Bishop Ward shares the significance of broken pottery to clergywomen in the Southeastern Jurisdiction and invites all to join an anti-racism conversation on August 31.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
I share with you this beautiful pottery. It was created for Helen Crotwell in the year 1988. The women of the Southeastern Jurisdiction nominated Helen for the episcopacy. When the pitcher and bowl arrived in the shipping container, Helen opened it and it was broken into many pieces. She said that she would keep it broken until a woman was elected. Eight years later, Helen brought the pieces to Jurisdictional Conference. Charlene Kammerer was elected Bishop and the two of them glued it back together in the presence of the clergywomen of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. If you look closely you can see the cracks, the places where it was re-created in that joyful gathering.
We give thanks for the forward movement toward inclusiveness and the honoring of the gifts of all clergy, and yet, we acknowledge the distance we have yet to go. Clergywomen on average earn ten percent less than clergymen. Each year, this year included, there were churches pushing back against the appointment of clergywomen. Thank you for the ways in which you are helping your church grow in the embrace of all people.
I invite you to an event a week from today. Bishop Latrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and I will have a conversation about anti-racism and the challenges that remain before our church. It’s been my privilege to share as Chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force of the Council of Bishops and as I retire, Bishop Latrelle Easterling becomes the new Chair. She’s an amazing leader and you will be blessed. I hope you will join us for this conversation on Tuesday, the last day of August at 1 p.m.
Grace and peace to you this day.