Friday, August 29, 2008

A young woman from Sydney

Just before listening to Sarah Palin's acceptance speech on being invited to be the running mate for John McCain in the US presidential campaign, I met another beautiful and intelligent young woman. She had just completed an undergrad degree and had recently come here from Sydney, Australia.

She told me that had just joined a ministry training program for a year. I asked what the purpose of the program was and she said that it was developed to "train men to plant churches." I asked how she had become part of it and she explained. This is how I remember what she said.
It is a huge problem being a woman. Everything is against me. They said in the interview that I was an ideal candidate in every way and that I was just what they were looking for and had all the qualifications, but it was a problem because I was not a man. I mean, I would have been the ideal candidate if only I had been a man. But I said, you need women for the women's ministry, women's ministry is growing, you need women. So they let me join. I mean I can lead a Bible study for young mothers, right?

7 comments:

Lynne said...

that's exactly how it is in Sydney. I went to a non-denom college for my BTh (the Anglican college only offers full time, which doesn't suit me as a mature age student with a family, plus I honestly believe I got a better education where I went). I topped my graduating year (including all the men) my own congregation endorses and encourages me in preaching and teaching, yet to the diocese I'm useless, because, as i jokingly put it, I don't have one of those "holy" Y chromosomes. And there are very few alternatives for the biblically conservative woman in Sydney. And the diocesan mood is growing increasingly hostile to women in ministry ..

Don B. Johnson said...

Pretty sad.

Janice said...

Lynne,

You wrote,

I don't have one of those "holy" Y chromosomes.

Just remember never to use the "p" word when you're joking. Keep in mind what happened to Belinda Goodenough.

Dr Goodenough seems to have wanted an opportunity to preach. She doesn't list a BTh among her qualifications.

The Anglican Church League's document, linked above, states that, "two theologically trained women, licensed by the Archbishop, preach regularly in the church at South Coogee, and have done so for many years." You preach and you have a BTH. I'm wondering what sort of theological qualifications are typically held by lay men who are licensed to preach. Do you know?

Lin said...

Another aspect to this: I believe it is a travesty that seminaries will award PhD's to women but then refuse to hire them because they cannot teach men. Or even Christian colleges should not allow women if their affiliated churches refuse to hire them in equal positions.

This is what happened to Dr. Klouda at SWBTS who worked hard for a PhD in Hebrew there, was hired to teach it and then was fired because she would not be allowed to teach men. I believe they should give her money back. She will not be allowed to teach Hebrew to men in any SBC seminary.

But, they will keep accepting women into their programs because they want the money. So, it is ok for the women to become educated but just don't try to use that education in mixed company. (sigh)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I read the story of Belinda Goodenough. Its tragic that the contents of a private email could be used against her like that. Clearly it is the reproductive apparatus which differentiates men and women. Isn't that what she pointed out?

believer333 said...

Has anyone heard what has happened with Dr. Klouda? She was well trained and an excellent professor. Surely some smart universities would appreciate her ministry.

Lynne said...

I would think there would be very few men with a BTh in that position. If they had that qualification, they'd be eligible for ordination (unless of course they got it from the "wrong" college, but that's another issue).

And of course I talk in chromosomal terms for politeness sake! I was told by a pro-women clergyman a while ago that certain persons in the diocese should be wearing t-shirts saying, "I have a d***. I rule" Do they really believe that's how God sees the world?