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Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Your Experiences
I've enjoyed hearing all the introductions so please keep them coming! As part of telling our stories, I thought the questions that Sarah Kivell raised were great and might be helpful to discuss as their own topic. She wrote -

I'd really like to hear from all of you ladies, what kind of experiences you've had in the church when it comes to "women in ministry"? What challenges have you faced, or are currently facing in your faith community? What kind of changes do you forsee in order that women can excel at leading others in the church?
posted by Julie at 2:58 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 6/06/2006 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    I grew up in a setting where women were not allowed in ministry. Even the children's director and women's ministries director had to be men. But it was the whole question of women in ministry that started my path of questioning that led me to the emerging conversation. As I uncovered ways the church has suppressed women and discovered alternative interpretations of scripture, I began to feel more like an actual member of God's family. I have stories of hurt and rejection, I still have people argue with me, but in my mind its no longer a debatable topic. Its something that is and should be.

    But thats where the biggest issue in my context is right now. most people there are not past the novelty of "allowing" women in ministry. It happens, but its still discussed, pointed out, and debated. I know many people in our group have not yet had the time to overcome the sexism of their past church experiences, but to continue to focus on the oddness of women in ministry means equality does not yet exist. I think that while the topic still needs to be fought for in the wider church world, one way to help bring about change is for certain communities to just do it without having to make a big deal about it.

  • At 6/06/2006 07:29:00 PM, Blogger lydia

    Almost all of the female leaders I have known have been in leadership with their husbands. I can think of one exception from my youth: a single female who assisted my youth pastors for about a year when I was in Junior High. I think she was dating one of the other youth leaders at the time.

    The impression I got was that, while it was ok for a woman to lead under the direction of her husband, it wasn't ok for a woman to lead solo. I never asked why, but it was one of (many) church issues that I wrestled with during my senior year of high school while deciding whether to remain a Christian. It's something I still wrestle with after spending too much time at some of the traditional churches. And I don't say this to whine or to place blame - the repercussions of any form of systematic discrimination within the church just isn't something I can ignore easily.

    I'm hearing EC-ers talk quite a bit about racial and gender discrimination within the church. And that is a very good thing. We are by no means finished talking about either of those topics - there is still much to say. But I think an equally large challenge lies ahead, something that is going to be one of the defining issues of our time : sexual orientation.

    Most branches of the church have done a poor job of reaching out to LGBT'ers.

    I sometimes wonder how differently the leaders of the church I attend would behave around me if I had falled in love with a woman instead of a man. Would I still be welcomed there? If - God forbid - something were to happen to Drew, my next SO would probably be female.

    I wonder if the leaders at my church would be as eager to get me involved if they knew that I was capable of loving someone of either gender?

    If I ever were to participate more fully in the EC, It would need to be queer friendly. I realize this is a controversial topic, and I don't mean to start a debate on this topic.

    But I do intend to be honest. I think that's what Julie would want for this blog.

  • At 6/10/2006 09:48:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Lydia, thanks for sharing and being open. It will be hard for the EC to accept LGBT because they don't want to make it an issue like the rest of the church has made it an issue. i think on a lot of stuff people don't know what to do, so nothing gets done and understanding is never reached.

  • At 6/12/2006 04:08:00 PM, Blogger lydia

    I can understand their relunctance to take a stand (any stand), but it still bothers me that we don't seem to be willing to even talk about this yet.


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