Read this today, doing a lot of thinking lately and praying for discernment. I feel so discouraged and hurt by my church:
“Today over 12,000 women serve as United Methodist clergywomen at all levels, from bishops to local pastors. As of 2006, 16 women had been appointed as bishops. Women of color have a program to facilitate the pursuit of a religious education. The Board of Higher Education and Ministry created a scholarship program to try to address the lack of women of color in faculty positions at United Methodist Seminaries. That program has over 40 participants and more than 22 graduates with doctorate degrees in theology.
Yet, the struggle continues. On a personal note, I am friends with a woman of color who was actually denied ordination, the first time, because she wanted to ‘teach not preach’. We are reminded that women have had to fight hard to be accepted as clergy and many churches are still not open to women being in position of leadership. The author, Patrica Thompson, mentioned earlier in this article, may have it summed up best, “ …although various sects of the Methodist Church began ordaining women as elders and granting them full clergy rights at the end of the 19th century, full clergy rights for women in the Methodist Church did not come without a bitter struggle and often tremendous personal sacrifice on the part of both women and men. Let us be mindful that women must still enlarge their understanding of power and expand their vision with the confidence that they can always take on more. Women clergy have a special task; to make the church truer to the gospel (para-phrased from Rev. J. Moore, who had just finished seminary and could not vote in 1956 for what would become her right to full clergyship in the Methodist Church).”
“full clergy rights for women in the Methodist Church did not come without a bitter struggle and often tremendous personal sacrifice on the part of both women and men” – Today the struggle continues. I can not help but wonder if it may actually be getting worse.
- Woman leaves corporate world to pursue pastoral career (knoxnews.com)
- “You might be United Methodist if . . . “ (barefootpreachr.org)