Here are 5 practices of a church culture that seeks to empower and invest in women, based on what I’m learning through current experience and being graciously taught about the church’s largely unheeded role in the development of women.
The oppression of women spans centuries and borders. In virtually every country and culture in the world, women have less-than-equal status to men and they are often relegated to subservient and submissive roles. Women suffer from domestic violence, job barriers, lack of control over their bodies, and fewer options for healthcare. They often do not have a voice in matters as broad as politics or as narrow as what happens within their own families.
Recently, someone asked my thoughts on racial segregation in the US church on Sunday mornings: “How will we ever move forward together, as a unified church, if people of color don’t forgive us for the past?”
We as a society and a church need to talk about “no.” Because Mollie Tibbetts said “no” and now she’s dead. Because Parisian Marie Laguerre said “no” to a cat-caller and was slapped in the face. Because Ariana Grande sang a beautiful tribute to Aretha Franklin and was groped on live television by a pastor.
A brutal grand jury report on clergy abuse of minors in Pennsylvania was published last week. It details a mass cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by more than three hundred priests in Pennsylvania, and outlines the procedures churches employed to protect predatory priests and conceal sexual abuse.