Shawna Atteberry

Writer, Editor, Researcher

Who supported Jesus out of their own means?

Soon afterwards [Jesus] went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources (Luke 8:1-3, NRSV).

One of the arguments that complementarians make for women staying at home is that it is God’s plan for men to work and financially support the family. As long as I’ve been on the other side of the argument, pointing out that women have always worked and supported their families monetarily, it was only last week when it hit me what these verses were saying. I’ve used these verses to show that women were disciples and followed Jesus in his travels just as the 12 did. But last week it hit me between the eyes: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna plus other women “provided for them out of their resources.” The Greek word translated as resources can mean property, possessions, resources, or means. These women financially supported Jesus and his ministry from their own finances.

I’m sure some would say that what they gave Jesus was really the money their husbands made. This could be true for Joanna, but she is the only one with a husband in this passage. Mary Magdalene had no husband, and Susanna is not paired with a husband in these verses. This means their money was theirs. We don’t know how they had these resources. Maybe they were business women like Lydia and Priscilla. Maybe they were widows. But neither woman, nor her resources, is tied to a husband.

It’s a little thing. A little thing that can be easily overlooked. But I think that we should pay attention to this little thing. Women who weren’t tied to a husband, and a married woman who isn’t tied to her home, are following Jesus all over the countryside and supporting him. These little things start adding up to show that roles women played in the Bible are much broader than mother and wife. It also shows the freedom Jesus allowed women to have in his own ministry. He didn’t tell these women to go back home and take care of their husbands and children (and he didn’t tell them to go home, get married, and start having kids). He welcomed them and accepted their support.

These three verses in Luke give us a glimpse of the broader role of women in Jesus’ ministry beyond the home.

Originally posted at The Scroll, April 22, 2010.

Ash Wednesday Liturgies at Chicago Grace Episcopal Church

Chicago Grace Episcopal Church will be having two Ash Wednesday services including imposition of ashes on Wednesday, February 17. The first service is at 12:15–1:15 p.m. The second service is 6:00–7:00 p.m. with a soup and bread supper following the liturgy. All are welcome to come. I will be attending the service in the evening. Our church is on Printer’s Row, 637 S. Dearborn, right next door to Kasey’s Tavern, and our sanctuary is on the second floor.

Tonight we say good-bye to the alleluias. This hymn from The Saint Helena Breviary helps us to tuck them away until Easter.

Alleluia, song of gladness,

hymn of endless joy and praise.

Alleluia is the worship

that celestial voices raise

and, delighting in God’s glory,

sing in heaven’s courts always.

Alleluia, blessed Salem,

home of all our hopes on high.

Alleluia, sing the angels;

Alleluia, saints reply;

but we, for a time on this earth,

chant a simpler melody.

Alleluias we now forfeit

in this holy time of Lent.

Alleluias we relinquish

as we for our sins repent,

trusting always in God’s mercy

and in Love omnipotent.

Blessed Trinity of Glory,

hear your people as we pray.

Grant that we may know the Easter

of the Truth, the Life, the Way,

chanting endless alleluias

in the realms of endless day. Amen.

A huge thank you to Bosco at Liturgy for having it all typed out, so I wouldn’t have to do it. Bosco also posted a Shrove Tuesday mediation.

Funeral Service for Wayne Mass

I’ve noticed that people have come to my site through the search “Wayne Maas Chicago.” I’m assuming you are looking for information on his funeral. For every one else, Wayne was the Minister of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in Chicago. Wayne died of a heart attack earlier this week. He was young and healthy, and this has been a shock to both his family and his church. Wayne was a wonderful man who brought beautiful and thoughtful music to our services. He will be missed. Wayne’s funeral mass will be:

Saturday, November 7
Grace Episcopal Church – Oak Park
924 Lake Street

10 AM Visitation
11 AM Burial Service
Light reception following

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: accept our prayers on behalf of your servant Wayne, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 493)

Witches, Skeltons, and Witch Doctors, Oh My!

Our building had it’s Halloween party this last Saturday. Here are some of the pics:

Tracy and I

It’s the Voodoo Witch Doctor and his Mrs. Witch.

President of Social Committee, Jeanine, Tracy, and me

For some odd reason we attracted a skeleton.

Ann and Jeanine

Then the skeleton ran into a street walker.

Condo Board President Barb

Condo Board President Barb

The Hippie is here! Now we can get the party started!

Because it’s not Halloween without The Great Pumpkin.

My familiar, Victoria aka The Diva

My familiar, Victoria aka The Diva

What is a witch without her Familiar?

Some (wickedly) enchanted evening, you may see a stranger

Some (wickedly) enchanted evening, you may see a stranger

Oh my! Who is that sexy Voodoo Witch Man? I might just follow him home… (Actually he followed me because he’s a Gentleman Voodoo Witch Man.)

Halloweens Past: Last year we were Mr. Evil Clown, and Mrs. Sexy Harlequin. And I don’t seem to have pictures on the site of the year we went as Mr. and Mrs. Beelzebulb. I might have to remedy that:

Halloween 2006

New Benedictine Community

Sophia and I have been talking about starting a long distance Benedictine community for those of us who would like to follow the Rule of Benedict, but not close enough to a community (or a community we would fit in). She summed it up very well in her post, so I’m copying it here:

Calling all lovers–or potential lovers–of Benedict’s Rule!

After a lengthy and fruitless search for a lay Benedictine community to join, or a monastic house with which to affiliate as an oblate, I was finally inspired to consider seeking out a small group with which to explore the creation of a new, emergent style, community.

I am envisioning something long distance, coed, and very flexible about individual interpretations of Christian faith, Benedictine spirituality, and the OSB promises of stability, obedience, and conversion of life. Some sort of commitment to praying the daily office, in the version most appropriate for each individual, and to study of Benedictine spirituality and its application in our daily lives would likely be a part of our common practice.

We would support each other in mutual prayer and through an e-group for spiritual sharing and prayer requests. Perhaps we would eventually have a yearly in person gathering (with local gatherings more frequently, if we are lucky enough to get folks close enough to do that).

If anyone is interested in exploring this possibility please shout out in comments or email me at the address in the sidebar.

If you’re interesed let one of us know. Leave a comment on one of our blogs or email us. My email is shawna (at) shawnaatteberry (dot) com.

Holy Week Happenings at Chicago Grace Episcopal Church

If you’re in the South Loop area and need a place to celebrate the events of Holy Week, consider yourself invited to Grace Episcopal Church at 637 S. Dearborn St (Bus lines 22 and 62 Polk/Dearborn, Red Line Harrison/Polk exit, LaSalle Blue Line, LaSalle Metra Station).

Wednesday, April 8

Sandwich, Scriptures, and Sacrament, 12:15 p.m. Every week we bring a lunch and discuss a Scripture passage from the liturgy on Sunday. We will be discussing one of the Easter passages this week.

Our church helps out The Night Ministry. The Night Ministry ministers to the homeless at Humboldt Park through medical care, food and other necessities. At 5:00 p.m. will be making sandwiches and bag lunches for Thursday night. At 6:00 p.m. there is a centering prayer practice.

Thursday, April 9

Our Maundy Thursday service will be held at Humboldt Park (California and Division). If you would like to help hand out the lunches, we will be meeting at the church at 5:45 p.m. We will load up the van then head out. After we feed everyone, we will begin the liturgy for Maundy Thursday with whomever would like to join us. The liturgy will begin at 7:30 p.m. Our minister of music, Wayne Maas, will be leading the service. After we return to the church, we will strip the sanctuary for the observance of Good Friday.

Friday, April 10

There will be two liturgies on Good Friday: 12:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Our seminary intern, Elizabeth Molitors, will be preaching at both services and leading us through a modern version of the Stations of the Cross. A special offering will be taken up for The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Saturday, April 11

We will be going to St. James Cathedral (Red Line Grand exit) at Wabash and Huron to observe the Great Vigil, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 12

There will be two Feasts of the Resurrection, 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Our parish priest, Rev. Ted Curtis will be presiding.  After the 10:00 a.m. service, we will be enjoying an Eastern luncheon. There will be a special offering taken up for the Night Ministry on Easter and the following Sunday.

Woman of the Week: Mapule Ramashala and living forgiveness

Future Looking by Wiggins

Yes, this week’s Woman of the Week is posted early. I read this story, and I could not wait until Thursday to post it. From The Christian Century (December 2, 2008):

Mapule Ramashala, a black South African, was verbally harassed when she moved into a white suburb. Some youths tried to burn down her house. But after police arrested 12 youths for the crime Ramashala refused to press charges. Instead she met with the parents of the youths, telling them that she assumed they would organize the community to help her rebuild her house. She arranged for the youths who were charged with arson to perform community service. And she met with them periodically to see what was happening in their lives and to check on their progress in school. The community rallied around the task of restoring Ramashala’s house and came to accept her into the community (Religion and Theology, volume 15).

This is what it looks like to be Christ in the world. Mapule Ramashala, I hope to one day meet you.

Other Women of the Week:

Sarah: She was not dispensableHilda of Whitby: The woman who stood with bishops

Halloween and Confirmation Pictures

I know the two don’t quite go together, but the party was Saturday and Confirmation yesterday, so this was my weekend.

Mr Evil Clown and Mrs. Sexy Harlequin

The Hubby and I at church.

My priest, Ted Curtis, Tracy, Me, and Bishop Scantlebury

Confirmation and Vigils

I was confirmed at Grace Episcopal Church this morning. I am now an Episcopalian. Throughout the course of the day God has provided confirmation that this is what she wanted through my own heart and the people around me. I just finished praying Vigils from the Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary
. It’s as if God has me one final gift before bed. This passage from Wisdom was one of this week’s readings:

For who will say, ‘What have you done?’
or will resist your judgement?
Who will accuse you for the destruction of nations that you made?
Or who will come before you to plead as an advocate for the unrighteous?
13For neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all people,*
to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly;
14nor can any king or monarch confront you about those whom you have punished.
15You are righteous and you rule all things righteously,
deeming it alien to your power
to condemn anyone who does not deserve to be punished.
16For your strength is the source of righteousness,
and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all.
17For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power,
and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it.*
18Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness,
and with great forbearance you govern us;
for you have power to act whenever you choose.

19Through such works you have taught your people
that the righteous must be kind,
and you have filled your children with good hope,
because you give repentance for sins. (Wisdom 12:12-19)

Reader: O God, you are righteous and you rule all things righteously. Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us.

Response: Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, whose judgments are true and just. Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us.

God is my sovereign. God leads me where she wants me to go. It is not the journey I thought it would be. I thought I would remain in the Church of the Nazarene as a pastor for many more years. But that did not happen. God showed me another way in her gracious sovereignty. I am now a member of a new church–a totally new tradition. For the first time in my life I am not in an evangelical church. And I’m fine with that. I feel great freedom in shedding that heavy weight. For evangelical in this day is not the evangelical it once was. When it was more concerned with lifting up the poor and lowly, building schools, created homes for unwed mothers, teaching people trades. Evangelicalism gave up the acts of Christ for a privatized faith of right and wrong, us vs. them. But right belief and right doctrine does not always lead to right action. I am in a church that has the right action, and that action comes from the right belief: that we are called to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus said on these two things the entire law hangs. Love God. Love ourselves. Love others. This is the greatest commandment. I am looking forward to being a part of the ministries to homeless we are doing as well as the new ministries to all the college students in the area. I feel like I have entered broader territory, and I have more room to find out who God is and who I am and what that means to the community I am a part of. I am looking forward to seeing where this new path will lead me.

“Stepping out in confirmation”
by Shawna R. B. Atteberry

A new step
A new direction
Letting go of the past
On a new path
Stepping into a broader space
With less fences
Less walls
Less rules
It feels good
To be trusted
To discern the Spirit
Instead of being
Told what to do.

(c)2008 Shawna R. B. Atteberry

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We're all in this boat together

This week’s Gospel reading was Matthew 14:22-33, which is Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus, who was already walking on the water. My priest had a different take on this passage than one I have heard before. His take is that Peter wasn’t supposed to be out of the boat in the first place. He interpreted the boat as the world and the water as some kind of ecstatic, guru bliss that we want to stay in instead of the world. That’s not where Peter is supposed to be. We’re not supposed to be there either. We aren’t saved by ourselves out in the eternal beyond. Jesus put Peter back in the boat with the other eleven disciples. Then Jesus got into the boat, and the storm that had been tossing the boat around stopped. We are to be in this world. We are to work out our salvation together in this world. We are to build the kingdom of God in the here and now.

This reflects Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus came to this world; he came to us. He walked and ministered in this world, and then he told us to continue his ministry of love and compassion to the world around us. I like this new way to look at this story. What do you think?