Celebrating the Ordination of Women in Advent

This can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Year B – 1st Sunday in Advent

First Reading:                 Acts 16:12-15, 40                           
Gospel:                Mark 13:24-37       

What I want to say:
Advent is a time to take stock of:
-           what is we hope for
-          what ways is God seeking to offer us joy
-          where do we see peace breaking out in our lives and in our world
-          how are we invited into love
then in hope live that out
use the story of the ordination of women in communion and this land as an example of living it out

What I want to happen:
time to reflect on questions above

The Sermon

       1.     Introduction:

Advent in 2 minutes by Busted Halo
-         welcome to advent
รจ a time to take stock of:
-          what do we hope for
-         in what ways is God offering us joy
-         where do we see peace breaking out in our lives and in our world
-         how are we invited into love
how might we in hope live that out

2.     Celebrating the Ordination of women as Priests

today is also very significant day in life of our church in this Province
today 40 years ago 2 ordinations took place
in Auckland Rev Jean Brookes, Rev Wendy Cranston and Rev Heather Brunton –were priested by the Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Rev Eric Gowing.
Here is Waiapu - Rev Cherie Baker (also on 3 Dec.) by the Bishop of Waiapu, Paul Reeves
and Rev Rosemary Russell (on 4 Dec.) – also by Paul Reeves
Reading from Acts reminds us of significant role women played in life of early church
know from Paul that they were recognised as leaders in churches he helped establish
Know from gospel that Jesus invited women into roles not traditionally allowed to consider
-         Mary being a disciple for example
story of ordination in our church culmination of years of living out the hope
that in reign of God women were being called into leadership ministries
            were being called to be priests
despite what church said and had said for most of its life
so they worked out of that framework
until it became reality
not the end of the story by a long shot
still faced years of animosity and opposition
paved the way many others follow in their footsteps
only 4th Province to allow ordination of women

       3.     History (this is mostly from wikipedia)

The first woman ordained an Anglican priest was Li Tim Oi, ordained extra-canonically in Hong Kong, 25 January 1944 by Ronald Hall, Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong, in response to the crisis among Anglican Christians in China caused by the Japanese invasion. To avoid controversy, she resigned her licence (though not her priestly orders) after the end of the war.
In 1971, the Synod of Hong Kong and Macao became the first Anglican province to officially permit the ordination of women to the priesthood. Jane Hwang and Joyce M. Bennett were ordained as priests by Gilbert Baker, Bishop of Hong Kong and Macao on November 28, 1971. At the same time, Li Tim-Oi was officially recognised again as a priest.[78]
In 1975, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) passed enabling legislation for women priests; the first six women priests in the ACC were ordained on November 30, 1976.[81]
In 1977, the Anglican Church in New Zealand ordained five female priests.[82]
In 1990, former Bishop of Dunedin Penny Jamieson became the first female diocesan bishop in the Communion, one year after Bishop Barbara Harris had become the first female Anglican bishop in history, on her appointment as a Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Massachusetts.
In 2013, Helen-Ann Hartley became the first woman ordained in the Church of England[91] to become a bishop when she was elected as Bishop of Waikato and joint diocesan bishop in the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki.
Other firsts for women in this province came in 1978, when the Rev Puti Murray became the first Maori Anglican woman to be ordained priest, which took place at Te Kao Marae in Northland. In 2004, the Rev Eleanor Mancini was ordained in Auckland, becoming the Diocese of Polynesia’s first female Pasifika priest.
today we wonder what the fuss was about
what the opposition was afraid of
world did not end
and to be honest without women preists we would be a bit stuck as a church
today we give thanks for men and women who lived out their hope
we remember deaconesses that chose to not offer themselves for ordination to priesthood, and continued to exercise significant ministries as deacons
we give thanks for many ministries that women have, do, and will offer in all kinds of ways among us and on behalf of us

        4.     Advent again

Today is first Sunday in advent
offer the story of ordination of those first women, and all women since as example of what might happen when we live out all advent offers us
invite you to spend a moment or two reflecting on:
-         what do we hope for
-         in what ways is God offering us joy
-         where do we see peace breaking out in our lives and in our world
-         how are we invited into love
how might we in hope live that out