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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Beth Boisvert » Archives for Beth Boisvert

By Beth Boisvert on June 22, 2012

So, this article has been flying around the web over the last couple days. I finally took the time to read it, although I haven't dared delve into the comments section. While I agree with Ms. Slaughter's arguments and where there needs to be change, as a Christian pastor, I did find something missing: a consideration of calling.

This of course makes sense, as this was a public opinion, not a religious piece, yet I am still left wondering if women who do have religious beliefs and practices--and particularly those of the more feminist, progressive persuasion--consider God's call on their lives when they wrestle with these other issues.

While as a pastor people generally expect me to talk of a sense of calling in relation to my work, I find that often others are hesitant to do the same, as if pastors are the only ones that God calls. I think this is to their detriment.

What would it mean to consider not just what we individually, our families, our employers, or society wants, but also God? Would it add validation to our choices, if made after a true period of discernment? I think so.

This article hits home for me, as I am a full-time working professional and a fairly new single mother by choice of a pre-teen to-be-adopted son. I get the struggle. My job can be fairly flexible, but also has its own drawbacks and demands. I am still in the early years of my ministry, a time to figure out its potential trajectory and do the work to move me up the ladder (yes, ministry has those too). I could/should be writing and networking and joining committees and getting my name and face out there. I am, a little. But I'm also now making choices that affect someone other than me, and so I haven't been to conferences and haven't been doing much writing while I work on attaching to my new son.

While this is exactly what Ms. Slaughter proposes should be an acceptable norm, for me it doesn't matter much what society or other feminist think. I feel that God has called me to parish ministry; God also called me to motherhood. I will continue to follow those calls as I feel led by the Spirit, and am confident it will work out well if I approach both with an attitude of discernment of call, rather than for personal preference or in deferment to societal pressures.

By Beth Boisvert on February 2, 2011

What constitutes rape, exactly? This question is being discussed, on some level, over the news pages and in the blogosphere because of a phrase included in Bill H.R. 3, also known as "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

Sec. 309 reads:


‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion --
‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or
‘(2) in the case where the pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the pregnant female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. (Emphasis mine).

Forcible rape. What does that imply?

Read more of this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on February 23, 2010

Lent is still a new thing for me. I didn't grow up observing it--or even really aware that it existed. Our church went from Christmas Eve to Palm Sunday with nothing special in between (or so it seemed to me). A few years ago, once I moved to NYC, I was worshiping at a church which encouraged members to add a spiritual practice during Lent rather than give something up. I liked that idea, and wanted more practice praying, so I started a daily prayer time.

In other years, I've given up television (allowed me time to read a thick novel while in my last semester of seminary) and the word "should."

This year, it took me a long time to figure out what I was going to do. In fact, I didn't know for sure until I was in the middle of the 7am Ash Wednesday service I was leading.

Read more of this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on August 23, 2009

I preached this sermon this morning. The text is Ephesians 6:10-20.

When I first chose this text to preach on today, like many times when I choose a text—or it chooses me—I thought I already had it figured out. As a young friend of mine used to say, “easy peezy, lemon squeezy.” Well, elements of those early thoughts certainly stayed with me and made it into today’s sermon, but the process of getting there ended up being more “squeezy” than easy.

When I first read this text, a couple things came to mind. The first was the concept of being “soldiers for Christ,” or “warriors for Jesus.” These are terms often used by some Evangelical groups, much of the time with their children and youth ministries, to try and create “God’s army,” to go out and save the world from sin. They often use just this passage as their starting point. In the film, “Jesus Camp,” about an Evangelical summer camp, they often mention joining this army.

Read more of this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on June 20, 2009

I got all excited just now poking around Etsy, "window" shopping for stuff for my as-yet-to-be-found new place, when I came across these pillows.

I was just ready to add them to my favorites when I took a second look. Something wasn't right. And then I realized: these are not the silhouettes of Africans.

Read more of this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on March 23, 2009

As I listened to NPR over my alarm clock this morning, still groggy at 6am, I heard something that perked me right up: President Obama has spoken out against the tax on AIG execs' bonuses.

Thank goodness! I felt I was the only one thinking this was a Bad Idea. Yes, I understand the anger people are feeling over the mis-use of the government's/tax-payer's money. I'm feeling it too--as well as disbelief, rage, and disgust at the extent of the greed in the corporate world.

Read more of this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on January 20, 2009

Diane Feinstein just said that future generations will look back on today as the turning point for real change. I hope she is right, and that Obama can really bring us lasting change. I worry, though, that his administration will bring good things...for four--or eight--years, but no longer. It will not be on his shoulders, but on ours, to ensure the real change happens and continues.

By Beth Boisvert on January 20, 2009

I'm jealous of all my friends who are freezing in Washington, DC as they stand (or for some really lucky ones, sit) in the cold to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama in person. But here I am in NH, watching it on TV with millions of others. In fact, children at the school almost-President Obama attended in Jarkarta, Indonesia, although it is almost midnight there, are also watching on a television set.

Since I'm warm and inside and in front of a computer, I'm going to try my hand at live blogging. I'll periodically post in the next hour or so as the inauguration events unfold.

There is so much anticipation for noon today. I can feel it coming from the crowds in DC, from just about every friend's status update on Facebook. I got chills watching the motorcade. This is BIG HISTORY, and everyone knows it.

I love most right now seeing the many American flags waving on the Mall, because for so long, patriotism was a "conservative thing." But today, millions are proud once again to be Americans, and are excited to wave that flag.

By Beth Boisvert on August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav is heading for the Gulf of Mexico, having already hit Haiti and probably hitting Cuba on its way today. It's expected to gain strength over the warm waters, and make landfall in the US anywhere between Florida and Texas. That puts New Orleans most likely right in its path. Needless to say, residents there are worried.

I am too. Not only because I know that three years is not nearly enough time to erase memories and anxieties of the trauma of Katrina (having lived in NYC the last four years, I am quite aware of the reaction to a low-flying plane or unexplained smoky air), but also because having spent time in New Orleans this past January, and engaged many of its residents, I feel a deep connection to that wonderfully unique city.

Trailers and walls I also know from my time there that New Orleans has only begun to move from recovery to renewal, and the prospect of having much of that wiped away is just plain scary. This photo was taken from inside the home I was helping to construct for a family, of their street, lined with FEMA trailers. For many, FEMA trailers are the only homes people have now. They are certainly not designed to withstand a strong hurricane.

So on the anniversary of the day people woke up after Katrina hit and many mistakenly thought they'd be made it through the worst of it, the people of New Orleans are in my prayers. May you be comforted, may you be protected, and may you be safe.

By Beth Boisvert on August 29, 2008

For many different reasons, I have yet to see most of the DNC speeches from this past week. Last night, however, I did get to watch Obama's acceptance speech. Even listening with a critical ear, paying attention to rhetoric and to phrases and ideas created to evoke emotion... I was moved. I want this man as my next president. Yes, although it's becoming such an over-used word, I see hope in him. I see in him--while accepting it will not happen easily or overnight--a commitment to alter the way we do politics in this country. There's a reason that many people--particularly the young and marginalized--don't vote: they don't see it as important, because they feel like it won't matter because politics will always be politics (and although I vote, I've felt the same many times). When stories come out about politicians who lie, cheat, steal or do any other number of unethical things, it makes headlines for a day or two, but people aren't really shocked, because we've come to expect that from politicians. People get frustrated with how things are--that children are under-insured, that workers can't make a living wage, that a war no one can seem to justify is still going on and our servicepersons are still in harm's way, etc, etc--and don't take action because they don't see the political process as doing anything. I think this is really what Obama wants to change, and I'm excited about it!

And now, on the "what the...?" side: In an obvious ploy to attract bitter Hillary supporters (and I'm clearly not saying all Hillary supporters are bitter, but there are some), John McCain has selected a woman, Sarah Palin, as his running-mate. Well, great, right? At least we can get a woman in the White House one way or another! Wrong. Just wrong, wrong, wrong. Does he really think the women who previously supported Hillary are that gullible? Come on! Palin is ridiculously conservative, and even more ridiculously inexperienced!

Read more of this post here ...

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