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January 17, 2006



OK--not the point of your entry, but...

I have a hard time hearing the pope say to end "every form of discrimination, injustice and disdain for the human person, because each person is an image of God." and not think of how the church treats women.



Hector: I've been thinking about the above comment since it was made yesterday. I wasn't sure whether or not to reply to it, as I noticed you haven't.

I don't understand how one can view that the Church treats women poorly. I've never felt "oppressed" or victimized - even when I went through my period of being quite liberal and a feminist (of sorts). I have always felt that our church, and the Head of our church, God, has respected and revered a woman's role in creation and in society.

The immigration issue is a bit more complex, as I believe a country does need to protect itself from SOME immigrants who come here only to devise plans to terrorize and harm our country. Unfortunately, a few "bad" immigrants spoil it for the majority of the good people from other countries - and thus, the immigration laws come into play.

I'll be interested in how it goes with your session at church.




Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. Valerie, I didn't answer because I was not on the computer much yesterday due to work.

Karen, I'm assuming that you are refering to the fact that the Church does not ordain women. I have some opinions about this, but to be honest, I have not spent much time learning about the theological basis of this teaching. Perhaps I can think about this and study some and then write a post about it. Then we can all share how we feel and what it means to us.

Valerie, regarding immigration I agree with you in that it is a complex topic and that it is important to secure the borders. The Church is not advocating that people come and go without checks, but that immigration laws be reformed.


(trying not to get sidelined about the women in ministry question - :) ...The original post was wonderful and so appropriate to where I am right now.

Estonia is divided - ethnic Estonian speakers and then Russian speakers (some 3rd generation) who came here from deliberate Soviet policy to Russianize the area

the UMC church here is for both - but really distinct and not much overlap. Even though both Methodist - the Estonians are more Luteran in their outlook - infant baptism, sacramental, liturgical ... while the Russian is more charismatic, with adult baptism, preaching and gifts of the spririt flowing

I love the difference but it also raises the question of how much of church as we know it is indeed cultural. How we answer really impacts how we reach out in mission - even locally.

Finland is also bilingual - with a minority Swedish speaking population (6 or 8%) My local church is part of that, reaching out to even more of a minority the foreigners (non Finns) in our city. It's an interesting mix and not without complications and flaring of cultural passions.

Blessings on what God is doing through you Hector. We are ONE church - and though God blesses diversity we also need to look at what unites us. The creed is so good for this.

Did I tell you I will do my thesis about the Eucharist? Looking again at where we are in unity - because we do share one blood. More to come and heaps of questions too (grin)


Lorna, how good to hear from you. Regarding this,"Did I tell you I will do my thesis about the Eucharist? Looking again at where we are in unity - because we do share one blood. More to come and heaps of questions too (grin" Please let me know if there is any info you need for your paper.

Regardding the topic of this post, i believe that we need to better understand each other, value our differences, and unite, without losing everything and becoming plain vanilla...

Steve Bogner

My great grandparents came to the US from Germnay, essentially fleeing Catholic persecution during the Kulturkampf. Our country was built by many such immigrants seeking a better life. So in a way it seems disingenuous for us to complain about immigration.

On the other, if we feel overwhelmed by immigration, what are we doing to force the source countries to improve to the point that people feel content to stay there? When the church considers its social justice approach for immigrants, I think that both sides have to be addressed - the immigrants who flee and the countries who generate the poverty and oppression.


Hi Steve, thanks for sharing. We have to remember that this country was built through wave after wave of immigrants. Right now there is a wave of Hispanic immigrants, who knows where the next wave will come from.

To your point, the best pastoral letter on this topic was "Strangers No Longer" that was done jointly by the US and Mexico Bishops. They had several recommendations, but the first one was... "First, persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland. Efforts should be made to address the root causes for migration such as economic inequities brought about by unjust trade practices, lack of development, debt, or armed conflict so people don’t have to migrate."

Yes, that is the first priority, to eliminate the need for people to have to leave...

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