Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have traditionally gathered in worship and recited the same Creeds together - the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed. The Creeds are intended to be essential statements of orthodox Christian faith, both teaching and identifying conformity of beliefs, while serving as a vehicle for collective, public profession of faith. The Nicene Creed, established in 325 AD, is one of the most widely accepted statements of faith among Christian churches.
The team at The Marcella Project decided that rather than trying to create a modern version of the beliefs so poignantly defined in the Nicene Creed, it would be more fitting to join our rich Christian heritage and proclaim, as so many Christians before us and so many Christians will for centuries to come, what we believe by reciting this Creed as our public profession of faith.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
By the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered, died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father (and the Son)
Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
Who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Contemporary Version (Prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts)
After more than a decade working as a leader in a megachurch and speaking at women’s conferences around the US, Jackie Roese realized she was bumping into the same thing again and again. Women all over the country were struggling with issues of covert gender injustice – the Church viewed them as second-class, and their view of themselves was often second-class, too. Where Scripture should have brought freedom from bondage, it was being taught in a way that oppressed women in faith communities.
Knowing that gender issues are complex and widespread, we began asking: what can we do? What is our tiny piece of this enormous pie? There are incredible organizations tackling issues of gender injustice in practical ways that provide support and aid and bring freedom and empowerment. Their work is invaluable, but we realized that no matter how gender issues present themselves, they continue to exist because of the core belief systems that created them. Tackling the root belief systems that enable gender injustice to exist is our piece of the pie.
So we set out to teach the word of God in a way that ennobles women – dignifying them and lifting them up to nobility, just as Jesus intended. We wanted to reshape the way women view themselves and the way the faith community views women, so that the Church can change what's happening to women and girls around the world. In 2012, The Marcella Project was founded to reshape our view of women in the Church through Scripture-focused teaching, training, and dialogue.
Marcella epitomizes what it means to not succumb to the world’s ideal of “what it means to be a woman." Instead, she chased after Jesus, letting his love define who she would be. She let nothing get in the way of her pursuit to know God through the Word and to live like Jesus by caring for the poor.
Her story challenges us to be “Marcellas” in our world. This means pursuing Jesus at all costs and even defying our world’s ideal of womanhood by allowing our love for Jesus to define who we will be and how we will live. Watch the video to hear more about Marcella's story.
Jackie grew up in upstate New York. Shortly after coming to Christ, she and her husband Steve moved to Texas to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Jackie later received her Doctorate in Preaching from Gordon Conwell Seminary. It is Jackie's desire that women come to know Jesus through His word and, in doing so, become transformed. She has written numerous Bible studies and developed a training course to equip women to preach effectively. Jackie is serious about ennobling women, and in 2012, she founded The Marcella Project to do just that.
Amanda loves to help other do their jobs well so she brings her experience with project management, administration, registration and volunteer coordination to the team. She graduated from Biola University with a B.S. in Business Management to which she has added 23 years of experience raising 6 kids along with being involved with some non-profits organizations in her spare time. While the oldest kids having left the nest, she and the youngest three kids reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado and actually look forward to snow days.
Nancy graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English Literature and a concentration in Women's Studies; she then earned a J.D. from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law and practiced as a Trusts & Estates attorney in Dallas and Austin. She currently lives in Austin with her husband Mark and runs a small business from home while raising her 2, 3, and 4 year old sons, Clark, Adam, and Simon, and three large rescue dogs, Monkey and Gus. Nancy has experience serving on a variety of non-profit boards.
Krista had the privilege to partner with Jackie in the dream and launch of The Marcella Project. Prior to TMP, Krista worked with other nonprofits and church ministries to bring awareness to the struggle of girls and women in the US. As a foster parent Krista has discovered firsthand the brokenness of the foster care system and how many girls and young women in the system are exploited and forced into trafficking and prostitution as a means of survival. This knowledge has inspired Krista's passion to work in these spaces to affect change in the system while loving those currently in it.
After graduating Calvin College and Dallas Theological Seminary, Ray gave his life to fulfilling a pastoral calling. He and his wife found a home in the VineyardUSA—a community of churches—and planted the Vineyard North congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Today they serve as regional leaders, overseeing some 25 pastoral teams and congregations. Ray is currently making a professional transition from full-time pastoral work to develop High Point Training & Coaching, where he works with business and non-profit leadership teams to offer experiential training and executive coaching. He brings a lifetime of experience in strategic planning, leadership development, conflict resolution, Biblical exegesis, and theological reflection.
Kelly has seven years experience in the nonprofit world and is passionate about freeing those who are oppressed and launching ideas that move an organization or person to the next level. In the corporate world, Kelly worked for a Fortune 500 in sales and marketing, governmental affairs as a lobbyist, and in human resources helping others secure their dream job. Kelly earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Southern Methodist University. She loves travel, chocolate, thought-provoking conversation, and spending time with friends and family.
Debbie is the Associate Director of Spiritual Development at Austin Ridge Bible Church. She has helped her church launch a ministry to Austin’s homeless population and led discussions on how theology intersects with culture. She currently trains church staff and volunteers to write Bible studies. Debbie has served in a number of non-profit positions. She graduated from the University of Texas and has a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Debbie has been married to Buddy for 29 years, and she and Buddy have three grown children.
Lisa has earned both a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baylor University and her Certified Public Accountancy Certification. After 17 years with Interstate Batteries where she served in several financial positions including the CFO role, Lisa now provides her financial expertise to faith based organizations focused on empowering women. She currently holds the CFO position for IF: Gathering, a ministry existing to gather, equip and unleash women to reach a generation for Christ. Lisa serves as a Board Member for The Marcella Project, and as a Board Chairperson for Polished, an organization focused on helping young professional women navigate career and explore faith together. In addition, she serves as both Treasurer and Board Member for Seed Effect, a micro lending and savings ministry that serves the people of South Sudan and for YWAM West Virginia. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling and her dog, Annie. To date, she has visited more than 30 countries including Nepal, Mongolia and China.
Dr. Peter Wells received his Doctorate in Medicine from the Indiana University School of Medicine, completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University and a Fellowship in Cardiology and Electrophysiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he then served on the faculty. He spent the next 15 years as the Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor University Medical Center. Over 30-plus years of work Peter has done teaching, research and writing as an expert in cardiac electrophysiology. He has been interested in the roles of men in the church and the family and has co-led seminars and men’s retreats. He and his wife, Linda, have done extensive research on leadership roles in the Church and coauthored a position paper on women as elders. Linda and Peter have two grown children, Derek (31) and Camille (24). No grandchildren, but two grand-dogs. (And Peter loves to fly fish!)
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A collective voice fighting for a proper view and standing for all women worldwide.
A team of learners, ambassadors, and funders of our mission to ennoble women.
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Wasn’t I supposed to be a good catholic girl? According to my birthplace, I should have been… instead I was atheist and never able to conform to my culture’s values. I was an outsider in my own country. Unable to conform in college or even keep a job, I was a loose leaf tossed around by the wind. I didn’t have roots to keep me grounded, so I was tossed here and there collecting a little bruises and marks in the way people collect souvenirs. Motherhood began to settle me down. Adamant as I was to remain faithful to my atheism, I couldn’t ignore the evidence of Creation. Inside of me there was a human being in the making, without my participation and yet I was necessary for the process. Was this a foreshadowing of my relationship with God? Was He was doing everything in me, through me, sometimes in spite of me, while also preparing me to do it with Him? I became a functional, productive citizen. Years later, bearing the marks of domestic violence and holding a precious seven-year-old by the hand, I immigrated to the United States. I found the strength to leave a ten-year abusive relationship because God had rescued me. He broke into my life with such power and gentleness that it was impossible to resist. I surrendered. I sat down at His feet to receive His healing, His counsel, and His love. I was no longer an orphan, a loose leaf tossed by the wind. I was a daughter of God, so I could leave my past behind.
Although immigrating to USA twenty years ago was a different story than today, at the time holding the right religious credentials - meaning “being Christian” - made it easier to find acceptance. I had no idea the kind of change that was in store for us. It was a paramount change; the first of which was the language barrier. Why did I ever think I spoke English? I knew enough English to survive, but I soon found myself an outsider again. People who have never lived in another country have no idea the difficulties of a language barrier. Good intentions aren’t enough to break through it. I maneuvered my way into Christian churches where often I felt even more isolated. One particular Bible church was offering something different in their women’s bible study. For starters, it was a hybrid experience where the books and discussion were in Spanish, but the “lecture” was in English. I loved it. I can honestly say that I learned how to be a Christian Hispanic woman in there. For the first time in my life, I was rooted, not to a church or bible study, but to my faith in Jesus Christ. Hard winds hit full on in a form of a second divorce crisis plus empty nest syndrome almost simultaneously. Of course it was hard, but I was in the hands of my powerful, merciful God who surrounded me with women - even a female pastor who understood my struggles and encouraged and supported me. That is the beauty and strength of a community of faith who is willing to understand each other - to give and to receive.
As safe and happy as I was in my little Robinson Crusoe island, life changed again. The new leadership had a different approach to a Spanish-speaking ministry and so my island disappeared. Now what?
There are times where terms like woman, Hispanic, immigrant, working class, divorce, liberal, or aging are causes for discussions, confusion, and possibly contention; they are all related to me in degrees I cannot separate. Where do I find a community that will accept me and even encourage me? The Marcella Project has offered me the community I looked for. For those of us who do not blend in easily because of the way God made us, Marcella becomes a beacon for Christians of different colors. The all-out commitment and rigor to interpret Scripture could be enough for a soul like mine. But God is a kind, gentle, and soothing healer who tasks The Marcella Project and its members with the mission of ennobling women, and that my friends, had me sold out to it. I am sticking to this community of believers, men and women alike, for the glory of God and the expansion of His kingdom.