March 4, 2018
Women are in leadership roles throughout the church, serving as clergy, Christian educators, elders, deacons and as living testaments to our Brief Statement of Faith, which acknowledges that the Holy Spirit “calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.”
Even so, two main findings in the Gender and Leadership in the PC(USA) research project show that gender discrimination is still pervasive within the PC(USA) and that almost half of PC(USA) members are not particularly aware of it.
The survey shows that 8 out of 10 women ministers have experienced discrimination, harassment and/or prejudicial comments due to their gender, and 4 out of 10 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.)
Today, we celebrate successes, including the many women ministers and heads of staff in the PC(USA), including the co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) – the first all-women moderatorial team in the history of our church. And yet, I am saddened by the stories of sexism and discrimination that many clergywomen still share with me.
The message of this year’s Time’s Up movement is that the clock has run out, that it is time to do something about sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace. Women, children and youth across the country are sharing their #MeToo and #ChurchToo stories, seeking to take advantage of this critical time, which has the potential to lead to real transformation and accountability.
Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, Director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Creator God, we pray today for women who have endured years of gender inequality, harassment and sexual violence. We pray for women and men struggling to take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, “Me too” again.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 4, 2018, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year B)