In recent years the World Mission Council’s report to the General Assembly has been built around stories from our partners across the world church. On this occasion we are focussing on the voices of women.
We have celebrated the unique and significant contributions that so many women have made to God’s mission in the world — from Mary Magdalene as Christ’s “first apostle,” and Marie Dentière, a contemporary of John Calvin and the first woman theologian of the Genevan Reformation, to the indomitable Scottish Missionary, Mary Slessor of Calabar, recognised recently as a Scottish heroine by The National Wallace Monument in Stirling, to modern-day thinkers, pioneers and leaders.
However, the story of women in the world church has also frequently been one of difficult challenges. It is a sad fact that gender discrimination and injustice, together with gender-based violence of all forms, are all still endemic and engrained within human society as a whole and, sadly, also still within the global Christian community.
This is not a small issue for the Church. It is not a trivial issue. It is not a side issue. It is a scandal to the gospel that we profess and which declares that “in Christ there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female.”
We have made space for women from around the world to share their stories and we hope you will also find some space and time to hear them.
Pray / Worship
There are a range of resources out there to help us engage in prayer and worship about the issues discussed within the Women in the World Church report. Here are some we would recommend:
Sometimes it's hard to know where to start with an issue such as gender equality. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Use our Postcards alongside the Popular Report to engage with the issues it covers. These are suitable for small group or individual use. Order them on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wear black on Thursdays as part of the World Council of Churches call to stand up against rape and violence against women.
- Invite Christian Aid or Church of Scotland to come to your church to discuss Gender Justice.
- Hold a Souper Sunday or a Sundae Sunday to support the Church of Scotland HIV Programme.
Reading is a great way to broaden your knowledge and connect with an issue. Here are some recommendations on what to read:
Church of Scotland Reports:
Church and Society
- Report on applications and those in training for ministry with a gender breakdown each year.
- Report on Women in Ministry 2010.
- Gender Attitude Project.
For the academics:
- Created in God’s Image: From Hegemony to Partnership. A Church Manual on Men as Partners: Promoting Positive Masculinities. World Communion of Reformed Churches, WCRC 2010.
- Out of the Shadows: Christianity and Violence Against Women in Scotland, Lesley Orr Macdonald. CTPI, New College, Edinburgh 1997.
- A Unique and Glorious Mission: Women and Presbyterianism in Scotland, 1830-1930. Lesley Orr Macdonald. John Donald Publishers, Edinburgh, 2000.
- In Good Company - women in the ministry. MacDonald, Lesley Orr (editor). Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow (1999).
Sometimes it's easier to get a real understanding of an issue through listening to someone speak, or learning in a group together. Why not invite one of our Outreach Officers to come and speak.
Email email@example.com or call us on 0131 225 5722 to arrange a speaker.