I'm so excited that the number of members of Awesome has reached one hundred!
The name Awesome is an acronymn for 'Anglican Women Evangelicals: Supporting our Ordained Ministries'. We're a network of ordained Anglican women from across the evangelical spectrum, and aim to support each other and to equip each other for ministry in the Church.
The network was launched in January 2004, so almost six years on it's good that we have attracted good numbers of women, and a record number of 42 at our most recent conference in September. Click here for our website, where there's more information.
Membership has reached 100, and we know that there are more women who support our aims. Some 20+ have been members but are lapsed or no longer active, and many others agree with our aims but find support through other networks.
It can be tough an evangelical woman at this point in the life of the Church of England. Many of our ordained sisters come from a more liberal perspective, while some of our evangelical brothers don't believe that those of us who are priests should be ordained!
But there are always signs of hope around too. I'm excited about a couple of books I've just read. One is called Inspiring Women: discovering biblical role models, and it's about the significance of role models and how to preach some of the women in Scripture so that women find new roles models there. Click here for a review. It's a great little booklet, which deals with some of the tricky passages about women as well as encouraging preachers to look at some of the 'little people' in Scripture. Jehosheba, Sheerah, Shallum's daughters? I'd never heard of them either, but I have now!
What else is good news? Another woman appointed archdeacon: Christine Wilson, currently vicar of Goring by Sea has beeen appointed Archdeacon of Chesterfield, bringing the number of women archdeacons to 15. It's going to take a while to change the climate of the church when it comes to senior leadership, but there's slow progress being made.
I want to change the world, but I realise that progress usually only comes in very small steps.