This year at our online synod assembly (be sure to get voting members registered by Sept. 18th) we will be celebrating the ELCA’s 50-40-10 anniversaries. These anniversaries are important moments in the life of our church as we move towards greater inclusion of those God calls to ministry. Beginning this week and the next two Tuesdays I will be emphasizing each of these anniversaries with a video and blog leading up to our fuller celebration during assembly.
This week I focus on the 50th anniversary of the ordination of pastors who are women. On November 22, 1970 the Rev. Elizabeth Platz was ordained by the Lutheran Church in America. So important was that moment that CBS television made a documentary about her experience. Since that time pastors who are women have given great gifts to the church. We also recognize that they face unique challenges even after 50 years because of their gender. On September 17th we will be hosting an event online for our rostered leaders who are women with Barbara Keller, Misconduct Prevention Consultant for the ELCA to focus on dealing with harassment and control issues, which women in ministry frequently experience from colleagues, congregational leaders, and members. These challenges we must recognize while we also celebrate and give thanks for 50 years of ordained pastors who are women in our church.