Nekeisha Alexis-Baker: Expressions of Women Doing Theology

This reflection was originally shared by Nekeisha Alexis-Baker during a chapel service at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary on Friday, February 28th, 2014. The chapel was focused on the Anabaptist women’s theology conference, All You Need is Love, which had happened the week previously.

Nekeisha is  on staff at AMBS as Chair of Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism, and is a graphic designer and website specialist.
Nekeisha Alexis-Baker is on staff at AMBS as Chair of Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism, and is a graphic designer and website specialist.

By Nekeisha Alexis-Baker

Welcome to this morning’s chapel, Expressions of Women Doing Theology.

When Katerina and I requested this chapel slot, we only had a vague idea of how to use the time. We knew that February 28 is both the close of Black History Month and the cusp of Women’s History Month. We had a notion about women in our community telling their stories in some kind of way. It did not dawn on us that the Women Doing Theology conference, which we both planned to attend and were frantically trying to finish papers for, would be the source of today’s worship experience.

God dances in mysterious and practical ways.

From February 20-22, almost 200 women and 3 men gathered in Leesburg, Va., for a conference that I describe as a feminist gathering space. Unlike other conferences that privilege mind over body, speaking over silence, logic over tears, this gathering—I felt—sought to hold those things together, sometimes in tension, sometimes in healing embrace.

There was room for intellectual prowess and personal storytelling, imaginative biblical interpretation and tearful confessions, for cogent arguments and long hugs. We grieved the violence of the world without downplaying the violence done to ourselves, celebrated our triumphs without overlooking our need for healing, proclaimed the need for active love without losing sight of the need for real justice.

And we did it all from our distinct and varied social locations as women who live with and stand against our patriarchal, sexist, heterosexist, and racist society—and church. A church that often breaks, denies and binds us. A church that we love and seek to transform because it is Christ’s Body and God has already made room for us.

This morning, we invite you to a time of prayer and praise that offers a glimpse at our experiences of song, dance, story, scripture and symbol.

This morning, we invite you to a time of prayer and praise that offers a glimpse into your own unique transforming power as women and as men who have been transformed, by the powerful and unique women in your lives.

This morning, we invite you to a time of prayer and praise that offers a glimpse of our Creating Saving Repairing God—and God’s fierce and mothering spirit.

God’s holy fire is here.

To read Hilary J. Scarsella’s sharing from this same chapel, follow this link to Clasped Hands, Love and Power