It was just announced this past week that Iowa’s new Bishop will be our first woman Bishop, the newly consecrated Bishop Laurie Haller. (She is one of the four new pictures pictured on the far right.)
One of the blessings I’ve experience in becoming a United Methodist is the greater role of women in the ranks of the clergy. American Baptists, my former faith, supports women in ministry at a regional and national level. But the local churches, who choose their own pastors, have historically kept the ratio of female to male clergy far too low!
While United Methodists have a way to go in full parity of male and female clergy, I have been pleased that when I attend clergy meetings in Sioux City and other UMC venues the presence of the leadership of women is strong and growing! Having Bishop Haller leading us is yet another way of telling the world that we value the gifts of women as Elders, Deacons, Pastors, preachers and Bishops!
Making sure that a diverse group of people are placed in the leadership of the Church is important for what we can learn from people with many gifts and graces. It is also important to model the diversity we hope for the Church in that leadership.
We are not yet fully where we should be in recognizing the gifts of women. But I’m glad we are on the journey!