I’ve begun feeling a dearth of women leaders in the West Virginia Annual Conference. This is all the more strange given my marriage to a female elder. It’s not that they’re not out there…it’s that they’re so out there (or I’m so in here) that our paths only cross with strict intentionality. My DS is a man. My Bishop is a man. My ordination mentor is a man. All the clergy save two in my Cooperative Parish are men, and those two are associates. Annual Conference preachers are almost always men. Only one of nine District Superintendents is a woman…and she’s clear at the other end of the state. Women leaders in the conference seem to be in specialized places. We have a wonderful clergywoman as our Director of Congregational Development. I have no qualms with my DS or my Bishop. I guess I miss the variety.
I was invited into the ministry by a woman. As a US-2 I was commissioned alongside 21 awesome women. Most of my seminary training was under the tutelage of women professors and an all-female dean’s office. I think it makes a difference. If having gender balance on the Supreme Court makes a significant and beneficial difference, how much more important is it for the church to insist on just such a balance. I fear that this lack of balance is causing us to miss something important.