I have been quite productive since I came home from a trip to Sweden about two weeks ago. (We all know that trying to do a lot of things is not the same as being really productive!) Besides preparing two new sermons, I wrote two short articles in Dutch and two longer articles in English. In addition I worked on two presentations for a congress on ‘Celebrating Diversity’ that is to be held in Oxford (UK) towards the end of this month. I finished one earlier this week and this morning I finalized the second of the two presentations.
And I also succeeded in restoring order in my study and to make it more pleasant by shifting some of the book cases and my desk. So, all together, I feel rather satisfied.
One thing that I also appreciated very much this past week was viewing the impressive film that David Brillhart has made about the theme of female pastors in the Adventist Church. It runs for about 30 minuts and is entitled CALLED.
I know David since 1990. At the time I lived in Ivory Coast, a country in West-Africa. I was charged with making a 45 minute video report about the work of the church in the part of the African continent that was then referred to as the Africa-Indian Ocean Division. This region comprised, apart from a few Anglophone countries (Ghana, Nigeria), all African countries where French is the official language (even as far as Madagascar and Reunion and Mauritius). I wrote the script and traveled with the small team that did the filming in a dozen or so African countries, while David was responsible for the final product. I vividly remember how we worked through several nights in a studio in California in order to get the film ready, in time for the General Conference session in Indianapolis.
I have stayed in regular contact with David. Therefore I was not surprised when (together was many others) I received a message from him with the internet link to the film (https://vimeopro.com/user2035123/called), and with the request to share his message, with the link to the film, to my Facebook networks.
This film about the experiences of four female pastors in the Adventist Church touched my deeply, in a way that few films have been able to do. The film gave an impressive picture of the resistance and prejudices female pastors must face when they begin their work in the churches that have been assigned to them. Fortunately the film also shows how many of these prejudices fade once the church members get to know their woman pastor and begin to appreciate her and recognize her calling. Brillhart and his team have succeeded brilliantly in telling the story of these women, without getting into fruitless arguments about Bible texts, but by putting some actual faces to the ‘problem’. One remark of a young girl with Rumanian parents struck me as extremely important: ‘Do not write someone’s story before you heard it.’
In the past few days David and I have exchanged some messages about another project. Would it not be great if a similar film could be made about the issue that I deal with in my recent book FACING DOUBT: A Book for Adventist Believers ‘on the Margins’? David would love to work on such a project but for the time being it will most likely remain just a dream—unless from somewhere a Maecenas emerges who is willing to take care of the finances. Well, who knows?
For now I ask all readers of this blog to take the time to watch this movie CALLED (see the link above) and to tell others about it—by word of mouth and through the social media.