Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Jeanne Audrey Powers

The Church is the only institution I know that pays its employees to subvert it!” This statement, by a conscientious objector seeking alternative service through the US-2 Program of the Board of Missions of the United Methodist Church, has haunted me, motivated me, and sustained me ever since I heard him say it in 1970. Now, as I write this, when my disappointment with the United Methodist Church has become excruciatingly difficult to bear, his statement reminds me that “committed subversion” is, in fact, an invitation the Church continues to offer. When the Body of Christ refuses to be part of the continuing incarnation of Christ in the world, this statement is a powerful witness to the vision that this young man had caught from the Church. As I reflect on my own experiences of Christian nurture and development, my calling to ordained ministry, my service as a campus minister and as a national staff person in missionary personnel and ecumenical offices for the denomination, I see that subversion is an identifying characteristic of my own life and ministry.

When I began my ministry in the fall of 1959,I had never had a woman seminary professor, had never read a book written by a feminist theologian, had no women models for ordained ministry, looked to ordained men exclusively for professional company, had almost no experience related to segregation or the “black experience,” had no friends or colleagues of another race, and knew no one, other than myself, who was gay or lesbian. This description says far less about me as a white, upper midwestern, mainline Protestant “girl minister” (as a Minneapolis newspaper photo caption identified me) than it does about the culture of the time. I was alone, charting new territory at every point in my life. What was it that shaped me, that pushed me forward, that planted the seeds of whom I would become and what my ministry would look like? What enabled me ultimately to claim “subversion” as a primary form of ministry?

-45-

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Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Journeys That Opened Up the World *
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 1 - Ruth Harris 15
  • Chapter 2 - Jeanne Audrey Powers 45
  • Chapter 3 - Rebecca Owen 66
  • Chapter 4 - Elmira Kendricks Nazombe 84
  • Chapter 5 - Jill Foreman 104
  • Chapter 6 - Charlotte Bunch 122
  • Chapter 7 - Tamela Hultman 140
  • Chapter 8 - M. Sheila Mccurdy 157
  • Chapter 9 - Alice Hageman 174
  • Chapter 10 - Jan Griesinger 191
  • Chapter 11 - Eleanor Scott Meyers 208
  • Chapter 12 - Nancy D. Richardson 226
  • Chapter 13 - The Repairer of the Breach (isaiah 58:12) 237
  • Chapter 14 - Renetia Martin 240
  • Chapter 15 - Frances E. Kendall 249
  • Chapter 16 - Margarita Mendoza De Sugiyama 262
  • Notes on Contributors 271
  • Index 275
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