We live in a period great change both within Christianity at large and within this one specific Christian denomination, The New Church. One of the areas up for a great deal of conversation is the role of women in the ministry.
The New Church, specifically this branch of it, has historically held a position similar to many other Christian churches … that ministry is reserved to males. This position anchors itself in the belief that males and females are both wonderful and distinct creations of God. The male mind in turn is better suited for the study and communication of doctrine and the female mind is more attuned to the reception of love. As each, male and female, lives into their divinely ordained roles a life-giving partnership is created that is blessed by God.
And many are advocating for change away from this historical position. Put simply, many now advocate for the ordination of women. The majority of the laity … over 70% in a recent survey … support the ordination of women. Others worry that such a change runs directly counter to God’s Word.
And what of NewChurch LIVE?
We strongly believe in partnership in all its forms. We share leadership, volunteer roles, and ministry with a wide cross section of people. We hold partnering as sacred and supported throughout the Word. Males and females are distinct creations, while sharing a given humanity … and that that shared humanity and distinctiveness allows for each gender to add a unique and necessary voice to great conversations. And where do we wind up? A life-giving partnership is created, blessed by God.
There are strong, heart felt positions on both sides of the divide. The hope is that we can move the conversation forward within the broader New Church over the next 6 months. This will include a webinar you are warmly invited to attend on February 22nd. The issue will be revisited by the collected clergy when they gather for a summer conference in June.