Meet the writer: Diana Archer, Day by Day with God September–December 2020
Diana Archer is the author of 'Women of the New Testament', a series of reflections in the current issue of Day by Day with God. Diana introduces herself before answering some of our questions about her reflections...
"By trade I am an educator, writer and speaker, with a theological background. I have been a missionary in Japan and planted churches in the UK – which was both a privilege and incredibly demanding - with my vicar husband Graham. Then, when our three children were in their teens, eating disorders hit our family like a hurricane. Through this experience we discovered the hard way that they are hell on earth, and there is very little help or hope to be had. As our daughter began to recover, my friend Jean Hart and I responded to the desperate situation in the UK by founding together tastelifeuk.org, which trains volunteers to offer hope and tools for recovery to those with eating disorders and to their supporters. I am now CEO and we are a growing charity, determined to change the eating disorder story in the UK and extending into prevention resources too. When not at my tastelife desk, I also enjoy working for CPAS on their leadership training team. The great thing about staff teams is that I get a cup of tea made for me very often – this is a definite downside now we are separated by Covid. And if there’s no tea, then there’s nothing better than a good walk with our lovely dog – or a great film, or contacting friends and family, or getting out my patchwork…"
What do you enjoy/value most about writing for Day by Day with God?
I love writing for Day by Day with God because I learn so much every time. It starts off as at task and then I get absorbed and excited as I dig into the Bible and - always - discover treasure I didn’t know was there. It’s like walking into the sea - it just gets bigger and bigger the further you go. Amazing. I am so grateful for the opportunity.
What inspired your series on Women of the New Testament?
I loved diving in to this topic - I am passionate about helping us all to recognise the equal part that women play in the kingdom of God and am convinced that it is vital that we do. If we were created equally in God’s image (Genesis 1) and in Christ there is ‘no male or female’ (Galatians 3) then the way we reflect that image is half of God’s story. There is no other way for it to be told! I have been on a journey myself of discovery in this - in both Old and New Testaments. I had not realised how my church upbringing favoured the male approach, and I assumed this was normal. Actually, in the Bible, and especially in Acts as the early church began to work out what it meant to follow a resurrected Saviour, filled with the power of his Spirit, women started to come into their own. It’s all there in the gospels and letters. I just never saw it before. Everything works better when both men and women are involved, pulling together and pooling their strengths.
What did you learn from writing it?
How beautifully Jesus treated women. He honoured them as equals; protected them against prejudice - and affirmed their unique gifts. He set the bar high, ignoring contemporary expectations. St Paul followed in his footsteps, treasuring his female partners in the gospel.
What is the key thing you hope your readers might take away from the series?
Without a doubt, I want women to stand tall and take the place in their world that God designed them for.
Find Diana's reflections on 'Women of the New Testament' in Day by Day with God September–December 2020.