The Free Methodist Church-USA’s stance on the ordination of women continues to be an important doctrinal issue. Upon recommendation of the SCOD, more emphasis needs to be placed on training of our conference governing bodies, pastors, delegates and local church delegates on what this means specifically to the openness to women serving as local church pastors (including senior pastors), superintendents and potentially bishops.
“We as the bishops of the Free Methodist Church- USA have listened to the stories of our female leaders and are committed to having their stories heard by the church. In order to accomplish this a screen play/ documentary is being produced based on the research completed last May at Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan University by Rev. Dr. Roberta Mosier-Peterson. The Free Methodist Church-USA has committed $15,000 toward an estimated total cost of $38,000.”
(Note: Roberta’s dissertation is entitled “Lived Experience of Female Pastors in the Free Methodist Church, USA: An Ethnographic Study.”)
An excerpt from the documentary…..
Penelope, an elder in the Free Methodist Church shares, “One of the men in our church, who was a crusty, old, Navy guy, chauvinistic, he still is…he still has a hard time seeing women across the board as the same as men, but I asked him, “Felix, I need someone in your generation to help me with this….with this generation….would that be you…would you help me…would you be my visitation pastor? Would you do that? He said, “I’m not a pastor” but I said, “You are a lay minister and you have the power to do this.” He said, “Let me think about it.” So he came to see me. When he came in, he had a basin and a towel and a bucket of hot water. He said, “I can’t serve with you until I humble myself to serve under you so that is what I’m going to do.” And so, through the difficulties that we have had, he is of a different generation than me… his kids adore me, his wife does too, and he does too. He cries now and says, “Oh, I’m so sorry I gave you any trouble” because he has from time to time.”
This is the type of story that B.T. Roberts believed in. However, Penelope’s story of support has become an anomaly but is one that needs to be shared as a way of encouraging the current and next generation of leaders.
Will you a consider financially supporting the creation of the “Lived Experience” documentary as a way of showing Penelope and others like her that their stories are important to who we are as Free Methodists?
If you’re interested in making a financial contribution, it can be made at the FMCUSA website designated for the Strategic Implimentation, with “Lived Experience Documentary” on the memo line.