Women in high office
I can understand the frustration on the part of some that female clergy do not occupy more leadership positions in our church. But I think that it goes beyond the simple glass-ceiling issue that Bishop Ann Tottenham refers to. In my opinion, we ought to focus on what leadership and management skills we need in our church leaders. In a merit-based selection system, church authorities and synods will seek to appoint the most qualified candidates to positions. It is up to the church, along with candidates who aspire to leadership positions, to prepare clergy to assume positions of greater responsibility. But women clergy have a role to play too in order to self-select for higher office. And, realistically, is it reasonable to expect that many clergy who take orders later in life will gain preferment quickly? That doesn’t happen in any other profession. The fact is that as more women enter orders, more will be selected for leadership roles. This process is painfully slow for some, I know, but consider how far we have come since we first ordained women. In truth, in the history of the church, that was really not so long ago.
Response to terror
As a response to the events of Sept. 11, I call on the church: 1. not to blame Muslims as a community; 2. not to over- react in anti-Americanism; 3. to think of ways that we, as the Anglican, church can support our Muslim neighbours as well as our U.S. neighbours; 4. to educate our people in avoiding anti-Arab/Muslim attitudes; and 5. to seek a reasonable solution to this emergency.
The news from General Synod thrills me. Both the declaration signed with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the ongoing progress shown by the Anglican church in the resolution of residential school conflicts are very real answers to prayer for me. I was interested to read of a “healing commission” and national government fund established by the National Council of Churches in Australia. Could we not do something similar here? Let’s take possession of this issue, and not wait for rulings on what we should do. Our hands are not tied.