ISSUE 193 WWW.AUSTINSEMINARY.TYPEPAD.PORTAL/KAIROS.HTML
churches of all Christian denominations deal with today.Betty’s question may seem shocking initially when inreality it isn’t that shocking at all.Maybe the world struggles to deﬁne female leadership inthe church because we (as the church) have yet to deﬁne itourselves. Sure we may say females belong in the pulpit, but do we really mean it? In fact most female leadershipseen today in churches are in areas other than seniorpastor positions.Many traditions have been ordaining women for years,and yet the idea of a female pastor will still raise aneyebrow or two. Perhaps it is because we don’t buy intoour own theory. Ordaining women is one thing, but believing women should preach is another.There is still, even if we won’t admit it, the idea that awoman has to be just as good as a man to gain authorityand earn respect. Why do we continue to hold females toan unfair standard especially in the church? In manyways women surpass the work of men. “Remember,Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did only backwards and in heels.” (Faith Whittlesey)I challenge you, O future leaders of the church, toconsider the unspoken truths of female leadership in yourtradition. What remains silent that speaks volume to theproblem?So, my friends, what do YOU call a female pastoranyway?
Christian Schmidt is a junior MDiv Unitarian Universalist studentunder care of the Southwest Unitarian Universalist Conference.
I’m tired. Really tired.It may just be that time of semester, but the last time Iremember being this exhausted was a few years ago, justafter Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Louisiana andMississippi Gulf Coast. I was working as a newspaperreporter in Natchez, Mississippi, and, though we werespared nearly all of the destruction that the hurricane brought, we were impacted as much as just about anyone.Starting a day or so before Katrina made landfall, theroads were packed. By the day the storm hit, there werehalf a dozen shelters in Natchez and two nearby towns,the gas stations were out of gas, and the grocery storesdidn’t have much left to sell, and Natchez only hadintermittent power.We brieﬂy moved the newspaper’s operation to myapartment, which was in one of the few neighborhoods intown that still had power. Soon, we had a generatorrunning and a day later, the power was back on acrosstown, though not anywhere else in Southern Mississippi.Meanwhile, Natchez’s population nearly doubledovernight, as thousands of evacuees came streaming intothe town of 20,000. For some reason, it’s been on mymind again recently. (Maybe John Ahn’s comparisons between the forced migrations of the Israelites to Babylonand the residents of New Orleans across the nation havesomething to do with it.)I remember the weeks after Katrina hit, going daily to theshelters where thousands of people slept on cots in hugerooms at local churches and schools. I remember talkingto people about their horriﬁc stories of surviving thestorm, of walking miles through waist-deep water overwhat used to be roads in south Louisiana. Many peopledidn’t know if their family members were still alive,much less where they might be.And I remember being tired. So tired. For weeks, thenewspaper staff worked 12- or 15-hour days trying tocover the new reality of our community. But it wasn’t justthe hours. It was trying to deal with unbelievable events Iwas witnessing and the stories I was hearing.And sometimes, that’s where I feel myself now, trying tocome to grips with the reality of our lives, trying to ﬁgureout what I should do. And I think back to those weeksand months after Katrina changed the Gulf Coast forever.