Methodists opened the ordained ministry to women in 1956, and today female ministers account for about 20 percent of the clergy in the denomination. And 14 bishops heading the 50 U.S. regional jurisdictions of the United Methodist Church are women—28 percent of the total.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a predominantly white denomination whose structure includes five official ethnic associations for African Americans, Native Americans and Alaskans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and those of Arab and Middle Eastern heritage, decided in 2006 that it needed one more group.
When Lutherans recently celebrated 50 years of ordaining women as pastors in Sweden, they invited Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, to speak at festive events in Uppsala and Stockholm.
In a unanimous voice vote, the 90-member Executive Council of the United Church of Christ passed a resolution April 14 supporting Trinity UCC in Chicago and its recently retired senior minister Jeremiah Wright, whose videotaped, politically charged comments stirred sustained criticism of the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama, a longtime member of the congregation.
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori knocked three times on the door of Washington’s National Cathedral early this month, and the Episcopal Church welcomed her as its new presiding bishop—the first woman to lead a national church in the history of Anglicanism.
Polarization of liberal and conservative groups noted
Oct 31, 2006
As women in mainline Protestant denominations rejoice over decades of ordination—United Methodists and Presbyterians this year celebrated 50 years of women ministers and Episcopalians the 30th anniversary of women priests—conservatives continue to argue that the pulpit is not an appropriate place for them.
Wearing white vestments and later donning colored silk stoles, 12 women were ordained July 31 as deacons and priests aboard a riverboat in Pittsburgh by a group claiming that such rites are valid Roman Catholic ordinations.