Barbi Click explains that she had to leave Jack Iker's diocese to follow her vocation:
Barbi Click explains that she had to leave Jack Iker's diocese to follow her vocation:
The Episcopal Women's Caucus celebrated the results of elections for suffragan bishops yesterday and Friday in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Today is the world-wide observance of Human Trafficking day, an attempt to draw attention to the increasing problem of slavery, sexual trafficking and child labor. The Lutherans have some very helpful resources posted that are appropriate for congregational use.
From their site:
Penny Long Marler observes,
According to the Faith Communities Today project (2008), 87% of women clergy (as compared to 71% of men) say that they have participated in a small peer group for continuing education and support in the past five years.
Maggi Dawn is a Cambridge based theologian, scholar, College fellow and author. She's the author of a widely read blog in the U.K. She's posted a synopsis of the events of this past week following the news of the experience of the Presiding Bishop during her visit to Southwark Cathedral.
Updated: Thinking Anglicans rounds up the media reports.
Thinking Anglicans has the story about a joint amendment proposed this morning to legislation permitting women to become bishops in the Church of England. The Church of England's General Synod meets July 9-13.The archbishops released a statement that is excerpted below.
Sister Joan Chittister reminds us that nuns and other "religious women" are among the boldest and unmanageable of Christian revolutionaries:
Katherine Marshall of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs and the World Faiths Development Dialogue writes of the spiritual nature of female religious and women's groups to boldly secure peace and work for women's rights.
What is the future of female clergy in the Church of England? The General Synod meeting this weekend may give some signs about an answer to the question:
Female bishops decision in the balance
Concessions to traditionalists at General Synod could drive out female clergy, campaigners warn
Spiegel reports on the results of Norway's mandate that private corporate boards have a quota of at least 40 percent women. The law went into effect in 2004 and has is subject of a study by Aagoth Storvik and Mari Teigen of the Institute for Social Research in Oslo:
Mary Ann Sieghart, comments in The Independent on a depressing week for women:
Today is the anniversary of the ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven on July 29, 1974.
We send out a Hip-Hip Hooray to them and to the Church!
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly reports on the wonderful work being done at Thistle Farm, an Episcopal ministry in Nashville, Tennessee:
The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd. Thabo Makgoba, said yesterday that one of his dreams during his term of office was to consecrate the Church's first woman bishop.
Appearing on a Fortune list that includes Oprah, Lady GaGa, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michelle Obama, we find the name of The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, listed as a powerful female voice in the category of religion.
On September 18th, the Women's Ordination Conference had the first showing of the one-hour documentary "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican," a one-hour documentary on the women priest movement:
The Diocese of Atlanta will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of women deputies to General Convention with a special presentation for Lueta E. Bailey, given by Dr. Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church’s House Deputies. Bailey was one of the first women deputies to General Convention in 1970.
One week after a proposal to allow dioceses to individually permit women's ordination to the priesthood was turned down by the Tenth Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone, the Diocese of Uruguay has voted to seek another jurisdiction with which to share its ministry.
This week begins the internationally observed program of activism against gender violence. The Episcopal Church Women (ECW), the Episcopal Women's Caucus (EWC) and the Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE) are all partners in this effort.
Elizabeth Kaeton writes of the program:
A group of sociologists associated with Hartford Seminary has published the results of study of clergy women in the Presbyterian Church that revisits a study done in 1993-1994 to see what is now different in their career and career paths.
The conclusions of the most recent study are presented in 5-fold order:
The Committee on the Status of Women has issued a news release noting their concerns about the Called to Serve Survey Report and plan to develop a "Search Toolkit" for women clergy and search committees:
The Society of St. Margaret, an Episcopal religious women's order with a longstanding presence in the Boston area, is involved in a fascinating process of relocation.
The Rev Canon Mary Michael Simpson, OSH died Wednesday in Augusta GA. She was one of the first women ordained in the Episcopal Church and was the first woman to preach at Westminster Abbey.
The first women were ordained priests in the Episcopal Church on July 29, 1974, though General Convention had not yet passed a resolution. The "Philadelphia 11," Merrill Bittner, Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Alison Cheek, Emily Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne Hiatt, Marie Moorefield Fleisher, Jeannette Piccard, Betty Bone Schiess, Katrina Martha Swanson, and Nancy Hatch Wittig, were ordained by Bishops Daniel Corrigan, Robert L. DeWitt, Edward R. Welles, assisted by Antonio Ramos.
Barna Group has been conduction tracking surveys on women and men and religion for 20 years. New analysis of that data shows a decline of interest in church by women.
Women and Faith
When I started seminary and began envisioning myself as a clergyperson, I started looking at the style of women pastors, particularly women head pastors. And I noticed that virtually without exception, they had “The Haircut.” The Don’t-Think-of-Me-as-a-Woman-Think-of-Me-as-a-Pastor haircut.
Lauren Ashburn, of the Daily Beast, reports on A Flood of Harassment Horror Stories After the Herman Cain Allegations:
Sara Ritchey of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, looks at the medieval tradition and the current state of Roman Catholicism and advises the wives of former Anglican clergy who become Roman Catholic priests to be very, very careful. Because underneath the doctrine of mandatory priestly celibacy is an understanding of human nature that fundamentally hostile to women.
Today is International Women's Day. Some stories and photos:
Christian Post's (an evangelical Christian news source) blog, Eve's Voice, reviews the book, The Resignation of Eve: what if Adam's rib is no longer willing to be the church's backbone? by Jim Henderson.
Bettany Hughes asks "Who knows whether God is a girl?" in The Telegraph today:
Bettany Hughes, an expert in ancient history, claimed that Christianity “was originally a faith where the female of the species held sway”.
To oppose the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England is to deny the central role women played in the foundations of the faith, said Hughes.
Episcopal priest, writer and "modern mystic" Cynthia Bourgeault had an epiphany last year on Palm Sunday. She noticed that nowhere in the gospel account of Passion read that day did the word "love" appear. And that Mary Magdalene remained voiceless throughout the entire reading in spite of the fact that she and other women remained with Jesus throughout his ordeal.
The Rt. Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, wrote this for the Huffington Post Religion blog:
Yesterday the Church of England's House of Bishops released their draft legislation on the next steps to ordaining women priests to the episcopate in England. There's been a great deal of comment overnight. Not much of it has been favorable.
Women and the Church released this statement
CARE has an interactive feature to their website on the myths people cling to hold women back and the "heroes" who have changed perceptions:
Updated Thinking Anglicans has a statement from the National WATCH committee here.
Today is the 38th anniversary of the ordinations of the Philadelphia Eleven, the first women ordained in the Episcopal Church. Louie Crew has written a open for the occasion.
Let Us Now Praise Caustic Persons
From the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs:
[August 6, 2012] The Episcopal Church, joining with other advocacy partners, is requesting input from members across the church in ascertaining information that will form the foundation of the church’s presence and participation at the 2013 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) meeting.
Catholic nuns maligned by the Vatican are gathering this week in St. Louis. From the National Catholic Reporter:
What does Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) have in common with St. Augustine? More than you might think. Scholars Thomas Laqueur and Virginia Burrus chatted via e-mail with Sarah Morice-Brubaker of Religion Dispatches about what Augustine and other leaders of the early church had to say about rape. Laqueur notes that when he first heard Akin's comments about "legitimate rape" and a woman's ability to "shut that whole thing down," his first thought was "Good God, ... seventeenth-century forensic medicine is alive and well in Missouri. There must be a folk tradition that quietly perpetuates these views beneath the surface of science." Burrus had this to say:
Carl McColman, writing at Patheos discusses the upcoming elevation of Hildegard of Bingen as a "doctor of the church."
Rachel Held Evans writes about being a feminist in her blog item, "Confessions of an accidental feminist":
The Rev. Janet Appleby has drafted an amendment that has received overwhelming support in the House of Bishops regarding the issue of women bishops in the Church of England.
The Religious Institute has begun a campaign to obtain thousands of religious leaders’ endorsements of family planning and to make universal access available to all women.
The group is asking for clergy to endorse their new "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Family Planning," which is "a multifaith call for religious leaders to support family planning from a faith-based perspective."
Episcopal Women's History Project has published snapshots of women in the Episcopal Church in various eras from 1655 to 2005:
The Most Rev. Emil A. Wcela, a retired Roman Catholic bishop, says women should be ordained to the diaconate--and, no, this is not a slippery slope.
Writing in America, he says:
Yesterday marked the first ever ‘International Day of the Girl’. A Day designated by the United Nations to promote the education, protection and nurturing of girls, while overcoming discrimination against girls, so that they may flourish and contribute to their communities and to the world.
Anglican Women's Empower will pilots the first Indaba for women just ahead of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York in 2013.
The Church of England may well vote tomorrow on controversial legislation that would finally permit women to be ordained as bishops, although not in precisely the same way that men are bishops, because the authority of male bishops has not been shaped to placate those who do not believe that men should be bishops in the first place.
According to a letter published today in the Times of London, 12 supporters of women bishops voted against allowing them to serve in the Church of England. This was enough to make a difference in the outcome. Subscribers to the Times may read the letter, signed by eight of those supporters, here. Thinking Anglicans provides these details:
Global Agenda, the magazine of the International Herald Tribune, invited nine contributors to explore the question: "What does Gender Equality mean?"
The Church of England Diocese of Bristol passed a vote of no confidence in the ability of the General Synod of the Church of England to effect the clear will of the majority of Church members in relation to women bishops:
Here is the Facebook page of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, where my business partner and I had the pleasure of giving a communications workshop on Saturday. You'll notice that the cover photo features Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and another woman giving Holy Communion. (PS: why not "like" it while you are in the neighborhood.)
Mary Hunt, writing on Religion Dispatches, reflects on the elimination of the barrier to women serving in combat. She compares the move by the Pentagon with another institution that prevents women from serving in front-line roles--the Roman Catholic Church.
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena CA stands and dances with One Billion Rising against violence against women. On Billion Rising is calling for strikes and demonstrations around the globe to rise up to end violence against women. One of All Saints members, Tena Clark, wrote the song they're using.
Sarah Dreier, legislative representative for international policy for the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Washington Office, writes:
From Thinking Anglicans
The House of Bishops of the Church of England put out a statement on the progress towards women in the episcopacy:
Ekklesia reports on a flash mob by One Billion Rising in the Geneva Ecumenical Centre:
A flash mob erupted in the cafeteria at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 February 2013, as part of the One Billion Rising initiative.
At 12.30pm people scattered throughout the lunch crowd suddenly left their tables and broke into dance. Twenty dancers, wearing bright pink and purple, performed to a song condemning violence against women.
Sarah Eagle Heart, staff officer for Indigenous Ministries of The Episcopal Church, offers a heartfelt plea for support of the Violence Against Women Act, and shares important perspective about how violence affects Native American families:
Bangladeshi diplomat Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury will be telling Anglican women from around the world that the end of violence against women is only one step in ensuring gender equality.
The high holy day of Hallmark™ is nearly upon us. Amy Young, writing at the Messy Middle, offers so advice for clergy negotiating these dangerous waters:
Just two months into the job, the first female dean of Llandaff Cathedral in Wales has resigned. Apparently she encountered a certain amount of resistance to the idea of a woman in this position. From WalesOnline:
Diana Butler Bass reminds us of the history of Mother's Day - before it became the high holy day of Hallmark™. From Huffington Post:
The Church Times: The House of Bishops will bring a motion to the General Synod on Monday 8 July requesting the drafting of new legislation for women bishops in time for November, so that the process can be concluded in 2015.
Malala Yousufzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani education activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in October 2012, spoke to the Youth Assembly of the United Nations today. It was her first public address since she was shot in the head last fall. Her text, which includes the following excerpt, is here. She said:
Writing for Patheos, the Rev. Frederick William Schmidt suggests that one of the principal challenges facing women in positions of leadership in the church are other women who work to undermine them.
The Rev. Alison Cheek, one of the first eleven women ordained in The Episcopal Church, is retiring from parish work according to The Bangor Daily:
The Young Clergy Women Project, Fidelia, discusses the costs and promises of being an associate:
Odyssey Networks is featuring this video from Thistle Farms on its homepage today. It focuses on the excellent work being done by the Rev. Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest in Nashville and her staff. The editors write:
Despite attempts by the Vatican to rein in women's religious orders, Catholic Religious Women continue claim to the right to ‘faithful dissent.'
Lueta Bailey, first woman seated as a Deputy to General Convention in 1970 tells the story of how the Episcopal Church Women responded to a request from Presiding Bishop John Hines for three million dollars from UTO in 1967 for the General Convention Special Program ("This is an excerpt from a forthcoming film about Bishop John Hines with the working title "Justice is the Corporate Face of Love" by Charles and Robin Sumners.):
One of the difficulties in making sense of the dispute that caused four members of the board of the United Thank Offering to resign in protest over revisions to their bylaws and a new memorandum of understanding drafted by staff members of the Church Center staff is that few of the remaining members of the UTO board have had much to say in public.
What is your church doing about violence against women? Often violence is justified by religious teaching of all faiths. Can church be part of the solution? NPR reviews a current report on violence against women:
Think Progress is reporting that: "One week before House Republicans shut down the government in an effort to force President Obama to enact many of their preferred policies, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote House members requesting that the government be shut down — and potentially that the nation be forced into default — unless religious employers were given a special right to deny birth control coverage to their employees."
I just returned from the first national conference presented by Thistle Farms, the amazing Nashville-based ministry launched by the Rev. Becca Stevens to help women recover from lives of prostitution, drug addiction and abuse. Most of the 250 attendees were women, from all over the country, hoping in some way to create or bolster programs back home based on the Thistle Farms/Magdalene model. From Episcopal News Service:
November 24, Episcopal Relief and Development is urging churches to join in speaking out against gender violence:
UPDATED: Archbishop of Canterbury statement below:
Thinking Anglicans rounds up the debate and vote on the package of proposals and principals that will hopefully lead to allowing women to serve as Bishops.
From the Global Partnerships blog of the Episcopal Church:
Today, November 25th, we invite you to join us in prayer and meditation for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the first of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign that began in 1991 at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University.
The Episcopal Church is in the midst of supporting 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the church's House of Deputies says the campaign has put her in mind of donkeys. And plows.
"What do the donkeys and plows have to do with ending gender-based violence?" she asks.