We were delighted to have Walter and Janet Bergen with us again, members from our very earliest days 25 years ago. Walter continued our summer series of talks on women in the bible by recalling the stories about Hagar (Genesis 16 and 21). Abraham obtained the slave girl he called “Hagar” during one of his visit to Egypt. Sarah and Abraham are portrayed as believing God’s promise that they would conceive a son, but as time passed, they took matters into their own hands by using Hagar the slave-girl as a concubine [she is called “wife” in Genesis 16.3, but still referred to as “your slave-girl” three verses later; concubines could be used as surrogate wombs and their children could be fully adopted if the master so decided]. However, Hagar’s success as a surrogate womb only made matters more difficult, for Hagar is not portrayed as being loved or rewarded by either Abraham or Sarah, nor as loving in return. She had merely been a tool to be used for their purposes. Hagar and Ishmael were unexpectedly expelled from the protection and support of the camp–against all local customs and practices–and left to die, being somehow sustained by God. Walter portrayed Hagar’s life as a story of sexual abuse, of treating a woman as an object rather than someone to be respected, and of a woman being discarded when she was no longer useful to the ‘real’ family. How would the story have differed if either Abraham or Sarah had ever shown love to Hagar? This sordid tale shows “Father Abraham” and Sarah as spiritual and ethical failures before they finally developed into people of faith. Are there any Sarahs in our lives, any Abrahams who need to be guided, or any Hagars or Ishmaels needing love and protection? [JEK]

Service Details

Passage: Ge 16:1-6; Ge 21:9-18

Communion: Yes

Ecumenical or Event:

Potluck Lunch: No

Congregational Meeting: No

Worship Team

Speaker: Walter Bergen

Worship Leader: Evan Kreider

Song Leader: Lisa-Dawn Kilthau

Pianist: Ruth Enns

Usher: Henry Neufeld

Childrens Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers: Erika & Eric

Coffee Helper:

Sound Helper:

Sunday School Team

Child Care Volunteer: