Business as usual

"Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform."--Susan B. Anthony
Sometimes when we start talking about the inequities for women in ministry we feel like our reputations could be in jeopardy. We aren't very comfortable when words like reform seem to fit our situation. It sounds like we are complaining. It makes us feel like we might be perceived as radicals. But being too cautious could mean "business as usual." Is it worth protecting our reputations?


Baby steps

"I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome."—Golda Meir
This is called commitment. Ours to is to be called and to follow, regardless the outcome. This is difficult for many of us because our roads have been blocked. Our gifts unrecognized. Our calls not honored. Do you have the call of the Holy Spirit upon your life? God does not call us to "success" (whatever that is), God calls us to be obedient and faithful. Thus we must take steps forward, baby steps maybe, but steps nevertheless.


Does he play the piano,,,

"Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well!"-Barbara Bush
The reason this is clever is because it surprises us. Of course, we expected Barbara to say "I wish her well." The assumption is that the president is a man. How often have we thought of the pastor as a man and the pastor's spouse as a wife? What behaviors, language and assumptions would we need to change to deal with the pastor's husband? We would begin to introduce the pastor and her husband. We would talk about the pastor's husband and children. I wonder, would the pastor's husband be expected to host the parsonage events? Do you think the pastoral search committees would ask "what does your husband do? Does he work outside the home? Does he play the piano?"


Well, we tried that once.

"I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there."- Maureen Reagan
It does seem to be true that for a woman to be offered a place of ministry leadership she is held to the highest standard. She must be exceptional. She must be a proven commodity. However, if a woman does not "succeed" in ministry, it is often said, "well, we tried that once." If that was said every time a man did not succeed, there would be no pastors...anywhere.


What Choice Do I Have?

"When people ask me why I am running as a woman, I always answer, 'What choice do I have?' "-Pat Schroeder, US Congresswoman
We are a denomination that believes that God calls people, both men and women, into pastoral leadership. If I am called by the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the Church, and I am a woman, then what choice do I have? It is really that simple!