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Celebrating the Philadelphia 11 on their 38th anniversary

Celebrating the Philadelphia 11 on their 38th anniversary

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

Let us now praise caustic Persons

the champions of justice in all generations,

through whom God has restored the flow of mercy.

Some have nailed theses to the church door

with prophetic power.

Some have started new universities to

challenge the prevailing notions.

Some have overturned tables at the temple,

demanding alms for the poor, the sick,

and the destitute before we buy organs

and stained glass.

Some have worn dresses to be priested for gender justice.

Some have yanked off masks to proclaim their loving gay unions.

Some have demanded of the white authorities, “Let My People Go!”

Some have marched through tear gas and police dogs,

defying orders from prelates and judges.

Some have destroyed draft files

and burned plans for nuclear destruction.

Some have organized unions and cooperatives.

Some have fought to redistribute God’s bounty justly.

All these won notoriety in their own generation

and were the scandal of their times.

Many have sat in jails rather than to recant

or to say that the earth as we know it

is at the center of the universe.

Others have died.

Many there are who have left behind them no name,

but a legacy of hope restored, conflict resolved,

injustice rectified, lives redeemed.

Their victories are the inheritance of future generations.

Their line will endure for all times.

— Louie Crew


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I think it is wonderful that the women that were first ordained into the preisthood are being honored. It shows the strength of a world where all people should and shall be equal within their own right. For women today who have hopes of becomming priests or deacons this is something wonderful to remember the legacy and hope that is there to look up to. – Belinda Clemens

Michael Hartney

The recent General Convention included the First Ordination of Women to the Priesthood, July 29th, in Holy Women, Holy Men for trial use during this Triennium. So, you get your wish. 🙂

Matthew Ciszek

Thanks to Louie Crew for sharing this wonderful reading with us all. The Rev. Dr. Nancy H. Wittig is the Assistant Rector at my parish in Ohio and we mentioned the anniversary of her ordination today during the service. I am inspired and amazed by these women and the bishops who ordained them. They are truly trailblazers that furthered the goals of inclusion and equality in the Church. These 14 people truly need to be recognized by the Church is some way, possibly in Holy Women, Holy Men.

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