To any woman who has ever questioned her faith, Rachel Held Evans is here to tell you, “it’s OK.”
The New York Times best-selling author will speak about her faith journey at the annual The SUMMIT women’s weekend Jan. 20 and 21 at First Baptist Church at 751 Green St. in Gainesville.
“This is a weekend for women to come and hear from a well-known speaker and be encouraged and inspired at the beginning of the year,” said Elizabeth Burnette, director of women’s ministry at First Baptist. “We want women to know that they are allowed to have a period of time where they aren’t really sure what they believe, but that it will hopefully come back to a stronger relationship with God.”
Evans is the author of best-selling books “Faith Unraveled” (2010) and “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” (2012) and is known for her popular blogs.
For this event, Evans will speak about her most recent publication, “Searching for Sunday” (2015), which details her collegiate experience and having her faith tested. She writes to women of all ages about facing questions of faith and how the experience can make one a stronger Christian. Like much of her work, the book is inspired by Evans’ tension with her fundamentalist upbringing in the Bible Belt.
“It’s a very honest take on her faith journey,” Burnette said of the book. “And things that are most personal tend to be the most universal. So what she struggles with, most everybody does. And she brings that to light and gives us the space and the permission to be open about it.”
Burnette hopes The SUMMIT will encourage women to talk about questions they have regarding faith and give them information to empower their beliefs and decisions.
“We hope women will feel inspired to live out their faith the way they feel is best and grow in their own very personal relationship with God,” she said. “And to know that their faith isn’t just being handed to them — that they are taking ownership and responsibility for knowing what they think and believe.”