Friday, 19 September 2008

50 years of women's ordination - the Church of Sweden celebrates

This has come from ENI today:
The (Lutheran) Church of Sweden is about to mark the 50th anniversary of its decision in 1958 to ordain women as priests, and cathedrals in all of the church's 13 dioceses are to hold services to celebrate the anniversary.
"With our jubilee, we wish to celebrate that the Church of Sweden is a church of equality, and that we can deepen this conviction together in the future," said the Rev. Boel Hössjer Sundman, the church's project manager for the commemorations.
A special celebration service will take place at Uppsala Cathedral on 23 September at the beginning of the denomination's governing church assembly. A seminar the previous day will focus on church leadership in a changing world.
The events will culminate with the diocesan services on 27 September, the date in 1958 on which the Church of Sweden took the decision to open its priesthood to women.

This year marks the 91st anniversary of the first women ordained to the Christian ministry in Britain when Constance Coltman Todd was ordained by the congregational Union of England and Wales. A year before women in Britain had the vote.

Meanwhile the Lutheran World Federation has this month reported further moves amongst its member churches towards women's ordination:

The Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Boliviana - IELB) celebrates 70 years of existence today, 7 September. At a special liturgy marking the event, several women will be ordained pastors while others will receive the authorization to administer sacraments and proclaim the Word.
During the celebration, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko and Bishop Jessica R. Crist, Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will ordain two women and five men, and authorize three women and ten men to carry out church functions.
“It is an encouraging sign and strong signal that 15 out of the 16 LWF member churches in the Latin American and Caribbean region now ordain women. The LWF has accompanied the discernment of the Lutheran church in Bolivia in a respectful way over the last decades. The values of inclusion and participation of men and women in the full life and ministry of the Church are thus given strong expressions,” noted Noko in view of the first women’s ordination in the IELB.