Monday, January 15, 2007

Religion Tour #8, woman reverend/Presbyterian

You can probably tell from the title of this entry that my primary purpose for visiting Covenant Presbyterian Church was that it is led by a woman, Reverend Melanie Hammond Clark. She is actually an aquaintance of mine because I once coached her son in soccer. By coincidence I sat next to her husband who apparently concluded that I was a visitor. He was very helpful and friendly.

So I learned little or nothing about the Presbyterian faith, other than it is Christian and that they allow women as reverends.

As I was raised Roman Catholic, I of course had no experience with women leading a congregation. There was nothing that Reverend Clark said or did yesterday that could not have been said or done by a male reverend, so I will not offer any conclusions about women reverends. I am also unaware of the arguments pro or con on women as reverends or priests, so I will reserve judgement until such time as I understand the issue.

Perhaps a local blogging Lutheran Reverend will tiptoe into that minefield for me. How about it Preachrboy?


eric said...

Denis, how 'bout the input of a Methodist who's church has had women pastors for the past six years. Our sample size is only two, but things seems to be running as well or better than before.

I spent a year studying in Scotland, home of the Presbyterian "Kirk", and learned a little there. While Henry the 8th of England was duking it out with the Pope over his divorce, a more sincere reformation occurred in Scotland resulting in the creation of the Presbyterian Church (Kirk). This was about the time Scots religious leaders (e.g., John Knox) were knocking heads with Mary Quenn of Scots (Catholic). Sorry to shoot off on a tangent, but a couple observations FYI only: 1)Europe possesses beautiful old churches that are attended very poorly today, 2)The church service formats of the reformed protestant churches in Europe today resemble a Catholic service much more than an American protestant service (this is a big generalization as I am sure there are exceptions and things may be changing with time, but that is what I saw)

Preachrboy said...


Why doesn't my church body ordain women? The short answer, "Because that's what the Bible teaches".

I will say one thing. It's NOT because we think men do a "better" job than women would. This is not an issue of pragmatism. Instead, it is about how we interpret Scripture.

Do we take God at his clear words, conforming to them, or do we seek to conform Scripture to our own socio-cultural worldview?

Here's a helpful link to a more "official" answer from our national church body, which gives more detail and says it better than I could:

What About the Ordination of Women to the Pastoral Office?

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks Eric and thank Preachrboy. I knew you would come through.

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