Women in Ministry Celebration on November 6

Mary Gray-Reeves
Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves

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Panel Discussion


Church Divinity School of the Pacific is celebrating the establishment of the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry with speakers, a book talk, Eucharist and a festive dinner on November 6, 2:30 to 9 p. m. at the seminary in Berkeley.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of the Diocese of El Camino Real will preach at the Eucharist and Jenny Te Paa Daniel, one of the editors of “Anglican Women on Church and Mission” will lead a discussion of the book with co-editors Kwok Pui-lan and Judith Berling.

Te Paa Daniel, the New Zealand-born educator and advocate who was the first indigenous laywoman to be appointed to lead an Anglican theological college, is the inaugural St. Margaret’s visiting professor.

“The church relies on women, at every level and in every role,” said the Rev. Mark Richardson, CDSP’s dean and president. “Yet we seldom stop to take a long, deep look at the particular challenges women face within the church. I am excited and grateful that so many of the leading women in our church and the wider Anglican Communion have agreed to share their experiences with us. This is exactly the kind of event we had in mind when the St. Margaret’s professorship was created.”

The professorship is being inaugurated on the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. It was made possible by generous support from a cadre of women who have taught or studied at CDSP. The chair is named in honor of St. Margaret’s House, a Berkeley-based institution that trained deaconesses and laywomen for ministry in the Episcopal Church from 1909-66.

“CDSP’s desire is to welcome women leaders into our community each year through the visiting professorship, and to represent different generations of leaders and breadth of contributions through this endowed program,” Richardson said.

Admission to the event is $50 and dinner is included. The program will begin with presentations on the progress made and obstacles faced by women who minister in the Episcopal Church by the Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt, a sociologist and visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and Dr. Matthew Price, vice president for research and data for Church Pension Group.

A panel featuring Te Paa Daniel and CDSP students and alumna/e will discuss the presentation.

The Rev. Dr. Fran Toy, the first Asian American woman priest in the Episcopal Church, will preside at an evening Eucharist and Bishop Gray-Reeves will preach. Following a dinner, Te Paa Daniel and her co-editors will discuss their 12-essay collection on the role and status of women in the Anglican Communion with special attention to the colonial legacy of Anglicanism and the shift of Christian demographics to the Global South