life is good

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Some of My Best Friends Are Women"

In a time when issues of inclusion/exclusion seem to be coming to a head, it is more and more common to hear this phrase that I thought was quite outdated. It starts like this, "Some of my best friends are _____________________" You fill in the blank. It's a way of saying "Yes, there is a problem, but it's not mine...I have this friend..."

I'm glad to be a part of something that in its best moments can embrace change (especially when 'change' isn't exactly our middle name!). The UMC has recognized full clergy rights for women for 50 years now. The first time I really knew a female pastor was in 1995 when Rev. Gayla Rapp became my pastor. God used her to change my life, and to rekindle in me a passion for Christ's church that had been close to extinction. I'm in professional ministry due to God's persistance and the love of many faithful people, this particular one will be placing the red stole around my neck as I'm ordained at annual conference this year.

There is cause to celebrate that God's Spirit would choose any of us for the work of the Kingdom. Once much more than 50% of believers were not considered fit for ordained ministry--I can't comprehend it, and in a way I'm thankful that I can't. For me, and many others, a church without women as pastors is not Church. Thank God we look a little bit more like the Kingdom of God then we did 50 years ago.