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When the Church Was Only Women!

Scholars debate when the church proper began. Many would say at Pentecost, others would trace it back through the righteous of Israel in the OT, while another possibility is the empty tomb. If we take the resurrection as the launch of the renewed people of God with Jesus as the first of a new humanity, then the church began then. I am somewhat drawn to the latter view, Jesus the firstborn of resurrection, the first fruits, and then believers men and women were added to his people. They were empowered for life at Pentecost, but for the forty days from the Resurrection, they were his people, building to 120 or so, gathered in prayer, as God's newly formed community of the ekklesia of God, waiting in obedience for God's power to be unleashed into them (Luke 24:46-52; Acts 1:8-14). 
Assuming this is so, aside from Jesus who is the head of the church in any decent ecclesiology (Col 1:18), the first church was entirely made up of women! This is confirmed in all four Gospels even if…

The Removal of Jesus from the Parliamentary Prayer

I see a group of Christians is going to the NZ parliament to protest the removal of the phrase “Jesus Christ” from the parliamentary prayer. Back in 2017, mentions of Jesus and the Queen were removed from the prayer by Trevor Mallard, the incoming speaker of the house when the Labour/NZ First coalition took the reins of the NZ government. He did so without any real consultation, which is strange considering the long-held traditions of Parliament (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98742522/parliament-prayer-changes--no-more-queen-or-jesus).

In a Stuff online poll at the time, 50% said they didn’t like the removal. 17% liked the removal of the references to Jesus and the Queen, while 33% wanted the prayer removed altogether. So, it is fair to say, NZ is split down the middle. A majority of around two-thirds want a prayer, and half want Jesus and the Queen referenced.

The previous prayer went like this:

Almighty God,
Humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, …