Edwards Presler Lectures Celebrated with Substance

Edwards-Presler Lectures gave us much to take to heart

Edwards-Presler Lectures gave us much to take to heart

I realize now (that it’s been days) that I won’t have time to say all I can think of to say about the remarkable Edwards and Presler lectures that it was our privilege to attend last week. So instead, I’ll say just 5 reasons I thought of so much to say in the first place:

1) Alice Winters’ exegesis of the goel — the social role in ancient Israelite society that had special responsibility for standing up in a substantive way for the poor, weak, marginal, perishig members of the clan — in essence, making sure that “no one gets rich from the misery of others.” Her reminder that the word “redeemer” — the familiar translation of that Hebrew word — is deeply embedded in this concrete, substantive, real-world help that is solidarity context. Her application of that insight to our approach to mission — and to Jesus’ approach.

2) Eileen Lindner’s opening statement, that the Hebrew Bible is unambiguous about this much, that “piety without compassion and justice for the poor is an abomination to Israel’s God.” I only hope that when it comes time to make lists of abominations, that one always heads the list.

3) And Lindner’s story about her son wondering, suspiciously, whether if he shared a bottle of lemonade he would “catch your dreams.” Oh, yes — I wish my daughter would catch my dreams. And I wish I would catch these women’s dreams.

4) Another statement, this time by Eileen Lindner about George Edwards, namesake along with Jean Edwards of the Edwards lecture: “He has always known that scholarship is the means; the goal is faithfulness.” That’s another dream I’d like to catch.

5) These illuminating and stirring lectures, both given by women who are justly recognized in the areas of evangelism and mission as women of worth, truly constituted a celebration of the gifts and achievements of women in the church and the world. The Women’s Center can only say amen! to that.

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