Joy Carroll Wallis

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Grace at Home: Thoughts on Christian Parenting from the ‘Village Priest’

by Joy Carroll Wallis 02-06-2014
Child hand inside a parent's, mickyso /Shutterstock.com

Child hand inside a parent's, mickyso /Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Joy Carroll Wallis' chapter of the book Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity.

“Offering your child to God is a way of offering yourself to God again, and it felt that way to me. For the religious and not, there is a powerful spirituality in the birth of a child. Already, we’re learning a little about the unconditional love of God for us in the way we feel about our own child. Through one of the most universal human experiences, parent after parent is taught the lessons of love and life. And all is grace.” Jim Wallis, following the birth of his son, Luke

Jim and I grew up in Christian families, which brought with it both advantages and disadvantages. My father was a clergyman in the Church of England in the inner city of South London. Jim’s parents were the founders and leaders of a Plymouth Brethren congregation in Detroit. We both rebelled and returned and our stories are well documented in the books we have written.

One of the best gifts that we experienced as the children of Christian leaders was that of an open home. Exposure to family, and friends from many different cultures and walks of life helped shape us. But, more importantly, it allowed us to grow up participating in the ministry of hospitality – and that has stuck. The Wallis home is known to be an “open house.” Our guest room belongs to many people: from a professor teaching a course in town, to a church leader participating in a fellowship program or conference; from a patient recovering from major surgery or illness, to a summer intern visiting from a far-flung part of the world. To add to this, the basement and boys’ rooms are often filled with teenagers or most of a baseball team, and our dining table is full to capacity on a regular basis.

One day when just the members of our family were sitting down to eat dinner, Jim asked who would like to say grace. Jack, who was about four at the time, looked around and said, “But we don’t have enough people!”

A Woman's Place is in the House ... of Bishops

by Joy Carroll Wallis 07-08-2008

It was almost 16 years ago that I sat in the debating chamber of Church House in Westminster and voted as a member of the House of Clergy to ordain women to the priesthood in the Church of England. At the time I was one of the youngest members of the House of Clergy, and I was in the first group of women ordained to the priesthood.

On Monday, July 7, the general synod meeting in York, England finished the job. At long [...]

A Woman's Place is in the House ... of Bishops

by Joy Carroll Wallis 07-08-2008

It was almost 16 years ago that I sat in the debating chamber of Church House in Westminster and voted as a member of the House of Clergy to ordain women to the priesthood in the Church of England. At the time I was one of the youngest members of the House of Clergy, and I was in the first group of women ordained to the priesthood.

On Monday, July 7, the general synod meeting in York, England finished the job. At long [...]

A Woman's Place is in the House ... of Bishops

by Joy Carroll Wallis 07-08-2008

It was almost 16 years ago that I sat in the debating chamber of Church House in Westminster and voted as a member of the House of Clergy to ordain women to the priesthood in the Church of England. At the time I was one of the youngest members of the House of Clergy, and I was in the first group of women ordained to the priesthood.

On Monday, July 7, the general synod meeting in York, England finished the job. At long [...]

The Modern Woman Priest

by Joy Carroll Wallis 08-01-2004

Joy Carroll Wallis was among the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in England, in 1994. She tells her story in The Woman Behind the Collar: The Pioneering Journey of an Episcopal Priest (The Crossroad Publishing Company), a portion of which appears below. Carroll Wallis lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband (Sojourners editor-in-chief Jim Wallis) and their two children.

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