Change is not easy, and brings fear, uncertainty and insecurity. The prospect of women’s ordination is no exception.
Congratulations to the LCA for encouraging this debate. It requires strength, courage and wisdom from the leadership: nationally, regionally and in every congregation.
The recent documents from the CTICR on the OWL website indicate that we continue to be divided. For many, ordination should be for both women and men, some can’t decide, and still others for men only.
I am the Executive Officer of a Family Violence Service and every day my staff listen and respond to horrific stories of women experiencing, or who have experienced, family violence. These women constantly live with fear for their own and their children’s lives. Many of these may be regularly:
Australia’s rates of family violence are high by international standards. The worldwide research is clear and unequivocal; this violence stems from the abuse of power and control and is fostered in a community where men and women are not treated as equal.
The LCA is at a crossroad. We must learn from the gender inequity on our patch and take responsibility. A vote for women’s ordination reflects our shared responsibility, our respect and encouragement for any member who feels called to be ordained. It is far more difficult for a church, where inequity is enshrined, to provide a place of comfort and refuge for the victims of family violence. Ordaining both men and women opens the full voice of humanity to share the Gospel, unfold God’s stories with a voice that may never have been heard, and provide further opportunity for love to come to life.