Christian Piatt of Sojourners Community points out that the majority of those still hanging in within the walls of most churches are women. He says that since prehistoric times men have gone out to hunt, developing independence, while women have remained at home establishing and maintaining communities. He suggests that, due to changing times, women are key to the future of the church.
While in the past we needed strong leadership, today we are guarded, sceptical and even pessimistic about leadership. What hasn’t changed is our need for one another.
Who better to model such a resource for our culture than those who have been at the heart of such community since before the dawn of recorded history?
We can hold fast, clinging to our authority, drawing lines and issuing ultimatums, while watching people continue to walk away by the millions. Or we can recognize that what the world needs at this point, far more than another sermon or worship service is a model of healthy interdependent community. And as scripture assures us, if we gather together with the intention of truly seeking God in our midst, we will find what we’re looking for. (more)
Not so long ago in Australia the Lutheran Church was a rural church with strong Germanic origins. We had little money for our own religious texts, beyond the Bible and devotional materials. We were farmers with only primary education and we relied on the local pastor to bring his tertiary education to the interpretation of Scripture so that we might be educated. As a corollary, we relied on our leaders to pave the way ahead. They were our navigators and we trusted them.
Today, education to a tertiary level, at least in Australia, is almost universal. In this information age we are hyper-connected, and we are exposed to issues across the globe – even religious issues. We need to filter enormous amounts of material and contradictory political opinion with some discernment. Times have changed. We are no longer passive consumers of opinion and theology, and yes, we are guarded about top-down leadership which doesn’t reflect the common experience. We no longer have the mono-cultural allegiance of early German settlers. There are many options. Ref 1 and 2
‘Strong leadership’ at the helm of the LCA is, ironically, destroying the trust that some of us have in the LCA. Those who oppose women’s ordination seem to oppose living together with a diversity of practice, even valuing isolation in the name of purity. Such determined isolationism contradicts their evangelical DNA and does nothing for the Gospel. We fear that such closing of options may lead them to schism.
On the other hand, women seem to offer gifts in building community. They have been nurturing families and relationships since time began with leadership styles that are generally more consultative and encouraging of interdependence. God is not finished with the church just yet. There are yet more changes to come.
- A Catholic OBLIGATION to Discuss Women’s Ordination (queeringthechurch.com)
- The Lay OBLIGATION to Discuss Women’s Ordination (emmaus2rome.wordpress.com)
- Women – don’t look around when you’re singing! (katieandmartin.wordpress.com)
- The gathering of the perfect storm (katieandmartin.wordpress.com)