Women of Faith Interview
By: Hailey W

Netta Fields: (Pentecostal)

1. What is your religious community's stance on women's roles in home, society, and the religious community?

They believe that women should have to reflect on the Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible. They should as well have a heart of virtue. Being lazy and idle is one thing that they don't believe in and isn't acceptable in their religion. Serving others and her family is something that very greatly looked upon. Also another big thing they do is take care of their household which is a very important thing. They do their best to make sure they are fulfilling the needs for home life but also within their religious communities.

2. What roles do women fulfill in your religious community?

Women in the community today have dual roles. These rules consist of taking care of inside and outside of the household. While they would be working outside of the home they are also doing it to help their own families. They do this to provide for their families whether that be having jobs to pay for their daily living costs or to help provide for care. Netta not only works at her home caring for her family, for she also works at an Elementary School in Augusta. Outside of the job at the school she also has many other small jobs.

3. In what activities do you participate in your religious community?

In Netta's community she participates in the music department. One thing she mentioned was that in her eyes she sees music as something used to glorify God. Also that music is used to speak to people's hearts as well as to help draw people closer to God. One of the quotes she thought would go perfect with this was " Psalm 100:1-2 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing." I thought that this went perfect with the answer she gave me.

4. In what ways has your religious community been empowering for you as a women?

For Netta she believes all of this is different because her father is a preacher in her church. She says it is empowering for her as a woman because she stands out to the others as being "different" so that she can be a light that shines and is able to help guide others to the truth of the Bible. Personally, I feel that she is her own individual just as everyone else and that there is nothing wrong with it. We cannot judge someone like her for who she is because it is her beliefs as well that she doesn't force it amongst anyone. Matthew 5:14 " Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid."

Has your religious community ever been oppressive to you as a woman?

Netta mentioned that the Bible says a woman should be in submission to her own husband and that she should possess a meek and a quiet spirit. Basically this comes down to the point of being blessed by being obedient to Gods words. She said she doesn't find her community to find discomfort within her since it is something she has grown up around and is used to. Having a family that is all in the same community makes this easy for her to be able to talk about her feelings and tell them how she feels. James 1:25 " But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

5. What do you gain by your participation in your religious community?

Not only does she feel she is gaining a closer relationship with her family, but she feels she has gained a closer relationship to the church. These relationships are quality relationships within the church. She feels that she is storing up treasures in Heaven as well. Knowing this she said that it gives her joy and peace no matter what the circumstance. I thought it was amazing to hear her say that because it helps give her a reminder that she is loved.

6. How might your religious community better serve women?

Men and women in her community do have different roles. There are many differences between roles that women have than the roles that men have. She says she believes though that men and women are the same spiritually and God does not show partiality. She believes that men and women are looked at equally. For she says that they are seen both for the things that are done both right and wrong. The women are looked at for their work habits, caring for others, caring for the family, and making sure that the family and God are first.

Sister Rejane Cytacki (Catholic Sister)

1.What is your religious community's stance on women's roles in home, society, and the religious community?

While interviewing Sister Rejane she told me a lot about her religion. I found it was very interesting that she has been in the religious community of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. While in this community she has served in it for nine and a half years. What she told me is that they promote a woman's dignity and right to be respected at home and in society. They especially empower women who face obstacles like domestic violence, lack of education, and poverty. The main way she said they empower people is by education for themselves and their children.

2. What roles do women fulfill in your religious community?

I thought this was very interesting because I never thought that sisters actually had jobs. Rejane was telling me that most of the sisters there in the community have been nurses, teachers, principals, and CEOs of hospitals since its beginnings. Its crazy to find out that this all began around 1858. The main thing that they work towards is helping women become leaders in all aspects of life. It is interesting to see that sisters have done a lot of work in the nursing field.

3. In what activities do you participate in your religious community?

Rejane is an active leader and participant in their care of creation and social justice committee. She is one of the chapter delegates which means that she can vote for their community leaders. The governance model is a small group of six to ten sisters that discuss issues that are then brought before an assembly of representatives of the group and leadership. They have two regional meetings every year to discuss issues of importance. Rejane helps bridge the retired Mother House Sisters with their University of Saint Mary students to promote intergenerational relationships. Along with doing this on tuesday and thursday nights she works at the homeless shelter.

4. In what ways has your religious community been empowering for you as a woman?

The one thing Rejane says that she's noticed is that it has helped her greatly with her collaboration and communication skills. She has had to deal with conflict resolution on a  fairly regular basis and moves around quite frequently. Where she lives they live in local communities of two to eight sisters. She currently is living in a community of three. (In the last five years she has lived with three other sisters as well as the two she is currently living with.) The way Rejane describes this is like bringing three different families together with their unique traditions and ways of doing everything as well as how to compromise and create a home welcoming for everyone.

Has your Religious community ever been oppressive to you as a woman?

The community Rejane lives in has never been oppressive to her as a woman. She said that they do take three vows which are poverty, chastity, and obedience. Over time, obedience is more of a listening to the needs of the larger community. As well it is looking at your own individual skills or gifts and dialoguing as well discerning what is best for everyone.

5. What do you gain by your participation in your religious community?

I asked Rejane what she gained by participating in her religious community and she said support. The other thing she mentioned was a lot of very deep and meaningful relationships that are based on real conversations. She mentioned that she gains more time for prayer than she would have if she would of decided to raise a family. I do believe that it would be easier to fulfill this religion without a family as she has chosen. Another thing she mentions is that she has gained a wider breadth of relationships as she can move and travel around easier.

6. How might your religious community better serve women?

A few ways that were mentioned on how her religious community might serve women better are challenging women to spend time outside of their community. One thing they do is challenge themselves to give their time to women and spend time with them outside of their local houses. They are also encouraged to bring other women into their homes. She tries to do this, but there are a lot of sisters who are very inward focused. Something that I found interesting was that most women who come to community are introverts and reaching out to others. This sometimes stretches them out of their comfort zones.

Robin Ostrander (Mormon)

1. What is your religious community's stance on women's roles in home, society, and the religious community?

In this community they believe that a mother is the most important person in raising her family. With that being said they are instructed to be well educated and to never stop learning. They feel that women should do as much as they can to better their community as long as it doesn't become more important than their family. Another thing is that they believe that family and God always come first. As women they are not discouraged from holding offices or working outside the home if necessary. At church they teach classes, care for families in their conjugation, and hold leadership positions.

2. What roles do women fulfill in your religious community?

They have visiting teachers who are assigned to visit four or five other women each month. She said that they friendship with each of them and make sure that they aren't in need of anything. Another thing that they have is a women's group that meets every Sunday for a class. The class is lead by three sisters (women in their church). They also lead and teach the church as well the children. (Some men do this as well, but it is mostly women.) Some of the women meet monthly with other leaders in the church to discuss how they can help members in different ways. She says they believe families can be together forever, but only if the woman has been sealed in a temple. It is also been said that families can stay together in heaven as well.

3. In what activities do you participate in your religious community?

Robin goes to church every sunday for three hours. She said that the first hour is Sacrament. That is where they all meet together, take the sacrament, and listen to talks given by other members. It is a combination of men and women talking and there is also teenagers that speak for us. Then, the second hour is Sunday School. There is an adults class which is men and women combined. This is usually taught by a man, but every now and then a woman will teach it. The third hour the men go to a Priesthood meeting, women go to Relief Society, and youth go to their classes. Teenagers go to separate classes. Girls go to Young Women's and the boys go to Young Mens. The relief society meets up every other month on an evening to fellowship. Typically they do some type of craft. Another thing they do is have Family Home Evening once a week. This consists of a short scriptural message, a game, or a treat. Another thing they do is Visiting Teaching (women) and Home Teaching (men) where they go out and visit four or five families every month. They go visit the people or they may call or send something in the mail.

4. In what ways has your religious community been empowering for you as a woman?Has your religious community ever been oppressive to you as a woman?

Robin was very serious about this question. First off she said NO, our church is NOT oppressive to women. She knows that she will always have someone there to support her. Also she knows that she can always call if she needs something. One thing she has noticed is that giving talks during Sacrament meetings has helped her to more freely talk in front of others. She feels that the teachings of their church has made her a better wife and mother. Robin says that she feels like a better person in general from attending her church.

5. What do you gain by your participation in your religious community?

By participating in her religious community she feels a sense of peace. Along with this she believes this is a place that she belongs and is welcome. Something else she said was that she feels the most important thing to her is that her family will be with her forever! She knows that if she ever has a problem or is struggling she can pray about it. The power of prayer and blessings is something she believes in. She says that she has seen it work so she definitely believes in it.

6. How might your religious community better serve women?

When I asked Robin how her religious community could better serve women she didn't really have an answer. She said that she wouldn't really know. The reason she said this is that she thinks personally that they do a great job. This would be why she continues to attend the church and is where she is today. She couldn't be any happier or more thankful for the lord and community she is involved with. She has met a lot of people that have helped her and that she has been able to help as well.

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

This was one of the most interesting assignments i've ever done. I found that there are a lot of differences in religion. It was neat to be able to compare each of them and to learn more about what they were, what they do, and what they think about it. I probably wouldn't of ever researched any of this or asked these people the questions if it wasn't for this assignment, so I really did find this assignment to be fun and I enjoyed doing it.