The history of the Orthodox Church includes awareness of an early order of widows, about late 100’s, who served the church before the more formal deaconess orders evolved . n especially important ministry of the earliest church was the ministry of caring for widows. Women in Early Christianity. A Needed Gift Within a short time the Church began organizing formal groups of widows as part of its orders of ministry. Then the members will be off and running on their own, helping each other and winning other widows to Christ and your church. The Apostles responded by appointing a body of men… The widows in the church who met these qualifications were recognized by the church as being on “the list” (v. 9) and they were to serve in various capacities in the church. 139-140. In fact, early in the book of Acts we see that the church’s first conflict was related to widows, when some were unjustly favored over others. “Overcoming Depression.” Family Circle, June 1974, pp. Third, follow the lead of the early church and designate a deacon or someone else to look after the needs of each widow. Works Cited in the Series. In contrast to these godly women, Paul mentions widows who live for “wanton pleasure” (v. 6). Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Christianity has heard the term 'Church Fathers' but far less so 'Church Mothers' – and yet, in the early days of Christianity, women were at the forefront of the religion. WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS…Page 2 widowhood (which should be in your church library). The passage in 1 Timothy 5 is a sequel to that in detailing policies associated with administering the welfare program for widows in the early Church. WIDOW (IN THE EARLY CHURCH) The expectations of an imminent parousia, a closed group mentality fostered by the paralegal status of Christians, and the absence of centralized legislative institutions in the ancient Church led to the early evolution of a special, and possibly quasi-clerical, status for widows. Ashby, Babette. A number of prominent leaders, scholars, and benefactors of the early church were women and—despite neglect by many modern historians—the diligent researcher can still uncover a rich history. In that tradition, forbidden to these women was the addressing of matters of theology. The age designation was likely because sixty was considered the age of retirement in the first century, and these women were probably past the age of remarrying. These indicate the extent of the duties toward widows in today’s church. Apparently, in order to receive charity in the early Christian church, eligible widows were enrolled on a list (verse 11). 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