Affirming the Ministry of Women in the Lutheran Church of Australia

Origins of WMN

At Luther Seminary, Adelaide from April 12-14, 1991 the Facing Injustice Today Workshop was held. Amongst the resolutions from the Women’s Workshop group were the following:

  • A Women’s Support Network be established in each District that encourages and supports women to be involved on committees, decision-making bodies and in roles from which they are currently excluded at congregational, district and national level.

  • A network for information dissemination be established:
    • among people concerned about Women’s Issues
    • and to the wider Church through existing organs eg. The Lutheran, Lutheran Theological Journal, Lutheran Women, Table Talk …
    • and that individuals target key people in their congregations to keep informed, to dialogue with and to seek support for the concerns of women in the church.

Women have been excluded from much of church life in the LCA and only in recent years have they been given the possibility of

  • voting at congregational meetings (1966)
  • being delegates at Synod (1981)
  • being a member of church boards and committees (1984)
  • included in the guidelines for reading lessons in worship (1984)
  • assisting in the distributing of Holy Communion (1989)
  • being lay assistant as an alternative to elder (1990)
  • being chairperson of a congregation (1990)
  • being synodical chairperson (1998)
  • lay-reading (2003)

In 1999
the Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relationships found after a decade of study, that there was no theological objections to the ordination of women.

In 2000
at General Convention the vote to ordain women only reached 53% however 66% + 1 vote is required.

In 2005
the Lutheran Theological Journal released an edition giving all the arguments again.

In 2006
the General Convention again failed to pass the motion, with about the same proportion voting for the motion. Convention passed a motion calling on the General Church Council to establish a committee to pursue ways to help build consensus on the issue within the church.

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