Tuesday morning our “Women, Mary, and Jesus” class listened to the story of Erika (Carney) Haub, whom our school supported to bring to campus for our class. Erika was a legend in my early years at North Park, but I never had her as a student. Not infrequently the observation is made that one of the most compelling apologetics for women’s ministries is the compelling story of a woman. I think Erika’s is one:
From Seattle, Erika found herself knee-deep in social justice issues as a student at NPU. Like many, that involvement led to a person (Lisa) that led to an issue (safe places) and led to some activism (Erika’s) that led to NPU providing a space (After-Hours) that quite simply exploded into a large ministry of providing a safe place for 200+ kids after school. With her ear close to the ground and surrounded by students with a similar commitment and a school committed to this ministry, After Hours not only developed a rich array of services and ministries, but was given an award during the Clinton Administration.
A student who listened to Erika’s presentation said to me, “Erika’s story is mine.” (That student didn’t even know that her magazine and justice work were started in Erika’s days.) Erika made more than ample time for our students and she may well have drained 10 cups of coffee chatting with our students. (Thanks Erika for your availability.)
Erika is a good writer, and her English teachers at NPU encouraged her. What she didn’t know was that she was gifted to preach and teach the Bible, and she fought it and wondered before God if this is what she was called to do — and opportunities and affirmations just kept on coming. She went to seminary — and finished her MDiv at Fuller (speaking ever so highly of Marianne Meye Thompson and John Goldingay and Miroslav Volf). Married to Doug Haub, a mother of two with one more on the way, Erika and Doug are now knee-deep in a ministry in downtown LA — surrounded by insecurities, health threats, and a ruggedly committed group of Christian friends who know God has given them a vocation to inner city ministry.
Erika has encouragers: David Nystrom, Jay Phelan and Brenda Salter McNeil — and there are others. All of us who are teachers and preachers know how much encouragement meant to us during times when we wondered if we were doing the right thing.
I’d be unjust if I didn’t express my pride in the Evangelical Covenant Church for its commitment to women’s ministries.
Now here’s the shocker: and I take this to be a witness to a change of times and a very healthy sign: Erika has never been discouraged from pursuing her gift to preach and teach. Many women know the difficulty of knowing a calling. But, others know just as much that God does not call women, putting those women in jeopardy at times. But, as I hope this blog makes clear, the times are changing — slowly in many places — and there is a growing acceptance of God’s calling of women to public teaching and preaching.
Make sure you put her blog on your sidebar.
PS: Wednesday morning a colleague e-mailed to inform us that Erika and her friend, Rebecca, were brushed by a passing car. Thanks be to God! They are both safe. Erika is pregnant so this was no small issue for her, Doug and her family — and those of us who consider Erika family.