SILVER SPRING - In a conference room of the Courtyard by Mariott hotel across the highway from the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, TEAM (Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry) hosted the premiere of the new documentary film, "Called," for a small group of Adventist pastors and leaders last night.
Regarding “calls” to pastoral ministry, regardless of gender, can we safely say: “God told me!” I’m wondering if this were not more an “imposition” rather than the result of a consensus by members of each local congregation/district.
Watched the documentary. From a European perspective this is a rather disheartening piece of work … despite the professionalism in the making of the film and the encouraging stories of both the female pastors and their members. More than anything else, this video documents how far behind our church is in terms of equality, female pastors and WO. If even in the US it is so difficult to place a female pastor … I am indeed wondering where the church is heading. Looking at my own local church, where we had two female pastors over the course of the past 15 years (and a female elder) … I cannot remember any one such sentiment of distrust and suspicion as voiced in the video, let alone people moving their membership… Not sure, what to make of it (apart from applauding the brave pastors, working so hard to be true to their calling).
Good observations,Andreas, I think this piece highlights the fact that the fight over credentialing is just the beginning. Dan Jackson is right in not wanting to wait for that issue to be resolved before placing as many female pastors as possible in the field. This is the only thing that will begin to change attitudes. At the same time, I think administrators need to work very closely with the women clergy they place, and with the congregations they are to serve, to make certain that the personal and professional well-being of these female pastors is protected. Seeing women “appointed” to congregations that were in large part not ready for them, without any sort of congregational education in advance, made me think of the famous photos of the “Little Rock Nine.” These young people had to face taunts and threats and needed the protection of 1000 paratroopers for an entire year as they participated in a plan of school desegregation in the South. Integrating women as pastors into Adventist congregations will, at times, involve similar hostility–in both overt and covert ways. For all of its talk of liberty and justice for all, large swaths of America are still deeply racist and misogynist, as this current election cycle sadly reveals.
Touching documentary. It is to be shown in every SDA local church around the world.
Thumbs up for the TEAM and Brillhart Media for a professional and warm-heart achievement.
I’m happy to say that in my local church we had no problems of accepting a female pastor who ministered to us for one year. Our country is a secular one with many women doing responsible jobs. There are very few religious prejudices, let alone ideas of “male headship”. But the perseverant activity of some para-church ministries from US is via Internet slowly and effectively infiltrating and pervading the innocent minds with this “male headship” toxin. And when you add to that the official approval of the present GC administration, then you have it - a complete mess and loss of orientation. Help us God before it will be to late.