|Racial, ethnic clergywomen to explore gains, barriers|
By Vicki Brown*
Aug. 5, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
A gathering of racial-ethnic clergywomen will celebrate the gains
they have made in The United Methodist Church and address challenges
they still face during a Jan. 3-5 conference in Los Angeles.
The consultation, "Rising From Our Common Ground," follows up on the
findings of the 2004 study of the status of racial-ethnic clergywomen in
the denomination, according to the Rev. HiRho Park, an executive with
the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The board
sponsored the study.
The Rev. HiRho Park
"The study found that racial-ethnic clergywomen experience no
substantive support from the denomination, struggle with lack of
opportunities for appointments and visible leadership roles, and receive
salaries that are lower than those of their male and female
European-American peers and their male racial-ethnic peers," Park said.
"The Status of Racial-Ethnic Minority Clergywomen In The United
Methodist Church" study also found that racial-ethnic clergywomen feel a
lack of support from the denomination and that "they pay an
unexpectedly high price for being faithful to the call," according to
the study's authors.
One of the Seven Vision Pathways set by the denomination's Council of
Bishops is to expand racial-ethnic ministries in the United States and
Park said the consultation will address that issue.
Other goals of the consultation include:
Affirming the ministries of racial-ethnic clergywomen and their leadership in the church.
Engaging in dialogue among racial-ethnic clergywomen and seeking strategies to reinforce actions for change.
Theologizing and articulating the experiences of racial-ethnic clergywomen.
Sensitizing the church to racial/ethnic clergywomen's issues.
The last gathering of racial-ethnic United Methodist clergywomen was
held in 1982. There are more than 1,000 active racial-ethnic clergywomen
in The United Methodist Church today.
“The study found that racial-ethnic
clergywomen experience no substantive support from the denomination,
struggle with lack of opportunities for appointments and visible
leadership roles, and receive salaries that are lower than those of
their male and female European-American peers and their male
racial-ethnic peers.”–The Rev. HiRho Park
"This event is more significant since our denomination celebrated the
50th anniversary of clergy rights for women in the Methodist tradition
in 2006," Park said. "It is time for us to seriously reinforce actions
Julienne Melveaux, president of Bennett College for Women, one of the
11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges, will be the
banquet speaker. Melveaux is an economist and will discuss economic
issues related to racial-ethnic women and children, including
immigrants. Bishop Minerva Carcaño will preach at the opening worship
service and Bishop Linda Lee will preach the closing sermon.
One session will address networking, solidarity and accountability
related to future racial-ethnic clergywomen's leadership in the church.
Representatives from church agencies and the Council of Bishops have
been invited to attend.
To learn more about the Racial-Ethnic Clergywomen's Consultation or to register, visit www.gbhem.org/recc .
To read the 2004 study, visit www.gbhem.org/ResourceLibrary/RacialEthnicCWStudy.pdf .
*Brown is an associate editor and writer in the Office of
Interpretation, United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Status of Racial and Ethnic Minority Clergywomen
Racial Ethnic Clergywomen's Consultation
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United Methodist Clergywomen
The Study of Ministry