"Whose afraid of women priests?" - The title of a Ms. Magazine front page story, Dec. 1974
Fifty years ago, there were no women priests in the Episcopal Church.
In 1974, after years of working for the ordination of women priests within the structure of the church, eleven women were ordained priests at The Church of the Advocate, a historically Black Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, outside the accepted rules. Today thousands of women are priests – along with a rapidly growing number of bishops-- and they are crucial to the Episcopal Church. Yet few people-- clergy or lay— realize the struggles involved in women being ordained. The Philadelphia 11 tells their story.
Help us discover --and celebrate-- this story of faith, struggle, fear and joy as women answered God’s calls to transform the church by recognizing their ministry, as we follow in their footsteps always striving for an inclusive ministry and a "whole priesthood."
We are regular people, some of us clergy and some of us laypeople, who believe this film is crucial at this time.
This story is grounded in the mandate to be true to ourselves. It is the story of a call that is denied, and the determination it takes to overcome the barriers and live out the call with integrity. In this case, it is a call to the priesthood; yet each of us, no matter our faith, our race, our gender, our sexual orientation, our (dis)abilities or anything else that defines us, has a vocation.
The misogyny that stands in the way of a whole priesthood, is as real today as it was at the time these events took place. My hope is that the prophetic actions of these women will inspire a continued examination of the roots of racism, homophobia, sexism and all other forms of marginalization, so that our institutions and society are transformed and we call all fully as we are called to be.
- Margo Guernsey
One of our supporters has designed a button that commemorates the original pins that were part of the movement for the ordination of women as priests!
The message to celebrate "a whole priesthood" is a call to imagine a priesthood that is inclusive of all. It is something we work toward each and every day.
We have 500 buttons to send to the next 500 donors!
These are limited edition.
When you get yours, be sure to take a picture and share with a friend so they can get one too.