Wonderful Women

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
— 1 Timothy 2:12
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.
— Romans 16:1-2
Do you accept the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, as the written Word of God; and that it is the only perfect rule of faith and how to live?
— ARP Church Membership Question 3, Form of Government 4.5.A.3

Uh oh, he went there! But I am going there for a reason, and it is a very good one. For those of you who do not know yet, Lynn Grimsley has been nominated and subsequently chosen to receive the Julia Hardeman Rhodes Award. This award is given to an individual in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church who exhibits a strong God-given faith in Jesus Christ, a tangible commitment to denominational ministries, and a history of service within ARPC Ministries. If you would like to know more about this award and its namesake, just type her name into your internet search bar. Our denomination’s Christian Education Website has some wonderful information and videos that are very informative. Having written all that, congratulations to Lynn! Representatives of the denomination will be at Centennial this coming Sunday (3/18) to present her this award. It will happen at the covered dish luncheon directly after the worship service.

So why attach 1 Timothy 2:12 and Romans 16:1, 2 to this article? Long story short, I could not help but think of these verses as I prayed a prayer of thankfulness for Lynn and her service to Centennial and the ARPC. It is a true statement that women cannot be ordained as elders within the ARP Church, but this by no means implies women are useless or unneeded. That is ludicrous! Yes, God has created a certain order and structure within all things (including the Church). Yes, women are commanded not to assume the role of elder. And, yes, women are called by God to serve him mightily! Of the many examples within Scripture, this one of Phoebe is quite powerful. Paul is commending Phoebe in her work, which has taken her from Cenchreae into Rome. Cenchreae is across the sea over by Corinth, and she is apparently coming into Rome for God’s work. Paul is commanding the church at Rome to help her in whatever she may need. The reason for his command rests in her calling from God as a patron not only of Paul but of many others. These are strong words of service, and they are meant to be so. God does not leave women out of the Christian life and service to the church.

I am so thankful for Lynn, and it is obvious from her selection to receive this award that our denomination is thankful for her, too. Even in my short time of knowing her, I have bore witness that God has clearly given her a saving (thus, fruit-bearing) faith in Jesus. More than that, Lynn is just one great example of the built-in ethos of faith, service, and love that our women at Centennial exhibit to one another and others. May God always encourage us through our fellow saints, and may God be glorified as we celebrate his work in our dear sister’s life. Blessings this week, and y’all come on to church and lunch this coming Sunday,