January 1980 · Vol. 9 No. 1 · p. 2 

In This Issue: Women in the Work of the Church

Katie Funk Wiebe

This issue of Direction is devoted to the theme of the changing role of women in the work of the church to provide preliminary material for the May 1980 study conference in British Columbia sponsored by the General Conference Board of Reference and Counsel. This topic will be one of the questions considered at that occasion.

In the introductory essay Jean Janzen issues a call to the church to help women choose wisely from the bewildering and confusing array of choices for “self-discovery, fulfillment and open doors for service.” Her article is an adaptation of a chapel talk given at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary.

Esther Wiens follows with an essay which highlights the issues that frequently arise when men and women work together in the church. Linda Gerbrandt shares her experience as a member of the Faith and Life Commission of the Southern District Mennonite Brethren Conference.

Continuing the discussion of attitudes toward the changing role of women is Saundra Plett with her review of articles dealing with the topic in Mennonite Brethren publications.

The Pauline passages on the role of women in the church have provided much food for thought and discussion in the past. John E. Toews examines them once again. He concludes that “Paul and the rest of the New Testament, proclaim that male and female are reconciled and gifted in Christ, that they are one and equal in Christ. It is now time for that truth to be modeled in the church if the church is to be the true eschatological people of God.”

To complete this issue Rebekah Burch Basinger has contributed a bibliographic essay on books dealing with the role of women.