Affirming the Ministry of Women in the Lutheran Church of Australia

ANCIENT, DECREPIT AND GREY

I am neither a theologian nor the son of a theologian, but I treasure the Holy Scripture. So much so, that before I became ancient, decrepit and grey, I learned the New Testament in the Authorised Version by heart, with the exception of the magnificent Revelation to John. I also learned the gospels in Greek by heart, but my problem is that I do not meet any ancient Greeks, so that exercise had little point. Read more »

MY STORY

When I was growing up I never questioned the fact that there were only male pastors and not female pastors because ‘that was the way it was’. I did not ever consider challenging the notion that there could be anything wrong with this. Perhaps it was age. Perhaps it was because I, like so many others, did not like the thought of change.

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TIME FOR A NEW SONG

Sing a new song unto the Lord‘ Psalm 96.

Not only do we accept new songs to worship the Lord, we are encouraged to use new and enriching ways of praising Him and spreading the good news of our great God.

Over the years, we have seen women of great faith and abilities using their God-given talents in His worship and service. And we have seen them unstinting in their faithfulness and devotion in caring for all types of humans in need! Read more »

PASTORAL MINISTRY AMONG GOD’S FORGOTTEN PEOPLE

She looked at me through the glass door, perplexed, frustrated, lost, questioning. Why was the door locked, why couldn’t she come out? It was a beautiful hot summer day with the temperature around 35 degrees.

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A NEW WAY OF SEEING

I was baptised at five weeks of age, and in forty years of growing up in the Lutheran church, I accepted unquestioningly the restricted role of women in the Church. Even when I became interested in theology in the 1970s, and took some subjects at Lutheran Teachers’ College, it simply did not occur to me to question the status quo of the male-only pastorate. Although there had been some debate about women’s ordination at that time, I was not interested. I remember seeing a woman presiding at a worship service on television, and actually feeling repelled by the idea of a woman ‘usurping’ a position which had always been exclusively male. Read more »

A NEW ROAD TO TRAVEL: MY WALK ONTO, AND ALONG, THE WOMEN’S ORDINATION HIGHWAY

When asked to write down why I favour women’s ordination, it became clear that it was one of my most difficult assignments. Along the way, my reading has come from both sides of the argument, and there are many good arguments on the negative side. Against this, it was also necessary to weigh up where I was ‘coming from’. What ‘baggage’ in my past life was influencing me, one way or the other? Why, even changing to a female doctor took me quite a few years. Well served by males, there seemed no reason to change. But I did, and haven’t regretted it – and probably wouldn’t change back.

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THE CHALLENGE

I first became aware of ‘women’s ordination’ about twelve years ago. Since then I have been confronted, challenged and stirred by this issue which has not gone away. It needed to be addressed and answered, even though this was not a personal matter in that I have not felt called to serve as a pastor. I could see glimpses of the struggle and the pain of those who felt so called. Out of respect for them and their sense of call, it meant that I needed to be open to listening and learning.

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A WOMAN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE

The scene is South India. The situation is an international school and an ecumenical parish. The time has come to appoint a new chaplain and pastor. The decision is made to appoint a senior pastor and a youth pastor. The senior pastor chosen is a man working in Hawaii; the youth pastor is a young woman from New York.

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