What then must we do?

23 Jul
Portrait of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Oil on c...

Portrait of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy.

We start with a quote.

‘What then must we do?’ That is the question that Leo Tolstoy, having surveyed the misery of the ordinary Russian people, tried to answer in 1886. It is also the question that people pose – often somewhat resentfully – when confronted by the … social and psychological status quo … ‘It’s all very well to criticize, but have you got any better ideas…?’

As Christians we have compassion, that’s just the way it is.  Compassion, however, is not just a feeling – it is action.  Compassion is speaking for those who have no voice. Compassion is standing with those who are invisible. Compassion is taking on the structures of power in their systemic abuse of individuals and groups. Compassion is refusing to abide by unethical or alienating by-laws and governances. Compassion is being the Christ figure to those who society forgets.

What would happen if a thousand people wrote to the College of Presidents (email) this week to complain about the lack of due process in dealing with the call for women’s ordination?  What might happen if a thousand people stopped their subscription to “The Lutheran” (email), citing the President’s ban of the discussion of women’s ordination as the reason? Your voice is significant!

There is much that might be done. Alone you may be feeling fragile, so create a group and strengthen each other. You never know what might arise from your group.  Use Facebook, network with larger groups like Women’s Ministry Network and find out what’s happening on the national scene.   Share this blog and others that support women in any domain. Make a difference!

You are not alone in your hope for equality under God.  We thank God for the many who have contacted us from around the world offering encouragement.

How might your voice be heard this week?

Please share your ideas for bringing about change. What has worked for you in any cause that you are part of?


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5 responses to “What then must we do?

  1. MARTIN Beach

    July 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I like the positive & constructive way you wrote this Katy. I’m afraid I”m alittle out of the loop here in Daehanmingook (S Korea). Just a little thought from my recent conversation with ALan Jones. Those of you who attended LSF Conferenes in the 70’s & 80’s may remember him. I believe he still comes to the odd discussion forum cnvened by th LSF of the “Teens”
    (2011-2020). I expressed my frustration at the slow road & the stumbling blocks being thrown up (like this double meaing?) by a powerful clique in our beloved LCA Gerontocracy.
    He made the comment that the Uniting Church had less qualms about making this transition
    at it’s inception in 77 since the methodist stream had hada long tradition of Deaconesses who were also allowed to preach (& administr the Eucharist {?}).

    So my thought is, perhaps it might be more prudent to lower our sights alittle, & push for a more formal license to preach & administer the Sacraments, which I believe already happens on a case by case basis, but perhaps at the discretion of district presidents. Perhaps the ALC when they graduate Parish Workers could also include a “lower” level of
    “ordination”. Let parishpeople see for themselves that a woman is usually a better listener than a man, a better leader, partly because of the differences in physiological wiring. A woman from the time of puberty has a much better understanding of pain, of the fragility of life…. That isnot to say it’s impossible for men to be blessed with these kinds of qualities, nor that every woman is overwhelmingly endowed. I speak here in general terms, & like English grammar, thereare exceptionsto every rule.

    I think I’ll leav it there, longwindedness is a prized weaknes of mine…

    Martin Beach, Gimcheon SKorea; Member of ILC in Seoul ( Missouri Affiliated) & Nazareth at the Gabba,currently celebration their Sesquicentenary this yr! Shalom

  2. Katie and Martin

    July 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Far be it from us to attempt to speak for all the women’s ordination folk, but our view is that anything less than equal standing of women in the LCA simply prolongs the abuse of the gospel, the misogyny within the Church and the misery of women and men who long for women’s ordination. Conservatives are accusing supporters of WO of being impatient! That one is a little hard to swallow! For several generations we have waited, you might even say for 30-40 years! Without the ordination of women being approved at the next Synod, there will be no trust in how the Church is run, there will no patience left. The time for moving into the modern era is now!

  3. m

    August 7, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Let’s look back to c19th Australiam Lutheranism, where there were as many sects as one could count ones fingers or toes. Lets start our own “ginger” group, becoming to our moribund compatriots, what Steele Hall, Don Chipp et bacame to the Liberal party in the 80’s, 70’s & 90’s until Gareth Evans poached Cheryl Kernot. Anyway I’m vwery prou of my Luth heritage & my Lutheran given name, & what I love so much about Lutheran Theology, esp as Siegfried & Friedemann Hebart taught it, is that there is more of “both…..and” , and not so much “either…… or”, though I believe the same parameters of comparison also apply to OT vis a vis NT. Though I might be inclined to say that God’s & Samuel’s caving in to Israel’s strident demands for a visible & high taXING king seem to suggest more both… and thinking, as do Job’s frustrating dialog with his “friends”, & Joseph’s comforting msg to his mean brothers (Gen ~45~) Oh well it’s kinda phun to make a generalization now & then eh?

  4. m

    August 7, 2012 at 5:10 am

    let’s call ourselves “The two way LCA” or LCA auf alte echte Lutherische Grundlage. Then let’s rewrite the Faeces of Agreement. ^^ Wouldn’t you just love to play “Agent Provocateur” with our wayward siblings. How do we know which of our words the HS can use? We don’t; let’s not take the Hubris path!!!! Let’s pray for Cyclops to continue to overplay his hand, & piss off some of the very Lutherans that he thinks are onside with him & his gerontocracy. Evejn if we have to wait another generation for our goal to be attained…….

  5. Katie and Martin

    August 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks m. We have to agree. There needs to be action, which seems to be the only way to impress on the hierarchy that congregations are losing patience and hope, with the lack of due process. Women’s ordination will come in ‘the fullness of time’ as Martin says, however, the fullness of time is already decades!! The process towards Federation was shorter than that!


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