Message from OWN’s Board of Directors

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Posted by: Administrator

We are glad to welcome Dr. Elizabeth F. R. Gingerich to the Board of Directors of Ordain Women Now. Beth is a Professor of International Law at Valparaiso University and the Editor of the Journal of Values-Based Leadership. We are grateful for Beth’s willingness to serve and are eager to work with her toward our goal of achieving justice for all people. Welcome, Beth!

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LCMS Expulsion of Matthew Becker

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Posted by: Elizabeth Goodine

Matt Becker

By now, many have heard the sad news that as of July 15 the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker will be removed from the roster of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Rev. Becker has been an LCMS pastor for twenty six years, and is currently a Professor at Valparaiso University after having also served several years in the Concordia University System. Rev. Becker has consistently and faithfully spoken out against increasingly narrow interpretations of scripture which in recent years have been embraced by synodical officials as mandatory for any who would consider themselves to be Christian. Go ahead — take the test: Do you believe that women are subservient to men? If not, you are not a true Christian! Do you believe that God created the world in six literal 24 hour days? If not, you are not a true Christian! Do you renounce every aspect of evolutionary theory? If not, you are not a true Christian! You can read the specific charges and Rev. Becker’s response at  http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com. The salient point for those of us who remain in the LCMS today is how to respond from this moment forward. Continue Reading »

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What Does This Mean? Genesis 3:16

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Posted by: Administrator

Arnold Voigt“This study will look at Genesis 3:16 and ask if this verse about “ruling,” “dominating,” “mastering” presents a prescription or a description. The question can be posed thusly: Is the “ruling of man over woman” something in place before the Fall by the design of the Creator — a prescription — or is the “ruling” the result of something that happened as a result of the Fall — a description?”

Following an interpretation of this verse by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the presentation of various translations of the verse, Rev. Voigt continues:

“Walter Kaiser translates the Hebrew teshugah as “You are turning away to your husband and he will rule over you.” He discovered that the Hebrew teshugah, almost universally translated as “desire,” previously was rendered as “turning,” not desire, in the twelve known ancient versions of the Bible: the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac Pashitta, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Old Latin, the Sahidic, the Bohairic, the Ethiopian, the Arabic, Aquila’s Greek, Symmachus’ Greek, Theodotion’s Greek, and the Latin Vulgate.  Thus the Hebrew conveys: “You are turning away (from God) to your husband, and (as a result) he will rule over you (take advantage of you)” (see Walter Kaiser, “Hard Sayings of the Old Testament” (Intervarsity Press, 1988, pgs. 34-35).

For a full reading of this important topic, please visit Rev. Voigt’s website, What Does This Mean? (Topic 2).

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What Does This Mean? posting on Facebook

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Posted by: Administrator

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Ahead of our participation in the August 2-4 “Our Children’s Church” Conference, Ordain Women Now will be posting topics from WhatDoesThisMean.net on our Facebook page.  The website was written by OWN Board member and Missouri Synod Pastor Arnie Voigt.  The 42 topics on the website regarding the ordination of women were derived from a larger work of Arnie’s which he submitted to the LCMS CTCR in 1999 in response to and in dialog with their 1985 document, “Women in the Church: Scriptural Principles and Ecclesial Practice.”  Today’s link leads to the “About” page, where the story of Doris is told along with the history of and reasoning for Arnie’s writings on the website.  In part he writes:

“In the Synod we commit ourselves to “walk together.”  We accept without reservation the “Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice” (Article II Confession).  “Walking together” begins with being “together in the Word” (“No resolution of Synod is binding if it is not in accordance with the Word of God…[Italics added]” (Article VII Relation of the Synod to Its Members).

The covenant of “walking together” does not preclude or prevent or curb examining the resolutions and positions of Synod on the basis of the written Word.  Indeed, faithfully “walking together” drives us deeper into the Word and expands our collective discussions based on the Word.  We begin neither with church fathers and Lutheran patriarchs, nor do we limit the basis of our discussions to them.  Synod’s history supports this. Continue Reading »

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Equal in Faith 2015

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Posted by: Carol Schmidt

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Resources for the Equal in Faith 2015 Fast for Gender Justice and Prayer Services are now available on the Equal in Faith website. In observance of International Women’s Day tomorrow, March 8, people of many faiths will join together in a global, interfaith fast and social media campaign (#EqualinFaith) for the equality of women in their faith communities. The day will culminate in prayer services and regional gatherings in cities around the world. For locations, please see the map on the Equal in Faith homepage.

Those unable to attend a regional gathering may want to participate in the fast and online at the Equal in Faith Facebook Page as well as through your own Twitter and Facebook accounts using the hashtag #EqualinFaith. For other ideas on how to participate, visit the Equal in Faith website.

Here’s a link to a fantastic song for the occasion, Sister, Carry On by Carolyn McDade.

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Our Children’s Church Conference 2015

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Posted by: Administrator

Our Children’s Church: A StLCMS Free Conference 2015 Valparaiso University Indianaate of the Church Conference will be held August 2-4, 2015 at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Here is a link to the brochure and registration form:

Our Children’s Church Conference 2015

Ordain Women Now is not involved with the planning of this conference, but OWN President, Dr. Elizabeth Goodine, will be one of the Plenary Speakers and will lead one of the breakout sessions.

Plenary Presentations will be delivered by Dr. David Benke (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Matthew Becker (“Open Discussion in Your Children’s Church”), Dr. Elizabeth A. Goodine (“Why the Disconnect?”), Dr. Chad Lakies (“Millennials: Beyond the Therapeutic Church”), and Dr. Robert Newton (“A Missional Church: Reflections on the Early Church”).

Dr. Benke is President of the Atlantic District of the LCMS and Dr. Newton is President of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the LCMS.  Dr. Becker is Associate Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University, Dr. Goodine is Professor of Religious Studies at Loyola University in New Orleans, and Dr. Lakies is Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Portland.

Preachers for the Worship Services will be Dr. Frederick Niedner, Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University and Dr. Robert Schmidt, Emeritus Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Portland.  There are three different times scheduled for breakout sessions with eight different topics from which to choose.  See the brochure for the schedule and more information.  The registration form is on the last page of the brochure.

There is a new Our Children’s Church Facebook Page dedicated to the Conference that you can “Like” and keep up with the latest Conference news along with an Event Page where you can indicate that you’ll be attending.  While this is a Lutheran Conference of special interest to Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod church workers and lay leaders, it is open to all who are concerned about and want to discuss the future and the handing down of a Christ-centered and missional Christian faith, particularly with regard to the Millennial Generation.  Please help spread the word and invite your friends to attend!

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Remembering Susan Mannina

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Posted by: Administrator

Susan ManninaOn Saturday, August 30, 2014, our sister in Christ, Susan Mannina, joined the saints who have gone before us to be with the Lord.

As a young woman, Susan Mannina used the many gifts she received from God to serve at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The congregation elected her to lead them as their president when she was in her thirties.  Leadership skills learned while working at the nation’s capitol were put to use as a member of two building committees, three capital campaign committees and a call committee.  Her ministry included teaching children and adults, and service as Communion assistant. While on the staff at St. Andrew she was project manager for the relocation of the congregation and the construction of a new 58,000 square foot worship and educational facility.

At the heart of Susan’s faithful discipleship was the firm belief that God called women to use all their talents to serve God in the home, church and community.  Her search of Scripture led her to question the idea that the God from whom daughters and sons receive spiritual gifts would also command daughters to not use certain spiritual gifts because they are daughters rather than sons.  For this reason, Susan joined six other Lutheran Church Missouri Synod women in asking President Kieschnick and the synod’s Vice Presidents to meet at the synod’s International Center in Saint Louis.  Given Susan’s leadership ability, the women selected her to draft what was an unprecedented request by LCMS women.  In August, 2005, these women paid for all travel and accommodations for the opportunity to state why women ought to be full participants in the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) Biblical study of God’s design for the relationship between man and woman.

When the CTCR study, The Creator’s Tapestry, was completed Susan was not shy in expressing disappointment in a report that offered little study of biblical texts other than a repeat of the claim that God’s Law included specific timeless laws that prohibit women from using all the spiritual gifts given to them. The women had asked for an expanded use of biblical texts so that the context of I Corinthians 14 and I Timothy 2 would be given further exegetical study.  That did not happen. They were also disappointed that LCMS women with advanced theological degrees were not included as contributors to this study.

Susan was persuaded the LCMS erred in its claim that the order of creation is the proper interpretation of Scripture and that the gifts of women should be restricted.  When it became apparent that the LCMS would not engage in any further study of what it claimed were divine laws limiting the service of women in relation to their God and Father, Susan joined with others in calling for open discussion in the LCMS about women’s ordination.

Susan was one of the founders of Ordain Women Now in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and she chose the organization’s name.  Without her advice, support, and encouragement, Ordain Women Now would not be.  She saw us through a rough beginning when dominant forces in the LCMS were trying to silence and shut us down.  With persistence and grace she consistently showed the face of Christ to all, and especially to those who opposed her stance.  Had she been healthy during the formation of OWN, her dynamic leadership style, wisdom, and ability would have rapidly expanded our efforts.

Susan Mannina at the August 2005 meeting at LCMS headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri

Susan Mannina at the August 2005 meeting at LCMS headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri

Susan lived four years after she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.  Even through the pain of cancer and its related treatments, Susan gave selflessly of her time and precious energy for this cause about which she was so passionate.  She realized that even though her gifts were fully utilized in her congregation, the gifts of many women in the Missouri Synod are rejected by both Synod and congregations.  In response to questions about why she stayed in the LCMS and advocated for discussion within it about the ordination of women, Susan wrote in part, “The reason I am challenging the LCMS to a discussion of women’s ordination is that many LCMS women are barred from using their gifts for ministry – be they teacher, leader, pastor, etc.  I believe the LCMS is limiting God by limiting women’s service to Him and his church.”

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen!  Hebrews 13:20-21

 

 

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The Love of God and Easter Hope

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Posted by: Administrator

In loving memory of Susan Mannina, a founder of Ordain Women Now, faithful servant of Jesus Christ, wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. A gracious and giving soul now sainted, it is with sadness and gratitude that we mourn Susan’s passing on August 30, 2014.

An Early Easter

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Equal in Faith 2014

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Posted by: Carol Schmidt

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On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Equal in Faith will mark National Women’s Equality Day through a social media campaign and launch of their new website at www.EqualinFaith.org.  All are invited to participate in the social media campaign on Tuesday and here are ways for you to take action: Continue Reading »

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A Challenge to the Church by Rev. Al Kirk

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Posted by: Administrator

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In A Challenge to the Church, LCMS Pastor Al Kirk writes that “There are many gifted people among us and the gifts do not appear to be allocated on the basis of gender.”  Considering changes over time regarding the expectations, status, and vulnerability of women, Kirk notes that in Biblical times women were considered property that could be sold and that even today “too often women are considered second class citizens – things to be enjoyed.”  Then he wonders, “to what extent do we as a church foster this belief?”

To a commonly heard dismissal of expanded women’s service in the church, “if you let women take over the leadership of the congregation, then the men will withdraw” Pastor Kirk responds, “That isn’t a women problem.  That’s a men problem.”  In his thoughtful writing in support of the ordination of women, Pastor Kirk concludes, “Within the broader society we as a Church must promote the equality of women, their right to physical and economic security, and their right to develop and employ the talents with which God has endowed them.”

To read Pastor Kirk’s full article, please click on the link above or visit the LCMS Pastors page on this website to read his and the writings of other Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastors who support women in ordained ministry.  To share your experiences and support for women pastors, please send an email to OWN(at)ordainwomennow.com or contact us through the contact form.  We at Ordain Women Now are most grateful for your support.

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