She Preached The Word

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AmyJ
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She Preached The Word

Post by AmyJ » 27 Aug 2018, 06:20

I picked up the book, "She Preached The Word" by Cammie Jo Bolin and Benjamin R. Knoll.
I had listened to a podcast about it previously, and thought I would give it a try.

It reads fairly easily (I was able to read the first chapter of the book while chasing my toddler at the library and kept my place mentally and physically in the book).

I think the subject looking at how many and what happens when we have female pastors/ministers/leaders is complex, interesting, and is one of my unanswered questions. In an another religion and a different life, I could see myself going to divinity school (that was well before the current faith paradigm shift accepting the existence of God as a purely "I want to believe" concept).

Cammie Jo Bolin is Baptist, but Benjamin R. Knoll is LDS (and it is interesting to see LDS-specific events like Ordain Women listed along side similar non-LDS events. The book is written specifically from a social scientist perspective, and the stated "agenda" is to present data, information, and research themes from polls and interviews without an obvious gender bias in any direction.

I am highly interested in figuring out how to shift the power dynamic so that women truly are partners in the church, rather then subjects of the church in a way that is a "win-win" solution for all parties involved. I think there needs to be a balance between equality and meeting the unique needs of both genders.

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mom3
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by mom3 » 27 Aug 2018, 09:03

I am highly interested in figuring out how to shift the power dynamic so that women truly are partners in the church, rather then subjects of the church in a way that is a "win-win" solution for all parties involved. I think there needs to be a balance between equality and meeting the unique needs of both genders.

If I were to hazard a guess, any movement toward that will have to wait 20 years. The present leadership believes things are equal. When a man mentions that his wife and daughters sit around and listen to him share about the Priesthood Session of GC, it's pretty darn certain that the status quo has no where to go.

I volunteer in the interfaith community. I keep wondering how LDS male leaders feel as they come to events with Female Pastor's and heads of churches. No one has said anything but I wonder if they have thoughts on it.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

AmyJ
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by AmyJ » 27 Aug 2018, 11:45

mom3 wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 09:03
I am highly interested in figuring out how to shift the power dynamic so that women truly are partners in the church, rather then subjects of the church in a way that is a "win-win" solution for all parties involved. I think there needs to be a balance between equality and meeting the unique needs of both genders.

If I were to hazard a guess, any movement toward that will have to wait 20 years. The present leadership believes things are equal. When a man mentions that his wife and daughters sit around and listen to him share about the Priesthood Session of GC, it's pretty darn certain that the status quo has no where to go.
Unfortunately, I think you are optimistic in your time-line - but it brings hope:)

I don't think that the present leadership believes things are equal. I think that they believe that the present leadership is "ordained of God", therefore the church leadership is not striving for equality. I don't think that this the goal of the upper leadership. I think that the leadership is slowly and reluctantly making changes to keep up and under societal pressure. I applaud each thoughtful change that is being made, because I am hopeful that there is some revelation going on. The women's rights/advancement focus in society for the last 10 years or so has made changes in the landscape - one of them being a huge group of insecure, under-educated/under-motivated men who got displaced in the work force. I can respect that the shift from "if you gain power I lose power" paradigm to the "if you gain power I do not lose power" pardigm is not an intuitive shift.

One of the things that this book mentions in passing is a timeline from when the "Ordain Women" movement was in 2014, and how in 2015 and 2016, woman prayed in General Conference for the first time and women were invited into key committees. There are also conversations happening about what authority is, and the idea that temple endowed women might inherently have authority even if their uterus is not in play - these steps are happening. I would like to think that it didn't take the "Ordain Women" movement to start the ball rolling as were, but I am not so sure about that.

I like to think that the upper leadership is asking the question(s) of "When will we ask if/when women can have authority in the church?" and "How/in what areas can we give women authority in the church?"
mom3 wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 09:03
I volunteer in the interfaith community. I keep wondering how LDS male leaders feel as they come to events with Female Pastor's and heads of churches. No one has said anything but I wonder if they have thoughts on it.
The book covers some interviews with people comparing the before and after hiring a female pastor/minister. There were people who could not accept it. There were some people who made a big fuss about it and then stopped fussing when it became a reality.

I did a bit of research into how female ministries are paid. As of the past year or 2, it is a thing that women clergy are paid about 77 cents for every dollar male clergy make (Current average in the U.S. is closer to 85 cents for every dollar). Church committees still play the politics where a minister's wife is doing a lot of unpaid volunteer work/executive functioning in the church to help her husband keep/secure his job, but minister's husbands are not expected to do as much and/or can bow out gracefully without his wife's position being jeopardized.

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SamBee
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by SamBee » 29 Aug 2018, 12:59

One of the most moving preachers I ever heard was a woman and I think it is because of her, all those years ago that I started taking Christianity seriously.

I wandered off, and even became a Mormon, and I don't think she would have approved but still her sermon stuck with me.

However, things cut both ways. Just as you, as a woman, probably find the LDS very male-dominated, I have been in certain other churches which were very female-dominated, and actually felt the feminine aspect excluded me somehow, and few men attended (hard to explain - all to do with the culture and atmosphere of the place)... so the scales can tip from one end to the other.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mom3
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by mom3 » 29 Aug 2018, 22:23

{Moderator Note} - Let's be careful not to marginalize a new group as we sort out the frustrations of women.

Where I live plenty of intelligent, hard working, reliable men have been unemployed a lot in the past decade. This had nothing to do with skills, sexism, or effort. Every house on my block experienced some form of it. Many in my ward did also. A few of those men will never get full employment again because of their age. They weren't old enough to retire and aren't young enough for new things in the market place. Now they are finding whatever work they can. Both for their sanity and their income.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

AmyJ
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by AmyJ » 20 Sep 2018, 05:35

Fun Story:

The other afternoon I was reading this book when my daughter came home from school. I gave a 1-2 sentence summary focusing on letting her know that a) women can preach the word of God, b) she knows women who preach the word of God in her Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society leaders, and that women don't preach the word of God in other parts of our church because of historical precedent. [Yes, I know that I am playing with fire presenting this more expansive view - but I gave her the facts, and I kept a positive/factual spin on the situation without adding how I felt about those facts.]

This morning, my toddler acquired and put on one of my husband's black T-shirts. it dwarfed her completely - down to her ankles. When the older daughter saw her, she got a big grin on her face and said, "Look, she looks like a preacher". And yes, the toddler looked like she was wearing a preacher's black robes as presented conceptually. So we talked a little about women becoming preachers (I advised against it because there is a pay difference that a female pastor makes 77 cents for every dollar that a male pastor makes - on average, the total is now somewhere around 84-88 cents for every dollar that a male makes), and also women judges and scientists as potential career choices (in our family, it always comes back to scientists or rock stars). But I love the idea that my daughter is growing up accepting that women can "preach the word" - that they are qualified to do so.

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mom3
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by mom3 » 21 Sep 2018, 15:09

That is cute. High five for an extra good teaching moment, too.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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SamBee
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by SamBee » 22 Sep 2018, 02:08

But I love the idea that my daughter is growing up accepting that women can "preach the word" - that they are qualified to do so.
Not really a new idea though. Female preachers go back to the 18th century. Earlier if you count Joan of Arc.

Our main church in this country has been ordaining women since the early 1960s. Longer than I can remember.

Seems it takes a while to get through.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: She Preached The Word

Post by AmyJ » 24 Sep 2018, 06:47

SamBee wrote:
22 Sep 2018, 02:08
But I love the idea that my daughter is growing up accepting that women can "preach the word" - that they are qualified to do so.
Not really a new idea though. Female preachers go back to the 18th century. Earlier if you count Joan of Arc.

Our main church in this country has been ordaining women since the early 1960s. Longer than I can remember.

Seems it takes a while to get through.
It's not really a new idea - but it's not a widespread idea either. The book goes into detail about specific statistics about it and who are the people who are paying women to preach professionally. A lot of congregations are interested in theory of allowing women to preach, but not so confident sometimes to actually hire them as the lead preacher. It was interesting to note that some Catholic congregations consider themselves to have a female leader as their primary leader though.

According to the research, congregations that allow women to be the lead preacher are more egalitarian and less traditional in viewing women's roles as a whole. This becomes a shorthand way for a church-shopping family/individual to gauge the progressiveness of the congregation and whether the family/individual would fit in there or not.
The thought had never occurred to me since the only way to ward-hop is to attend multiple wards/branch meetings and then buy your house in the unit you want to fit in (if that is even a factor for your personal house selection - it actually was for us).

If I didn't attend our services, I would look in the area I live for a church that had a female pastor first though, because I know what that means now.

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Heber13
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Re: She Preached The Word

Post by Heber13 » 24 Sep 2018, 08:35

both our speakers in SM yesterday were women and did an awesome job.

I'm glad our daughters grow up seeing that nowadays, women preaching and seeing how it doesn't really make sense to see gender role different from preaching.

i still hope our leadership and priesthood positions someday accept this idea.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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