Advancing [Prophetic] Women in Church Leadership
“Women were always found among the prophets,” writes Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ in a special brochure “The Women in Paul’s Ministry,” which she wrote for FutureChurch’s new Advancing Women in Church Leadership resource packet. Osiek, a well-known biblical scholar, presents abundant evidence that, contrary to popular belief, St. Paul valued, encouraged and benefited from early women leaders in the Church. Her research supports the efforts of FutureChurch to help women find their prophetic voice to work for change in the church.
The new resource is a sequel to the original Call for National Dialogue on Women in Church Leadership packet developed by FutureChurch and partnered for over ten years with Call To Action. Based on the experience of over 6,000 parish-centered activists who purchased the original, this new resource will encourage:
- parish education programs about the inclusive practice of Jesus and St. Paul
- annual Mary of Magdala celebrations where women ministers preside and preach
- creative advocacy for more visibility and authority for lay ministers in the church
- formation of small faith communities for inclusive study and worship
Another valuable new essay contained in the packet is Lay Preaching: A Hearing Aid, written by Patricia Hughes Baumer of Partners in Preaching. Hughes Baumer traces the history of lay preaching, attests to its value and legitimacy, and provides tips for how to negotiate some of the canonical issues involved.
Other important resources include Feminist Christology by Elizabeth Johnson, Joan Chittister’s Heart of Flesh; God’s Dominion Free Order: Women and Children by Walter Wink; Women Officeholders in the Early Church by Christine Schenk and
highlights of the USCCB document CoWorkers in the Vineyard.
Essays and prayer resources are packaged in a folder so that the individual pieces can be easily reproduced (with FutureChurch’s permission) for parish education series, small faith sharing groups, classrooms, etc. The packet can be ordered from the FutureChurch website (www.futurechurch.org) and costs $12.