Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Talk about jumping through hoops !!

This past weekend, a female friend of mine met with her church's Session and then her CPM in order to move herself along in the path toward ordination. It doesn't appear that she's going to have much of a problem.

However, someone I had talked to about this has a sister who's a minister, and a mom who has been involved with the CPM and other Presbytery committees in a Presbytery out west. He recounted how his sister when she went through the process ten years ago, had a minister on the CPM who was rather traditional (his phrase, not mine) about women ministers. This CPM member was worried that she didn't have enough training, so she had to do another six months of education.

Of course, not knowing more about what training was required, its hard to figure what was going on, since in 1998, women in the ministry were no longer an anomaly, but normal in the PCUSA.

Not knowing the background, I can only figure out two areas of education that would have been required: field education, interning with a church, or CPE, doing a period of chaplaincy at a hospital or hospice.

Today, I feel the main issues today are the lack of trust in the denomination, and the problems with a Presbytery that leans one way politically, and an inquirer/candidate who leans the other way.

The issues of either using too much inclusive language, or not enough inclusive language; belief whether the Bible was inspired or that the Bible has good ideas; what the definition of marriage should be; whether or not an ordained officer should be faithful in marriage, or chaste in singleness; etc, etc, etc.

Those issues are more likely to be asked about on the floor of a Presbytery, than whether or not the person has enough education.

Is this really the Holy Spirit, or just a mean-spiritedness of those who are opposed to whatever the inquirer/candidate believes.

And so it goes ....

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