionately, love me often, and love me long.”  The appeal might grace the cover of Cosmopolitan.  The one, big exception?  That it is addressed to God…in the thirteenth century…by a “virginal” nun named Mechthild de Magdeburg. These days […]

“The Concept of Woman”

In light of yesterday’s spirited discussion on Facebook around women’s leadership issues, sparked by Michael Frost’s re-posting of Mars Hill teaching pastor Mark Driscoll’s very controversial radio interview, I wanted to recommend a wonderful not-so-little (1,100 pages in fact) tome […]

“Coffee with Jesus”: Jesus Sits Down with Mark Driscoll

Laughter is the best tonic for my and my husband’s anger this morning after reading Mark Driscoll’s latest series of blatantly chauvinistic remarks- (if there is a fine line between chauvinism and misogyny, I’m not sure where it is)- about […]

Rachel Held-Evans on “Real Marriage” and Why She’s Right

Mark Driscoll, the founding and preaching pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, apparently has a new book out titled Real Marriage:  The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together.  I was introduced to Driscoll’s book by a friend (Rachel Held-Evans) […]

The Online Priesthood of All Unbelievers

The other day I was asked to be the back-up wedding officiant for someone who had obtained their certificate of ordination off the Internet. Another person in the conversation had chimed in that she had once officiated at a wedding, […]

The Driftwood Artist

You can’t miss his gallery shack.  It overlooks the ocean on a stretch of coastal highway near St. Petersburg, Florida.  His driftwood sculptures are perched in front:  an ensemble of rotted tree branches, old fish nets, rusty pieces of metal- […]

The Minister and The Little, Black Dress

Much has been written about ministry and sex, sexuality, gender and, of most immediate and grave importance here, what to wear when you find yourself young, female and in ordained ministry.  The question has been so well-traversed that it can […]

Can I Get a Witness?

If there were any doubt that women were preachers before the twentieth century, this should put it to rest once and for all.  The ninth-century nun, Kassia, was probably the most famous in a line of women preachers who put […]

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body- whether […]

Reclaiming Two Bad Words

The other day Anne Graham Lotz spoke with NPR about her journey as a woman who has faced resistance in her vocation. The preacher, author and daughter of the famous evangelist, Billy Graham, says she is privileged to wear the […]

Damaris Who?

Her name was Damaris.  Ever wondered about her?  She appears in the form of an afterthought, (one of Luke’s “oh, by the way” comments), as one of the “few” who believed upon hearing Paul’s speech in the Areopagus (Acts 17:22-34).  Some biblical […]

Read My Stole: One Minister Applies a Diplomat’s “Feminist Subversions”

 How is this for a riveting opener? I recently went to an exhibit at the Carter Center  displaying former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s jewelry.  Not just any  jewelry, but pins.  And, it really does get more interesting. Apparently, Albright, […]

Previous Posts

Suicide, Depression and What Every Family Needs to Know
Today is the last day of National Suicide Prevention Month. That, and the suicide earlier this month of a young man in a church community in ...

posted 9:10:32pm Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Mental Health Break — "On Melancholy Hill" and What's Up Next Here
Single motherhood for the next nine months — with my hubby traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C., thanks to a National Endowment of Humanities (NEH) research fellowship there — may reduce my presence here at this intersection. But I'm ...

posted 3:34:48pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

A Monk, A Man Behind Bars for Murder, and Their Life-Changing Correspondence
[caption id="attachment_5740" align="alignleft" width="400"] The U.S. locks up more people every year than any other country, including China, with a population roughly five times greater than that of the U.S.. 5% of the world's population ...

posted 8:37:11pm Sep. 16, 2015 | read full post »

This Old House: A Poem
              The dramatic transformation that our old house continues to ...

posted 9:19:25pm Sep. 11, 2015 | read full post »

2 Ways I'm Like Mr. Bean When On Retreat at the Monastery
It’s been a while since my last “retreat” at the monastery. The last time I was here, I was on ...

posted 4:25:13pm Sep. 09, 2015 | read full post »


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