WOMEN ORDINATION AS EMPOWERMENT ; IMPLICATIONS FOR COUNSELLING AS AFFIRMATION OF MEN IN MINISTRY

EK. Chemorion
Posted January 27, 2019 from Kenya

Ordination is the official act or process of making someone a priest, minister (Merriman Webster Dictionary:2019) according to the constitution or church or religious order. When reference is made to women, it is making women priests, ministers according to a particular religious order or constitution. Empowerment is the process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want or to control what happens to you(Cambridge: 2019). women empowerment here means that women who were previously disadvantage shift to a position of advantage as they gain the freedom and power to do what they want, control what happens to them and not wait for opposite gender to control and make vital decisions about issues that affect their lives.

In an exclusive system, men who have their women empowered, feel the loss of monopoly of the power which in most cases is abused in patriarchal settings. Abuse of power is the act of using one's position of power in an abusive way. This can take many forms, such as taking advantage of someone, gaining access to information that shouldn't be accessible to the public, or just manipulating someone with the ability to punish them if they don't comply (Business Dictionary:2019). If it is the men with the power, women are on the receiving end where they are taken advantage off, manipulated, or punished if they agree with the status quo.  A patriarchal society, family, or system is one in which the men have all or most of the power and importance(Collins Dictionary:2019). in a system where men rule women have nothing,it is all about men and power belong to men.

An inclusive system on the other hand acknowledges both gender, gives space to both gender to access and exercises

positive power by developing each gender, view all people as potential, positively influence both men and women and complement one another and reward all those doing well irrespective of gender.  However, it is not as easy as it appears. there has to be a complete paradigm shift in order to process the change. Even though people say change is as good as rests. it is disturbing when things change all of a sudden. it is not only frustrating but disturbing. This is why people experiencing any form of change need to be assisted to process the change, and at the same time be supported to make certain attempts to adapt.

For the Reformed church of East African to fully embrace inclusion of women in the ministry of word and sacrament, all people of good will and professionals for that matter ought to stand in solidarity with them .  This will cause attitudinal change in male  ministers so that women  ministers are not seen as threats but workers alongside them. counselling support will help address the grey areas of discomfort and tension. counselors will among other areas support male pastors;

-appreciate themselves and live with women ministers as partners in the vineyard

-embracing the new dawn of inclusion of women in ministry of word and sacrament

-deal with inferiority complex

-address challenges that come with the male ego-chauvinism

-promote positive masculinity

-empower men ministers- help them gain equitable access to theological training, attend workshops, seminars and courses that enhance ministry

-promote unity of purpose in ministry

-promote inter-dependency and relationships 

-demystify masculinity- and promote positive power

-Re-reading of the bible in the eyes of both men and women

-promote humane treatment of all people irrespective of gender, race, sex, class

-appreciation of ordination not as dis-empowering of men but promotion of participation where women serve alongside men

-critique of negative cultural practices that stand in the way of partnership of men and women in ministry

-and embrace proper reading, interpretation and application of the bible 

-community /congregational counselling and sensitization for full integration of women in ministry

-promote involvement and participation of all at all levels in church leadership

I am confident that when both men and women in RCEA ministry are supported to process  change, gradually all people will understand that the process of ordination empowers both men and women for service in the church of Christ. this will in the long run remove insecurities, improve the language use in addressing women ministers, give women the space to use the God give potentials and reward service of both men and women equitably. with this in place, i foresee a vibrant church with empowered men and women ministers serving God and humanity in partnership.

Rev. Edith Chemorion

 

References

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordination accessed on 27/01/2019

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/empowerment accessed on 27/01/19

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/abuse-of-power.html accesed on 27/01/19

Comments 4

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jlanghus
Jan 28
Jan 28

Hi Edith,

Thanks for sharing your post. I agree that people process and accept change slowly and that your suggestion for counseling all the ministers and people in your community, for that matter, will work for a smoother integration and transition of female ministers into community. I hope implementation of the female ministers goes smoothly and easily for yourself and the other female ministers, too. Do let us know how it goes, dear.

Hope you're having a great day!

Beth Lacey
Jan 29
Jan 29

This is the absolutely right thing to do. We all wish it would happen faster.

Jane Frances Mufua
Jan 30
Jan 30

Dear Edith,

There is no better way of describing male domination as you have done here. Hopefully the suggestions you propose will help change things and bring about gender equality.

Adanna
Jan 31
Jan 31

Dear Edith,

Thanks for sharing.
I love the part where you said "I am confident that when both men and women in RCEA ministry are supported to process change, gradually all people will understand that the process of ordination empowers both men and women for service in the church of Christ."

Love,
Adanna