Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Praise be to God!

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the "Philadelphia 11," the first women priests in the Episcopal Church! They were not the first women ordained as Christian ministers in modern times, nor the first women ordained in the Anglican church (two women were ordained in the Diocese of Hong Kong and Macau, the first, Li Tim-Oi, in 1944!). But it's the ordination of the Philadelphia 11 - "irregular" at the time but affirmed by General Convention two years later - that changed the world in which I worship. Now when I go to places where male priests, deacons, etc. try to hold up the sky on their own it makes me sad - like seeing someone squint with one eye closed when the other is perfectly operational (and what about depth perception!) - or angry. Who dares say that men alone can preach, or that God can be represented only by one sex?! (Many many, of course...) And yet what vertigo one can't but feel at having the privilege of being alive through so epochal a change.

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