Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hmmmm

I've been reading with interest about the New Wineskins Convocation in Florida and the decision by some of those congregations to become part of new, provisional Presbytery being established by the Evangelical PResbyterian Church. One much discussed topic is whether or not the EPC will be supportive of ordained women--elders and pastors--who wish to become part of this movement. Apparently the EPC is not in agreement about the ordination of women, so each presbytery determines whether that will happen within its bounds.

Does anyone but me find just the tiniest bit ironic that many of the churches that are leaving the PCUSA for the EPC are doing so, in part, because of a suggested "local option" compromise on an ordination issue about which faithful members of the PCUSA disagree, (the ordination of practicing homosexuals) yet they are going into a denomination which operates with just such a local option on an ordination matter about which members of that denomination don't agree, (ordination of women)??

14 comments:

jim said...

My guess is that the whole women ordination thing is going to go out the window once the folks get into the EPC.

I'm not sure about the reliability of the source, but I saw somewhere that there in actuality are no women pastors or elders in any of the current EPC churches.

These folks need to sound like they are still committed to women's ordination while they're still in the PC(USA) but once they're out I pretty sure that commitment will eventually phase out.

Anonymous said...

I have come to believe that this is really, at its core, an issue about women in leadership positions in the PCUSA. I was somewhat shocked by the venom behind a comment on another blog by a white, make pastor who discussed all the opportunities denied him in the church becasue he was a white male.

Several months ago I was told by another white, male pastors who presents hmself as an "insider" in New Wineskins that he would be just as happy if women were not ordained; I am sure that he has not shared this with the women in "his" congregation (i.e.the congregation he serves).

Tim said...

I know what you're saying, but I do think there is an inherent difference between sex ("which," not "whether") and sexual orientation. The former is unquestionably a physical matter, the latter - though likely physical - is nonetheless also a moral one.

In terms of anonymous' comment, many of us white males have been informed that our input/participation in a variety of things is unnecessary because "we already have people like you." (I've actually experienced that.) It took me quite a few years to realize that such sexism is socially acceptable and it doesn't do any good to get all uptight about it - it's going to be around for a LONG time.

Anyhow -- Love your blog. Read it religiously!

Grace and Peace,
`tim

meepsy said...

Ironic, indeed. One of leaders of New Wineskins is pastor at the tall steeple downtown church here, which has no record of calling female clergy to its pastoral staff. I suspect "his" congregation, both female and male, have little idea that defection to the EPC is in store for them.
Having had to interact with the New Wineskins folks in numerous presbytery meetings, my conclusion is that they would be a lot easier to deal with if they actually drank the wine instead of keeping it stored in skins.

Alex said...

I think it is ironic, PureChristian. I say, "Vaya con Dios!" to those New Wineskins folks.

Teri said...

this is exactly, in the exact words, even, what I have been saying for months about this proposal...

I'm glad you put it in writing. I'm glad you're anon. enough to put it in writing!

Quotidian Grace said...

Bugs the heck outta me.

And as I mentioned on my blog, the history of the one EPC church I know of in my area which was established after a split in a PCUSA denomination, is not encouraging at all.

jledmiston said...

You are quite the genius.

Similar question: it's funny to me that some of our Episcopal brothers and sisters have left/are leaving the "American church" because they disagree with actions/statements related to the ordination of gay/lesbian priests. But they are joining a communion in which the bishop (of Nigeria I believe although I could be wrong) thinks gay people should be imprisoned.

Oh, they disagree with him, but it's okay. In that situation.

SpookyRach said...

ugh.

"New Wineskins"? How 1970's is that?

Gannet Girl said...

One does wonder.

seekinghim said...

Amen, sister! I just wrote about the same issue on my blog...I'm just a lay person, but I thought "local option" was a bad word. What would we think if they had a "local option" to ordain black men? Clearly, that would be wrong. I guess the New Wineskins' folks don't feel as strongly about women. The whole thing makes me terribly nervous.

BTW, in reference to jim's comment; I read today that EPC has two women pastors and one is getting ready to retire.

Anonymous said...

I agree, New Wineskins is a pretty dorky name. I guess you could say it's kind of retro. I believe for most of these congregations, the issue of woman pastors has little or nothing to do with it. It is a big concern but pales in comparison to other doctrinal issues. Many in the PCUSA seem to think the church should be all about the latest "progressive" fad sweeping pop culture or about being diverse simply for the sake of diversity.
Vaya Con Dios, literally Go With God, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I guess Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, knew what he was talking about after all. Just do what the Bible teaches, and all these problems disappear.

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