Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sister Anna, Beauty Queen

I've been reading about Sister Anna Mow for a project recently. Anna was a Brethren hero, one of the first women ordained in the CoB, a writer, teacher, missionary, and seminary professor. She befriended international dignitaries, worked with the untouchables in India, cared deeply for young adults, and she was a member of my home congregation for many years before she died in 1985. I would have been 3 when she died, and I can only assume that the two of us met at some point. I count her as a spiritual forebear whether we actually met in body or not, a bright star in the cloud of witnesses. Her life and her laugh are legendary, and her no frills theology of Spirited surrender catch me up short every time I read her writing:

The Church of the Brethren was founded by an open mind on the New Testament. And not only by an open mind, but by a ready heart committed to follow whatever should be found in the Word. That is the very same commitment of Jesus to the Fathers' will. He never asked, "Will I do the Father's will?" That was a settled fact of his life. He asked only, "WHAT is my Father's will?" On that question and consecration the Church of the Brethren was founded.

One of the most devastating things we can do to those who want to follow the Lord is to let them get the idea that they can be partially consecrated. Actually it is psychologically and spiritually impossible to be half surrendered to God...Surrender is without reservation or it is not surrender.

The question is really not women with men in the ministry, or men only in the ministry; the question is "Is the message from the Lord?" and "Is the Lord represented?"

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