The ordination of both women and men is practised in an overwhelming majority of Lutheran churches around the world, and has been a hot topic of discussion for decades. There are many others whom SDC is working with, or who have developed some great resources - visit the sites and links below to find out more!
LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION
The Lutheran World Federation is the largest joint organisation of Lutheran churches in the world. Theology, Unity, Mission and Justice are at the heart of the LWF’s work as they seek to support the presence and witness of member churches and World Service country programs in their diverse local contexts.
At the global level, LWF develops theological reflection and educational resources to address contemporary challenges and to articulate our Lutheran identity in today’s world. LWF offers platforms for reflection and joint work on gender justice and women's empowerment, eco-theology and what it means to be church in the public space. We understand our vocation as God’s call to each one of us to live and work together as a communion of churches in ongoing Reformation.
More specifically, the LWF is committed to addressing Women and Gender issues, including that of ordination, and you will find the link to this part of their mission - and some wonderful resources - below.
In 2013, the LWF produced one of the most significant documents around this issue: the LWF Gender Justice Policy (GJP).
A one-page document that sets out the GJP Principles Summary in ten key points as discussed in the Policy is included. It is our hope that the LCANZ will vote to adopt these principles. View here.
In 2016, the LWF published the results of wide-ranging research project, titled The participation of Women in the Ordained Ministry and Leadership in LWF member churches. This makes for some fascinating reading: in particular, it shows the LCANZ is one of very few member/associate member churches in the world that does not ordain women.
WOMEN AT THE WELL
"Women at the Well is a meeting place for people to hear stories about women’s ordination in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand.
A place for the sharing of individuals’ personal journeys and dreams. A place for stories of melancholy, reflection, and aspiration.
But most of all this site is a place of hope, as we look towards the Word being preached and the sacraments administered by any called member of our church, regardless of gender".
The stories on the site are fully viewable to all members of the public: this more personal aspect of the ordination has had limited exposure before, and we highly recommend this site to help the whole church understand the cost of the ordination issue to individuals and the wider church. Please share the link with your friends, contacts, and congregation: worth including from time to time in your church bulletin!
SWOLCA FACEBOOK PAGE
SWOLCA is the Support for Women's Ordination in the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) Facebook page (commonly abbreviated to 'the WO FB page'). This forum exists to support all those committed to ordination of women in the LCA.
NOTE: This is a private group, and only members can see who's in the group and what they post. You are welcome to apply to join by sending a request to the site's admins.
This is a great space for discussion and support, and definitely worth joining!
ALTOGETHER IN MINISTRY
Altogether In Ministry (AIM) is now archived and all queries are now directed to SDC.
AIM was a network of women and men throughout the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ) that superseded the Women's Ministry Network, with the goal of facilitating cultural change that honours the identity in Christ of both women and men, and the Holy Spirit's call of both women and men to ordained ministry.
The historical information on AIM's website is still able to be accessed.
ORDINATION: WE'RE LISTENING
Lutheran Church of Australia's 'Ordination: We're Listening' website (OWL) was established in 2015 to encourage wider church discussion on the issue. While it is now closed for comments, it contains many interesting articles and the various CTICR statements produced over the years for and against the ordination of women. The WEBSITE link will take you to 'fourteen of the best documents' published by the LCA on the topic of women and the call to the public ministry.
These are well worth reading to gain an understanding of all the issues.
WOMEN'S MINISTRY NETWORK
Women’s Ministry Network (WMN) was established as a network of women and men throughout Australia interested in exploring ways in which women could contribute to the ministry and mission of the church, in particular the Lutheran Church of Australia.
After Synod 2015, those in Brisbane agreed on the need to normalise the concept of women and men working together in ministry: this was not just a women's issue but affects us everyone, not least because it threatens our freedom in Christ: hence the name was changed to Altogether in Ministry (AIM).
The WMN website now serves primarily as an archival information base, and you will find many excellent articles and publications listed there from the last 20 years.
FAITH, SEXISM & JUSTICE
FAITH, SEXISM & JUSTICE: A CALL TO ACTION
'With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) gives thanks to God for the ministry of women. In 2019 and 2020 we celebrated 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, and 40 years of women of colour being ordained."
Last year, their Synod voted with an overwhelming majority to accept and adapt the actions of this powerful document, Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action. This link will take you to their website, where you can read the document, view a brief (and entertaining!) introductory video, and learn more about how it was developed.
How long before the LCANZ develops and implement it's own proposal that addresses these issues underlying the ordination of women?