Nairobi News Release 2007 - Reformierte Landeskirche Aargau


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Seeking new models of leadership for women and men

Gender, power and leadership in church and society will be the focus of an international consultation sponsored by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and St. Paul’s United Theological College in Limuru, Kenya, 29 June to 4 July.


Forty-two participants from 17 countries will attend, including 11 students from St. Paul’s, pastors, theologians and lay leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The consultation will challenge leadership modelled on domination and explore participatory models that address the gap between women and men in leadership, said Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, executive secretary for WARC’s Office for Church Renewal, Justice and Partnership.

"Current leadership models in church and society are limiting and erect barriers to fostering justice and peace, sharing resources and building just and humane societies. They fail to model patterns of ministry that foster partnership of women and men and inclusion of young people."

"Women in ministry seek new models of leadership which are built on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and his resistance to the ethics of domination and control," Sheerattan-Bisnauth added.

Esther Mombo, academic dean at St. Paul’s, said that while women in Africa have been theologically trained and ordained in some churches since the 1970s, women still continue to be on the periphery of the church.

"The consultation on gender, power and leadership is timely because it reminds us that while more than half our nations and churches are women and while women contribute immensely to the socioeconomic development of any country, they are still largely decorations and tokens when it comes to leadership."

"This consultation is a challenge to the church and to theological institutions that the macho approach should be exorcised from the church, theology and theological institutions," Mombo said.

The key objectives of the consultation are:
-    to examine power and leadership within local, regional and global geopolitical contexts;
-    to analyze and reflect on power and leadership in the church from a theological perspective;
-    to challenge patriarchal aspects of ministry and identify negative impacts;
-    to envision new models of leadership by drawing on feminist theology, principles and practice within various cultures and traditions;
-    to offer alternative models of leadership that address the gender gap in church leadership.

Sheerattan-Bisnauth said that even with all the advancements that have been made in the world today, many women are marginalized by poverty, violence and a lack of power concerning their life choices.

"The challenge still remains for women to be included as equal partners in the church - at the local and national levels and also in the mainstream of ecclesiastical affairs. This situation exists in every region of the world."

"Many churches have failed to address gender, power and leadership in prophetic ways because this is deemed a "dangerous issue" which can have negative effects on church unity. Yet avoiding or hesitating to deal with this issue results in the continuous marginalization and dehumanization of women."



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Aufgeschaltet am 28. Juni 2007
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