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Local Church Celebrates 50 Years of Women in Ministry

2006 is the 50th year that the Methodist denomination has been ordaining women to full elder clergy positions. On Sunday, Rev. Jeanne Knepper led her North Portland congregation in a special service remembering the struggle to win this access.

Members of the University Park United Methodist Church read from transcripts of the May 7, 1956, meeting of the Methodist "General Conference" during which the vote and deliberations took place. The readers spoke not only the remarks, but also the names and jurisdictions of the speakers, as is tradition in Methodist governance, giving the remembrance a very personal feel.

Rev. Knepper tied the excerpts together with historical details -- including the ironic selection of the hymn that convened the session as it prepared to vote: "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind."

University Park United Methodist Church | UMC Resources for 50 Years of Women Clergy | UM Reconciling Ministries Network | NW Community of Welcoming Congregations