EWC Seeks "Thick-Skinned Angels" to Harass Orthodox Dioceses

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sat May 5 02:19:03 EDT 2001


EPISCOPAL WOMEN'S CAUCUS SEEKS "THICK-SKINNED ANGELS" TO HARASS ORTHODOX
DIOCESES

Dear Friend:

We need your help with a major Caucus project. Thirty years ago the
goal that was the genesis of the Episcopal Women's Caucus was the
ordination of women in the Episcopal Church. This year, the EWC hopes
to implement a grass roots action plan that will at last allow all of
our church to experience the gifts of women in priestly ministry

Most of us have been blessed these last 27 years with the presence of
ordained women in our dioceses, in our churches and in our lives. For
many who were reluctant or resistant to the ordination of women, the
personal, first-hand experience of a female priest has changed their
minds. For others who were unsure or hesitant, their experience of the
benefits of women in ordained ministry has helped them to become
enthusiastic.

For those of us who always believed that women's ordination was right
and just, the living ministry of female priests has confirmed and
reinforced our vision. Today, women in ordained ministry are a reality
and a given, taken for granted by most of the Episcopal Church. It has
not been an easy journey, but it has been a deeply beneficial one for
our church.

Among the things we've learned on this journey is that the best way to
begin to overcome our prejudices, fears and doubts about the value of
including new voices in the procession is to experience the gifts,
personally and first-hand, that increased diversity bring us. The best
way to appreciate what ordained women bring to the mix is to know and
to share ministry with them.

Gustav Davidson describes angels as mighty, spiritual creatures,
attendant upon God, abroad in the world, a multiplicity of tasks and
carrying out God' s missions among the people of God. The Caucus'
project is to place thick-skinned angels - ordained women -
intentionally in the paths of people who have been denied the
opportunity and gift of the presence and work of female priests.

We plan to support ordained women whose schedules and circumstances
permit them to live for an extended period of time in one of the
dioceses where the ministries of female priest are officially resisted
and rejected. Our angels would stay long enough to allow the people of
the diocese the opportunity to know them and to experience the
liturgical leadership and pastoral gifts of women in ordained ministry.

The women will not be employed, canonically resident or licensed as
priests because the bishops in these non-compliant dioceses do not
permit such status. They will be available for celebrating the
Eucharist, preaching, in discussion and offering pastoral care, with
YOUR support through the EWC and the support of the courageous and
committed women and men, lay and ordained, in the dioceses.

This project in many ways will be costly for everyone involved the
priestly angels, the people of the dioceses and us. You can help in
several ways. We need and angel volunteers who are willing to go to
these dioceses. We need some large donations and a whole lot of smaller
ones so that we can support our angels financially for their visits.
Also needed? Your prayers! ... and notes of support while they are
there.

Our hope is to serve as a change agent that nurtures and supports a
shift in perspective on the part of the people in these dioceses who
are resistant to or hesitant about the value of ordaining women and
including ordained women in the life and ministry of the church.
Perhaps gaining their proactive support will result in a change in the
policy decisions of their dioceses regarding the status of ordained
women.

Most importantly, our angels' visits will bring grace and hope to the
people of these dioceses who value and support women's ordination and
who desire to experience the ministry of female priests on a regular
basis. By launching this project we are attempting to move closer to
the realization of the Caucus' vision: "a church that honors and
rejoices in the ministries of all women. We know that such a church
will honor and rejoice in the ministries of all people."

 Please help us in this effort.

Faithfully,

Lyn Headley-Moore




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