From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 13:04:58


                         TO WOMEN PASTORS 
                          by Paul Amina 
                  Ecumenical News International 
NAIROBI--The general secretary of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa 
(PCEA),  Samuel Mwaniki, has had to recall 24 retired male pastors to run 
parishes where conservative congregations, along with unnamed clergymen, 
have refused to accept women pastors as leaders. 
     Mwaniki acknowledged that the ordination of women had met initial 
resistance but had gained more acceptance with the passing of time.  He 
said there was no reason for the present resistance. Women pastors were a 
reality that people should live with, he said.  
     However, Mwaniki, who had just ordained another woman pastor, said he 
was left with women pastors who could not be placed because of the 
discrimination that had rocked his presbyteries. 
     Parishioners, Mwaniki said, preferred men to women as parish leaders. 
They also preferred women ministers to work as chaplains in schools, 
hospitals, and other institutions, or, at most, serve as assistants to 
parish leaders. 
     "The sight of a woman in the pulpit is abhorrent," one Presbyterian 
churchgoer told ENI. Congregations were prepared to bear the cost of having 
two pastors -- provided one of them was a man -- if women were going to be 
part of parish ministries. 
     Mwaniki lamented that many African Christians lied in the past, 
characterized by gender prejudice.  
     "Once ordained, nothing makes women lesser mortals in the church," 
Mwaniki said, calling for the education of parishioners about the equality 
of the sexes before God. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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