With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the Northern Illinois Synod gives thanks to God for the ministry of women.
In 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely.
As part of this anniversary year, we celebrate the gifts and service that women have brought to our church and our world as pastors. We also lament that women have been barred from serving and have been bullied, dismissed, and excluded.
Our 2019 synod assembly passed a resolution that called for the year 2020 to be a year of celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women. Bishop Clements appointed a task force to organize this celebration and momentous occasion in the life of the church. The task force produced the video above and has several more planned to be released throughout the year for use in congregations and on social media.
Congregations are encouraged to use these videos and hold their own commemorative events throughout the year! The ELCA has also produced resources to help congregations observe these anniversaries, including a five-session adult forum, a four-session Bible study, and a liturgy with Scripture and hymn suggestions (links below).
NIS women rostered ministers are invited to share photos that show you engaged in the ministry life of your congregation/place of call. The task force will use these photos to promote the ordination of women and educate the good people of the Northern Illinois Synod as to the gifts women bring to ministry. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the March 14 Congregational Resourcing Event, we will invite anyone that wishes to step into a video “booth” to tell how women pastors have strengthened their faith and impacted their lives. These interviews will be used in future video releases.
A large group photo will be taken following the Affirmation of Vocation Worship for Rostered Ministers on Tuesday, March 31 at Faith, Rochelle. The day will start with Tools for Tending to our own Grief with the Rev. Dr. Kadi Billman followed by lunch and the Affirmation of Vocation worship. We hope all rostered women of the synod can attend to be part of the photo.
We are so excited to start this celebration, and your participation is so greatly appreciated! It should be a really wonderful year!