Helping the PC(USA) become a gender-just church
The Office of Gender and Racial Justice assists the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in fulfilling its commitment to become an open, inclusive and racially just church through worship-based action. Worship-based action is founded upon a Reformed Biblical understanding of gender equality and justice.
The Office of Gender and Racial Justice also facilitates ministries that assist the PC(USA) in achieving parity for women in their leadership roles in the church, acknowledging that God calls women and men into all ministries of the church. In society, the Office of Gender and Racial Justice gives a voice to those on the margins of the culture through empowering ministry. Partnering with other Presbyterian Mission Agency offices, empowerment is actualized through witness, education and opportunities to freely use one’s gifts at all levels of the church. Dialogue is a key to bringing about these changes in the church and society; hence we provide space for sacred conversations around these issues.
Staff in this office will visit congregations and middle governing bodies offering seminars and special training in gender equality. We seek opportunities to talk with elders, pastor nominating committees, presbyteries and committees on ministry. Ways in which our denomination can be more reflective of society in embracing women parity is open for discussion. We believe sacred conversations are the starting point for meeting the General Assembly mandate to become an open, inclusive and racially just church. For more information on gender justice.
Meet the Associate for Gender and Racial Justice in the Presbyterian Mission Agency
Nancy Benson-Nicol is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and serves the Presbyterian Mission Agency as associate for gender and racial justice. She is the author of the 2012-2013 Horizons Bible Study Dispatches to God’s Household: The General Epistles. From 2006-2013, she served as university chaplain of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. Prior to that, Nancy served congregations in Arkansas and Michigan.
A native of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Nancy holds a bachelor of arts degree with honors from Swarthmore College in sociology, anthropology, and religion. She holds a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. While at Harvard, Nancy served as seminarian in The Memorial Church, Harvard University, under the direction of the late Peter J. Gomes. Nancy’s editorial and liturgical submissions have been published in a variety of Presbyterian venues. She contributed to the domestic and international social policy initiatives of her denomination through her three-year term (1996–1999) on the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. In its July 2004 cover story, the publication Presbyterians Today featured Nancy in 40 Under 40: Ones to Watch as a “rising star” in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
2013 Women's Connection Conference - May 28-31 “Women and the Economy of Sharing”
Critical to debates about the unequal distribution of wealth, patterns of consumption, contemporary methods of wealth creation, and ecological devastation is the perspective of women, who bear the heaviest burden of poverty. The creative ways in which they provide for their families, address wealth inequalities, and model sharing offer hope for transformation. Gain a theologically rich and biblically informed understanding of the ways in which women, here and around the world, model an economy of shared partnership, mutuality, reciprocity, love, and justice. Learn more or register now.
Celebrate the Gifts of Women
In 2013, Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday honors women through whom God is transforming the church in an emerging era. Your congregation or women’s groups may use this resource on any day that you choose. The resource also includes a worship service with a call to worship, prayer of confession, suggested hymns, suggested scripture readings and a litany of remembrance and renewal, preaching and program suggestions, and recommended resources for further study.
Well Chosen Words
Well Chosen Words, a guide to understanding and using inclusive language, developed by the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/PW ministry area in consultation with the Advocacy Committee on Women’s Concerns, cites Galatians 3:27-28 in which Paul asserts, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ ... for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Inclusive language allows all God’s children to be one in Christ Jesus.
The guide encourages language choices that proclaim the fullness of God, outlining traditional depictions as well as newer images to describe God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Addressing Violence Against Women and Children on the Mexico-U.S. Border
DO NOT ERASE
Just across the U.S. border in Juarez, Mexico, women have been abused, tortured, and murdered. Learn about their plight and what YOU can do to help them.
Complete a Gender Equity Audit
A HELPFUL ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR CONGREGATIONS AND MID COUNCILS
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to gender justice and intentional change that encourages the full participation of women in the leadership of the church. In adopting the report Hearing and Singing New Songs to God: Shunning Old Discords and Sharing New Harmonies, the 218th General Assembly (2008) called for the church to be transformed by focusing on the intersections of gender, race, power and privilege.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is engaged in advocacy for women and in gender justice ministries. The office supporting the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns (ACWC) is located in the Executive Director’s office. Please contact Courtney J. Hoekstra, the Associate for Advocacy Committee Support for more information.