International Women's Day, A Reflection from Bishop Harvey

March 08, 2018
From Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey: 

This week while visiting one of our seminary campuses, I had the privilege of sharing lunch with a young female student who was sitting to my right.  My mentor,  who was the first woman I ever heard preach, sat on my left. My mentor later became my District Superintendent, and a few years after that I was privileged to share life and work with her on the cabinet. 

The first year seminary student shared her excitement about the chapel service to be held on Thursday celebrating International Women’s Day. She was the chosen preacher for the service that will be an all-women led service. 

My mentor shared stories of being one of only 14 women when she was in seminary. I turned to the seminary student and reminded her that it was women like my mentor who had paved the way for women like me and now women like her and to never forget.

On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate both of the women with whom I shared a meal - my mentor who this year celebrates 40 years of ministry and the young woman who is in the early season of hers. I celebrate the many women who have shaped me. The list is long, but it includes my mother who was strong in every way, my grandmother who taught me so much including how important a good pair of shoes and a handbag are. I am blessed by my sister who was extraordinarily courageous and even in times of hopeless medical challenges she smiled and loved and always made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. I celebrate my own daughter who teaches me every day that being non-judgmental and accepting of all people is the way Jesus envisioned the world. 

There have been countless women in my professional life before I entered ministry that showed me the way to the glass ceiling. They taught me to risk, to stand my ground and to do it with the highest level of integrity. 

I am thankful for the women in my life who are my surrogate sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. My life is richer because of these women. At the same time, I give thanks and praise for the women in Louisiana who continue to be the hands and feet of Christ, while moving the church forward. From courageous pastors to determined lay leaders, our Conference is stronger because of their bold leadership.  

For more on International Womens' Day, please visit their website