The United Methodist Church recently failed to add language to the UMC Constitution affirming women’s equality and a commitment to inclusivity and diversity. https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/news/united-methodist-women-annual-conference-votes-unfinished-gender-justices
It felt like a punch to the gut, to be honest.
I have worshiped in churches that have denied women decision making abilities for the church and leadership of both women and men regarding Scripture in teaching and preaching. I have felt the sting of being trivialized and excluded, based on the fact that I don’t have a penis.
It feels demeaning that my talents, abilities, experiences, education and Calling have been disregarded and instead church leaders positioned me (and many women more gifted than I) in subservient places where our callings could not be fully embraced.
My hope to pursue a seminary degree is ironically on hold as I pay off debt accrued by or family for the years I was a stay-at-home mom, raising babies and supporting my husband in his role as Bread Winner. Our culture expects women to be the Home Keeper, Baby Raiser, Breast Feeder, and also supplement income because living off one income in this day and age is quite the challenge.
I do understand that there are two sides of every story. I was grateful to read an African UMC representative’s statement, further explaining the language they disagreed with.
Our church is at an impasse. I don’t know what’s going to be left of the UMC come next year. I interpret Scripture using contextual information about the culture for which it was written, the Spirit of the writing, and what I know about God from my personal experience. My God embodies both male and female, as Scripture does refer to God using feminine analogies as well as masculine. My God loves all people; and all people struggle to align their faith and their actions with Who they believe God to be.
I realize that there are two divergent perspectives and this comes down to interpretation of Scripture. I pray for the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ . . . because a house divided cannot stand.