Extension of Commission on Biblical Gender Equality

Post a Comment » Written on June 22nd, 2007     
Filed under: News
PORTLAND, OR (June 22, 2007) – Delegates to the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church today approved continuation of the Commission on Biblical Gender Equality for an additional five years. Following is the rationale considered by delegates.


The Commission on Biblical Gender Equality has done an outstanding job of making concrete, highly visible contributions to the denomination by advocating for women as church leaders and pastors. The most visible of these contributions is a suite of printed material that includes a statement on the Covenant’s position on the subject of women in vocational ministry, as well as several study guides and a DVD. Additionally, the Commission has advocated strongly for women through many other avenues and continues to work to change systemic imbalances. Given the size of the task ahead, the denomination would benefit greatly from the ongoing efforts and contributions of this Commission, which has worked effectively, on time, and within budget.

Goals of the Commission

Ongoing goals for the next five years include:
•    To support the administrators and the Executive Board in identifying succession strategies for ECC administrator positions.
•    To create or modify the five-fold test to so that it is also applicable to gender issues.
•    To continue to support Superintendents and Directors of Church Planting in their efforts to include women as candidates in the pastoral search and church planting assessment processes.
•    To continue to advocate for female clergy as pulpit supply for churches, conferences, and denominational events.
•    To explore ways to impact the cultures of the local church that contribute to domestic violence and genderism, and to find ways to create a culture that “values” the contributions of all women.
•    To continue to partner with ACCW and Women Ministries in significant ways.
•    To continue to market All God’s People and whole suite of Called & Gifted material.
•    To increase dialogue with NPTS staff and students about the climate at NPTS regarding female seminarians, and questions surrounding their call.
•    To explore the possibility of globalizing our efforts beyond just North America.
•    To assist the denomination in exploring how to address local church practices regarding women in leadership positions.
•    To assist the denomination in addressing the church’s role in identity formation for young men and women.
•    To respond to requests for training, seminars, and other resources.

Accomplishments of the Commission

The Commission has been prolific in sponsoring resource material for the denomination:
•    The original Called & Gifted “policy” statement has been widely read, recognized, and well received. Approximately 8,000 have been distributed to date, and the Commission has kept the costs of this within budget.
•    All God’s People, by John E. Phelan, Jr.
•    Called & Gifted Study Guide (student’s version), by Sharon Cairns Mann
•    Called & Gifted Study Guide (facilitator’s version), by Sharon Cairns Mann
•    The Commission produced a 14-minute DVD to round out the suite of Called & Gifted material previously produced by the Commission. The DVDs are available through the Covenant Bookstore. They are free to those who request it, although we ask them to pay for shipping.

This material was presented to constituents in workshops held at:
•    Midwinter
•    Annual Meeting
•    Numerous women’s retreats and camps.

The Commission co-authored with the Christian Action Commission the Resolution on Women and Ministry, which was adopted at the Annual Meeting in June of 2006.

The Commission added both a staff and a student representative from NPTS to its membership composition. This has resulted in increased dialogue about the climate at NPTS regarding female seminarians, and questions surrounding their call.

The Commission sponsored a luncheon at NPTS on November 2, 2006. The luncheon was very well attended and we gave away free DVDs.

The Commission sponsored a highly successful, well-attended workshop at Midwinter 2007.

The Commission is poised to contribute to the Coordinated ECC Ministry to Teen Girls, with discussions underway for helping to articulate a biblical and theological foundation through a multi-departmental team with a lead writer.

•    6 appointed members (voting)
•    2 ex-officio liaisons (voting)
•    A pool of Administrative Advisors (non-voting)

Sponsoring Department
Department of the Ordered Ministry

Frequency of Meeting
Two-to-three times annually.

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