Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Women play small, important role for new Anglicans

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Seated on the dais at the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, alongside Archbishop-elect Robert Duncan, evangelical mega-pastor Rick Warren and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America was a woman in a clergy collar.

The Rev. Mary Hays, canon to the ordinary -- chief of staff -- of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) had one of the most visible roles of an ordained woman in this assembly representing 100,000 people who broke with the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. She moderated a discussion among 900 people and led them in prayer for the Rev. Warren, a Southern Baptist who addressed the gathering.

Once a prominent leader within the conservative movement in the Episcopal Church, she is the sort of woman who might have been called to be a bishop. But her new church, which hopes to join the 80-million member global Anglican Communion, forbids female bishops pending some future consensus by the Anglican Communion to permit them. Each of the 28 dioceses in the Anglican Church in North America can choose whether or not to ordain women as priests and deacons. Most don't do so.

"Leadership is not about ordination. Leadership is about service to Christ and service to others in his name," said the Rev. Hays, who was ordained in 1983.

"Of course there is disappointment that there is less openness to the ordination of women among some. But we are agreed on the essentials of the faith," she said.

More here-

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