One of the joys of my job is doing little bits of editing so I get to read things very carefully rather than my more normal skim reading. It was a joy to read Natalie’s book as it raises so many issues that have been important to me over many years of youth work educating.
Natalie writes Seeking to have gender aware practice is not about being politically correct. It should not be motivated by quotas. As Christians, our motivation must come from a deep recognition that the current situation is not how it is meant to be. Women and men were created as equal partners, standing face to face. Yet the Fall means the spiritual principality of patriarchy is the dominant power in men’s and women’s relationships and identities. As Christians we understand that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection overcame the consequences of sin and, in obedience to God, we live a redeemed reality, no longer under those consequences. We live in the now and not yet of redemption. This includes praying and actively resisting patriarchy shaped identity. Becoming gender aware is a prophetic work, choosing the fullness of the life of Jesus offers and renouncing our complicity with a system birthed out of sin. As we continue, may the Holy Spirit stir in each of us deeper understanding of these ideas which may be new to us.
You can buy the booklet from the Grove website http://www.grovebooks.co.uk.
I would encourage some mindful reflection over the next few days of our own practice and if there is any lack of gender awareness or if assumptions or stereotypes ever creep in.