Just Treatment Web Resource Launched
“Jesus said ‘feed my sheep.’ He didn’t say: ‘be a sheep,’” clarified Irene Dymkar, a former director of the National Association of Lay Ministry, in a presentation several years ago. Her humorous remark was meant to encourage church ministers to stand up for themselves in an all too human institution that doesn’t always practice what it preaches.
Just treatment issues are core to FutureChurch’s Advancing Women in Church Leadership Project, and merit special attention on our website (www.futurechurch.org). The new Just Treatment web page provides immediate resources, referrals and advice for lay ministers who have been fired or otherwise treated unjustly. It also seeks to document unjust treatment of church ministers and to praise dioceses and parishes with good personnel practices.
With over 30,000 paid ecclesial ministers (80% of whom are women) who serve 20 hours or more per week in parishes, prisons and hospitals and just 18,000 active priests, these issues are not going to go away any time soon.
We are grateful to two women of the church, Ms. Ann Cass and Sr. Judy Molosky, CSJ, for agreeing to provide immediate email support and consultation for those facing unjust treatment. We thankfully acknowledge the work of other organizations dedicated to addressing problems related to just treatment of church ministers, particularly the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators (NACPA) and the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM). Links to their websites are provided.