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Celebrations Marking 50th Anniversary of Women in Ministry of Word and Sacrament Begin


                                                                                                                               Tuesday April 10 2018

Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic decision to ordain women to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Church of Scotland will begin later this month.

A day long conference kicks off the commemoration on Saturday April 28. The conference will take place at New College, Edinburgh, from 10am to 5pm and will feature keynote speakers including the Rev Dr Margaret Forrester, the Rev Dr Anne Logan and the Rev Dr Emma Percy. The day will include workshops, panels and open discussion sessions. The conference is free to attend but a £10 donation will be sought on the day. Booking is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/commemorating-50-years-of-womens-ordination-in-the-church-of-scotland-from-disinheritance-to-gods-tickets-44019330001?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=order_confirmation_email&utm_term=eventname&ref=eemailordconf

The anniversary will also be marked during the General Assembly on Tuesday May 22. Event organiser Dr Lesley Orr explained: “Fifty years to the day from the momentous General Assembly decision of 1968, Moderator-Designate the Rev Susan Brown invites all women in ministry (along with friends, family, colleagues – all who want to affirm and celebrate equal ministry in the Church)  to walk in procession together, up the Mound and into the quad at New College, to be welcomed there for a short time of recollection, commemoration and thanksgiving, before proceeding up the stairs and into the Assembly Hall, singing as we go. There will be a General Assembly Order of the Day at 2pm to mark the anniversary. Those who are unable to walk up the hill are invited to gather and meet the procession outside the gate at Mound Place.  There will be exhibition banners and opportunity to chat, for those who are not commissioners or heading to the public gallery.

“This will be a simple, public and dignified procession to honour the pioneer women (and men who supported their call) who first walked this way – remembering also those who knocked but were not allowed to enter – and to celebrate the manifold gifts and service of women in ordained ministry over 50 years, 1968 - 2018.”

Interest can be noted via the following link which will provide final details and updates (including the time of the procession) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-ordination-50th-anniversary-walk-tickets-44756208023?aff=utm_source%3Deb_email%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dnew_event_email&utm_term=eventurl_text

Those unable to take part in these events can also play a part, according to Lesley.

“If you can't attend either of these events, please send a card to mark this golden anniversary. You can buy or make one, it can be from individuals, ministers, groups, congregations...and feel free to add messages, tributes, stories, poems, prayers, words of thanksgiving...whatever you think is a good way to mark the occasion. We would love to gather cards from all over Scotland and beyond.”

Cards can be sent to the Ministries Council, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, and envelopes should be marked ‘WO50’.

 Lesley said project organisers would also like to hear from anyone planning their own celebrations.

“I would love to hear about events taking place in churches and Presbyteries around Scotland, and would be happy to help with resources, information, history or whatever.”

Any events shared through social media can use the hashtag #WOCOS50.


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