A call for recognition and empowerment of women in ministry in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Marumo, Phemelo O.
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Women were already in ministry in Old and New Testament times, though they were not officially recognised as ministers as they are today. This practice was adopted by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). Despite the profound move of the MCSA to enable women to enter the ministry and serve as ministers in the MCSA, female clergy are still being ostracised. This was affirmed by the Bishop of the Cape of Good Hope District, Reverend Michel Hansrod, in an address to the synod. He conceded the following: "It is with great sadness that we recognise and confess our slowness in affording women the opportunities of leadership and poor stationing." This statement implies that clergywomen in the MCSA are still regarded as unsuited to be leaders. This article sets out to offer the MCSA insight into the best way to resolve the problem of ostracism and disempowerment of clergywomen in ministry in the MCSA. The article highlights the historical background of women in ministry and from that perspective, brings forth God's intention in creating humanity. Then it offers a discourse on how the MCSA neglects women in ministry, in contradiction to Scripture. Finally, the article formulates a missional paradigm embedded in the missio Dei that could assist the MCSA in addressing the pleas of women in ministry.
- Faculty of Humanities