Several months ago, a friend shared a YouTube video produced by the Lutheran (ELCA) church where male pastors read things that were actually said to their female colleagues in ministry. Their reactions are incredible – ranging from “I can’t believe it” to outright anger to “I cannot even read that.” I have put the video at the end of this post. That is the reality I have heard time and time again from EVERY woman I know in ministry in the United States. It is ridiculous. So, Amy and I were prepared to come to Kenya and have some challenges for her as a woman in ministry who would be wearing a clerical collar most of the time here.
We were so surprised to find the incredible welcome and acceptance that the churches we have served with have offered to Amy. There has been NO sense of a lesser status for her, there has been a full honoring of her as a pastor, And she has been fully immersed in everything that we have done here. It has been beautiful. We have seen this acceptance in Kisii, in Keroka, and here in Nairobi.
Too many of my sisters in ministry face discrimination, rejection, ridicule, devaluing, and blatant sexism even in denominations like the PCUSA and ELCA who have ordained women for decades. This doesn’t even get into those denominations who continue to reject and exclude women from following the calls that God has laid on their hearts to serve.
I am sure there are churches in Kenya that would not welcome Amy as these churches have. However, I will tell you that if you transplanted these churches with whom we have served into the United States, others that are very similar would not receive Amy as she has been received here.
Hey, American Church…are you listening to your sisters and brothers in Kenya?