Biblical texts, necessary and revolutionary
Rev. Halina Radacz from the ECACP based her sermon on Galatians 3,28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” These biblical words “are not only still relevant; they are still revolutionary and necessary,” she said.
“The beautiful sermons about God’s love and the equality of all people before God become meaningless if we fail to demonstrate this love to individuals with different skin colors, languages, and traditions,” she said. “Eloquent words about love lose their value if we persist in ignoring the marginalized and bowing before the powerful of this world. The profound sentiments about family and the unique role of women hold no significance unless we view them as equal partners in the life and service of the Church and society,” Radacz said.
Women’s role in the church, gender justice, and education
During the first day of the Women’s Pre-Assembly, women who have been ordained to serve in the ECACP gave strong witness from their seventy-year struggle to be acknowledged as equal partners to their male counterparts in serving the Church.
Delegates also reflected on the LWF’s Gender Justice Policy, which was introduced 10 years ago, and its ongoing relevance for women as well as men in LWF’s member churches. It became clear that much remains to be done to fully implement this policy.
LWF’s General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt, is scheduled to speak to the Women’s Pre-Assembly on 9 September on gender justice from a theological perspective. She will discuss some of the Bible passages and theological arguments that have been used to justify the subordination of women and reflect on the how men can be involved in the work for gender justice.
An Interim Report of the LWF Study Process on Experiences of Women in the Ordained Ministry will also be presented. “The report provides insights into the lived experiences of women throughout the LWF communion within their ministerial roles,” explains Marcia Blasi. “It is intended to pave the way for the subsequent stages of the study process, inspiring and empowering more women to actively engage, share their stories, and realize they are not alone in their journeys. The study underscores the LWF’s commitment to gender justice and the full inclusion of women in all aspects of church life, including the ordained ministry.”
Another session will focus on ways to combat and prevent gender-based violence. The enormous scale of this problem is a source of grave concern for LWF’s advocacy, women’s networks and member churches.
Finally, delegates are preparing the Women’s Message to the Thirteenth Assembly, which will convey their concerns and specify work priorities for the next years.