Today in church, I felt like I was the “N” word. I am a woman. I don’t live in the First Century, but what happened then still rules my church culture today.
My soul cried out. Tears came to my eyes. I wanted to kick, scream and throw something.
Today the church badly needs a Christian Civil Rights Act. But don’t hold your breath. As long as Christians think they can continue to keep women from preaching and in submission to all males, they will do so.
But don’t hold your breath. As long as Christians think they can continue to keep women in submission to all males, they will do so.
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation – letting it speak for itself
The Evolving Journey
Many historians, philosophers, and spiritual teachers now agree that collective history itself is going through an evolution of consciousness. We can readily observe stages of consciousness or stages of “growing up” in the world at large (e.g. today Christians do not believe that slavery is acceptable, but many at one time did). The individual person tends to mimic these stages, and they seem to be sequential and cumulative.
You have to learn from each stage, and yet you can’t completely throw out previous stages, as most people unfortunately do. In fact, a fully mature person appropriately draws upon all earlier stages. “Transcend and include” is Ken Wilber’s clever aphorism here. Most people immensely overreact against their earlier stages of development, and earlier stages of history, instead of still honoring them and making use of them (e.g. liberal, educated Christians who would be humiliated to join in an enthusiastic “Jesus song” with their Evangelical brothers and sisters even though they would intellectually claim to believe in Jesus, or adults who can no longer play, or rational people who completely dismiss the good of the non-rational).
C. S. Lewis believed it was undemocratic to give too much power to the present generation or one’s own times. He called this “chronological snobbery,” as if your own age was the superior age and the final result of evolution. I would say the same about one’s present level of consciousness. Our narcissism always tends to think our own present stage of consciousness is the ultimate stage! People normally cannot understand anybody at higher stages (they look heretical or dangerous) and they look upon all in the earlier stages as superstitious, stupid, or naïve. We each think we are the proper reference point for all reality. G. K. Chesterton stated: “Tradition is democracy extended through time.” And I would say that enlightenment is the ability to include, honor, and make use of every level of consciousness—both in yourself and in others. To be honest, such humility and patience is rather rare, yet it is at the heart of the mystery of forgiveness, inclusivity, and compassion.
Adapted from The Dean’s Address, Living School Symposium, August 2013
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Ref: https://cac.org/richard-rohr
In 2012, we first posted the incomplete list of Lutheran Churches which ordain women. We have now updated the list but it is still a long way from being complete. Can you help us?
1926 The Netherlands – Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Nederland ordains female priests
1927 Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany accepts Pfarrhelferinnen (Assistants to Priests), 1930s woman Vicars. In Eastern part of Germany women took over more and more as actual priests during WW2, and remained so after the war.
1930(estimation) Germany – Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover
1960 Women priests in West Germany and 1978 total equality with male priests.
Before 1938 Lutheran Church in Austria Vicars
1948 Denmark – Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark
1948 The Lutherans in Schlesia
1951 Slovakia — The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession
1960 Sweden – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden
1961 Norway – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norway
1964 Belgium – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium
1970’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
1974 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iceland
1986/88 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
1988 Indonesian Lutheran Church
2000 The Church of Pakistan ordained its first women deacons. It is a united church which dates back to the 1970 local merger of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and other Protestants
2000 USA (South Carolina) – ordained women at its inception
2001 Ethiopia – Ethiopian Lutheran Church ordains women
2002 Central African Republic
2004 Taiwan – Lutheran Church of Taiwan ordains first women pastors
2005 Zambia – Zambian Lutheran Church ordains first female pastors.
2006 Norway – Evangelical Free Church of Norway (a nationwide Lutheran Church) ordains its first female pastors.
2008 – The Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church. 15 out of the 16 LWF member churches in the Latin American and Caribbean region now ordain women – dates yet to be determined
2009 Mexican Lutheran Church
2009 Cameroon Lutheran Church.
2011 The South Andhra Lutheran Church (SALC) in India ordained its first women pastors on 12 January
2012 Cameroon – Evangelical Lutheran Church ordains first women ministers.
2014 Lutheran Church in Chile ordains its first woman pastor. Link Link2
It is our understanding that in 2000 over 90 Lutheran Churches worldwide ordained women. We are waiting confirmation of details.
Women Bishops (some of them)
1993 Church of Norway – First woman bishop Link
1997 Church of Sweden – Christina Odenberg
2001 Evangelical Church of Bremen – Margot Käßmann
2003: The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church (GCEPC) USA — Nancy K. Drew
2007: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada – Susan Johnson
2009 Great Britain – First woman bishop of Lutheran Church of Great Britain is consecrated
2009: Evangelical Church in Central Germany – Ilse Junkermann
2010: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland – Irja Askola
2011 Hong Kong – Jenny Chan installed as Bishop of Lutheran Church of Hong Kong
2011: North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church – Kirsten Fehrs
2011: Evangelical Church of Westphalia – Annette Kurschus, titled praeses
2012: Church of Iceland – Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir. Link1 Link2 (in language)
2012: Church of Denmark – Tine Lindhardt
2012 ELCA Alaska Synod installs first woman bishop
2013: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America – Elizabeth Eaton
The Local – Sweden’s News in English reports that “bishop Antje Jackelén has made history after becoming Sweden’s first ever female archbishop at a ceremony in Uppsala”.
It is sad to note the spite that has been directed her way.
Her appointment has been hailed by outgoing archbishop Anders Wejryd who said “it was about time” a woman took the post.
“We already have female leading bishops in Norway, USA and Germany,” he told SVT.
Some cultures are humble enough to acknowledge that they have exploited, abused and murdered indigenous peoples.
Some churches have the honesty to admit that their actions have been abusive and that they have not done the will of God.
Some men are able to stand outside their gender privilege and proclaim the injustice of how women are treated.
Jimmy Carter, you are a blessing to all humanity.
Still I Rise
from this website
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.