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A Woman Called: Piecing Together the Ministry Puzzle Paperback – May 15, 2012
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Feeling an inner call to preach as a young girl, Sara found herself perplexed because of her community's strong teachings about the role of women in the church. She has been seeking her way ever since--still convinced she is supposed to preach, still confused by the censure that brings in her religious community, and unwilling to reject that community in return. Sara's story is one of being pulled apart and yet deeply committed. Anyone touched by this issue should take her voice seriously.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was a book that refrains from the in-your-face rhetoric of the more militant and argumentative voices on this issue. It also stays refreshingly away from the mushy, saccharine, feeling-based jargon of the sentimentalists. Instead, Sara tackles the issue head-on in a way that invites the reader into her life and into the good news of Christ.
"A Woman Called" is an example of what I've come to refer to as the "Barton Invitational." I've heard both Sara and her husband John speak many times, and their talks are invariably peppered with some version of "I invite you to . . .." I smile every time I hear it because that's simply who they are as open and hospitable people. That theme runs throughout the book as well. Sara sees everything from the Bible to the Westminster Abbey in London as inviting participants into some facet of being. To her, even a seemingly dry genealogy is inviting.
I came across only one small difficulty. In my sideline work as a freelance editor, I sometimes come across authors whose metaphors can get in the way of the point they're trying to make. There is a little of that here. The puzzle image is a great metaphor, but a slight overemphasis on the analogy in one chapter slightly obscures the points Sara is making. But I see this as merely a minor criticism of what is overall a brilliant work.
At its root, this is simply Sara's story.Read more ›
I have also been a biomedical engineering faculty member for more than 40 years. My graduating class had three females out of more than 100 engineering students. Now the average engineering graduating class is about 18 percent female, somewhat more in biomedical engineering. I have encouraged young women in our profession to aspire to leadership as professionals. One of our 1993 graduates, a young African American woman, was recently cited by the President as a "Champion of Change" for her work in getting young women into our profession. But gender differences persist professionally, and are even more pronounced in church "circles" (even the term "circle", implying egalitarian, reciprocal relationships, is a misnomer).
When a woman with intellectual or leadership capacity walks into an assembly in our fellowship, she has been expected to check her brain at the door. This makes no sense intellectually, and Sara's scholarship has shown that it makes no sense hermeneutically either. I am grateful for her writing the book, and for her kind, forbearing spirit, and have already put it in the hands of intellectually gifted women to encourage them that a new day may finally have arrived.
This is an engaging journey pairing Sara Barton's warm narrative with a studied and insightful look at scripture and "yes" scripture that has often created fear and controversy as it speaks about women and their participation in God's work.
Sara invites us to step into the stories of the bible that have accompanied her journey and with her genuine view helps the readers grapple with the intention of the scripture in a holistic and practical way. If you are not persuaded after digesting the entirety of this read that God's view of power and authority are the opposite of where we as humans have landed I will be disappointed. My horizon has most certainly been enlarged by Sara's many personal stories, her take on God's pointed involvement with humanity and what I view as her conclusions of truth and wisdom. My hope is that everyone will read this book.
Thank you Sara Barton for standing up for marginalized women objectified by both our churches and our world and for loving those of us who often do not see that we are the perpetrators.
Sara Barton is a good writer. Her style of writing and presentation make for an enjoyable read. She peppered the book with stories and antidotes that softened the message that she was presenting.
I enjoyed reading the book, but finished with a feeling of incompleteness. I know it's a memoir, but I didn't feel like any issues were resolved. The author is from the Church of Christ and uses quite a bit of her memoir to discuss the issues and experiences that she has with her church. I don't have a problem with this, but it might make it harder to relate to some of the things that she talks about if one is unfamiliar with this denomination. All in all, I felt it was a well written book, but just not something I could relate to.
I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this book. Gave me a different way to look at women in the Church. Recommended this book to my mother because I believe that women have many talents that should be... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sheila Holt
A must read for anyone that is open to conversation about the role of women in church leadership.Published 22 months ago by gran
Sara's book about a difficult subject was enjoyable reading and VERY thought provoking. I'll be reading it again, and will have to give it as gifts so I can discuss it with others!Published on May 10, 2014 by NF
One woman's journey in the ministry maze in churches that believe in male leadership only. Well written, poignant story from a woman who loves her fellowship, but desires change.Published on May 8, 2014 by Dorris M. Schulz
My spiritual sister focused my vision and showed great insight into the roles that women have traditionally filled and broadened my perspection when considering my role in Christ's... Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Jo Lillis
An insight into the uphill battle many called and gifted women face in being faithful to their God given abilities.Published on January 15, 2014 by Luke
Sara Barton writes the story of her calling by God with grace and heart, and with experiences that anyone can relate to. Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by missy
Having come from the same Church heritage as Sara, I understand the misconceptions and difficulties of women trying to stay in the Churches of Christ.Published on November 4, 2013 by Sandy Welfare