Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Better Together

I'm always excited when Mutuality comes through my letter box.

Mutuality is the news magazine of CBE international. One of the first articles to catch my eye this time was the conference report from the CBE conference in Australia, 'Better Together'.

And it was interesting to read that the issues around in Australia are not that different from those in UK.

'We feel really concerned with the pressure that is being applied to folk - that if you do not accept male authority and leadership you do not accept the Bible', wrote Kevin Giles. I am currently involved in some conversations where one of the issues is that of accepting that evangelical women priests exist, and that to be an evangelical woman priest is not a contradiction in terms. As I see it, we have the same commitment to scripture, we just read it differently.

What really caught my eye was a section on how the conference had served as a place of healing.

'A female Anglican vicar said to me after the conference that she felt like a child whose father had presented her with a birth certificate to show that she was really part of the family, after believing all her life that she was adopted and did not really belong! This person is about to retire after years of successful ministry in Melbourne. It is amazing to think it took this conference to really affirm her ministry.'

I don't know whether to be sad or angry. Just reading the book I mentioned in my previous post, The 7 deadly sins of women in leadership. As women we may have negative self-perceptions, but how did those self-perceptions get there? Subtly, as sometimes we have had to overcome so many obstacles. I thank God that early in my own exploring of ministry I found people like Faith Forster and others who back in the 1980s were showing that there was more than one evangelical way to read scripture.

You can read more about the conference at www.cbeinternational.org/melbourne