In Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, we engage the Church in its mission to become more diverse and inclusive of racial, ethnic, cultural and language groups, and we equip women for leadership in all ministries of the Church. We are blessed to see a vision of Pentecost every day. There are Presbyterian Mission Agency offices supporting, African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern and Native American emerging ministries. The racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities that we support regularly gather together, constructing a racial ethnic identity that stems from a common history, heritage and language. We work closely with racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities through mid councils, caucus groups, and networks, engaging in the mission to grow, transform, empower, lead and develop communities. We create an awareness of institutional racism in the church and an environment where racial ethnic persons, new immigrants, and women can serve fully in ministry and leadership.
In our ministries we work to achieve gender and racial justice and equip racial ethnic women, men and young adults for leadership. We assist college-age and racial ethnic young women in their faith journeys and foster networks of support for them.
As we discover how to share the gospel in an increasingly diverse culture, we have a greater chance of living out the Biblical vision of a world where the humanity of everyone is valued and where God’s love is spread to every race, class, culture and people.
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — OCTOBER 2017
Study on the Status of Women Reveals Gender Bias Is Still Pervasive
“God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership…”
— I Corinthians 12:28
The Study on the Status of Women/Gender and Leadership in the Church theological consultation and research project is a joint effort of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries (RE&WM) and the Study on the Status of Women Team, created by the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns (ACWC). Staff from Research Services conducted the survey and participated in the theological consultation.
The Gender and Leadership in the Church research found that eight out of ten women teaching elders have experienced discrimination, harassment, and/or prejudicial comments due to their gender, and four out of ten feel that they have experienced gender bias in hiring, promotion, or selection for an official position within the PC(USA) (to see these findings, go to www.pcusa.org/genderandleadership).
The goals of the study were to learn more about how women participate in leadership within the PC(USA) and gain deeper insight into the varying experiences of men and women in ministry, including similarities and differences in compensation, career trajectories, and decisions to leave ministry.
It is discouraging that in 2017, we’re still discussing gender equity.The data is helpful, though, in reflecting back to the church what the church believes about gender and leadership, including the discovery that even though gender discrimination is still pervasive within the PC(USA), the research shows that almost half of the church’s members are not particularly aware of it.
Rhashell D. Hunter
Read the Racial Ethnic Torch
In the current issue of the Racial Ethnic Torch, we lift up the work that Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole, is doing to shine a light on diversity and reconciliation. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- The dismantling of immigrant & refugee families
- PC(USA) leaders issue apology to Native Americans, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians
- Hands & Feet mission initiative leads up to 223rd General Assembly (2018)