Feast of Mary&Martha of & Philly 11

Today we commemorate on the church’s calendar the Feasts of Mary & Martha of Bethany.

Today we also remember the ” Philadelphia 11″ , brave women who were first ordained to te priesthood of The Episcopal Church.

I’ll admit that I know next to nothing about these women. But, according to the official site of The Episcopal Church, here are the names of these 11 priests & the bishops who stepped out on a HUGE leap of faith to ordain them into the priesthood.

Philadelphia 11:
Merrill Bittner
Alison Cheek
Alla Bozarth (Campell)
Emily C Hewitt
Carter Heyward
Suzanne R. Hiatt (deceased 2002)
Marie Moorefield
Jeanette Piccard (deceased 1981)
Betty Bone Schiess
Katrina Welles Swanson (deceased 2006)
Nancy Hatch Witting

Ordaining Bishops:
+Daniel Corrigan
+Robert L DeWitt
+Edward R Welles
Assisting: +Antonio Ramos

But the validity of these womens’ ordinations was challenged & charges brought against the bishops who dared to ordain them. According to the article posted on the web site of TEC, it was not until September, 1976 that General Convention passed a resolution making it legal for bishops in our Church to ordain women.

In September , 1976 I was but a wee baby. While it is true that I am a convert, the fact that women in The Episcopal Church have * only* been validly ordained since I’ve been alive puts me in awe. We’ve come a long way in those 34 years but the fight for equality is far from over. The Roman Catholic Church still won’t even consider ordaining women to he priesthood & many of our Protestant Christian sisters & brothers won’t hear of women as clergy. This is * really* sad, y’all. My hope & prayer is that All Christian women & girls might have the doors of ordination open to them some day.

As a woman, an active & PROUD Episcopalian Christian & a feminist I know that this monumental event in the history of the western Church did not come without a bitter fight. I am eternally grateful to these women & the bishops who ordained them, because these people” paved the way” for ALL women & girls on our Church to consider discerning a call to Holy Orders.

My life has is so very blessed by priests of the female gender & thanks to Facebook , I’ve ” met” several other priests who happen to be women. Y’all know who you are & THANK YOU! The priests I know & count as dear friends whojust ” happen” to be female are not only amazing priests but some of the most gifted & Spirit filled individuals I know.

Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts-Schori, has been quoted as saying that she does not want t her gender & the fact that she IS the first Anglican Archbishop & the only woman to hold such a title in Christendom to be the focus of what God wants her to do as an archbishop. But, we cannot ignore the fact that her election IS historic.

My ” 10 Reasons to be a Episcopalian” t shirt says, among other reasons :

MEN & WOMEN GOD CREATED THEM,SO MEN & WOMEN WE ORDAIN THEM.

Amen.

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