The Ministry of Women was Celebrated on July 26 2014
in Philadelphia on the occasion of
The 40th Anniversary of Women’s Priestly Ordination
PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Saturday, July 26th, the Diocese of Pennsylvania in conjunction with others throughout the church hosted a joyful celebration of the 40th anniversary of women’s ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. The ministry of all women: past, present and future, was the focus for the full day of programming included a morning symposium at Temple University, an afternoon Festival Holy Eucharist at Church of the Advocate where the 1974 ordinations took place, and a reception and ministry exposé in the Paul and Christine Washington Center gymnasium on the campus of The Advocate. Women and men of all church orders and dioceses were invited to sign-up for space to display and discuss particular ministries where women are vitally engaged especially in leadership roles. This proved to be an exciting day-end gathering that celebrated not only the courage of the men and women who engaged the Spirit-led irregular ordinations of 40 and 41 years ago, but also demonstrated the enormous array of gifts that propels God’s love and grace into the world.
At the symposium (8:30 a.m. to 2 pm), Dr. Fredrica Thompsett, Mary Wolfe Professor Emerita of Historical Theology at Episcopal Divinity School, served as keynote speaker. A panel discussion and luncheon followed. Panelists included the Rt. Rev. Dr. Carol Gallagher, the Rev. Miguelina Howell, the Venerable Rev. Pamela Nesbit, Archdeacon, the Rev. Canon Sandye Wilson, and Nokomis Wood. The panel was moderated by the Very Rev. Katherine H. Ragsdale, Dean and President of the Episcopal Divinity School. The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wittig, one of the original Philadelphia eleven ordinands, closed the symposium with a meditation. At 3 pm, our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presided and preached at the Holy Eucharist at Church of the Advocate just blocks from the symposium site.