An international theological working group currently developing study materials for a course on ‘God’s Justice: Just relationships between women and men, girls and boys’ has met at the St Julian’s Centre in Limuru, Kenya from March 11th – 15th, 2019.
The group had been asked by the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) together with the Director for Women in Church & Society at the Anglican Communion Office to produce the study materials when it was recognised that the training, formation and equipping of church leaders and ministers in aspects of gender justice are essential as they prepare to show and tell the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sacrament and Word and in the lives they live.
They were warmly welcomed by Ms Evalyne Nafula, manager of the St Julian’s Centre and by EstherMombo, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Theology at St Paul’s University Limuru, who helped to organise the gathering. Their meeting was framed with Morning and Evening Prayer and the Eucharist in the Centre’s Christ Church Chapel.
The group were delighted to receive visits from the Revd Canon Rosemary Mbogo, Provincial Secretary for the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Revd Canon Professor Joseph Galgalo, Vice Chancellor of St Paul’s University Limuru, and the Revd Canon Dr Emily Onyango, SeniorLecturer in the Faculty of Theology at St Paul’s University Limuru.
The study materials will be offered to theological colleges, seminaries and training programmes as acomponent or module which can ‘stand-alone’ or be incorporated into existing curricula and trainingschemes for women and men who are preparing for ministry, lay or ordained, or who are continuing to develop their ministerial education.
Contributions to the study materials have been made by theologians from different contexts in the Communion. Their reflections invite critique and conversation in the context of engaged and respectful theological communities. During the ‘in person’ meeting the group shared the work they had prepared over the past year and finalised a draft to present to the Anglican Consultative Council when it meets in Hong Kong, starting April 28th.
The study materials include sessions on creating the learning environment; learning strategies; what is gender; gender-talk from a biblical perspective; gender inequalities across cultures; gender-based violence and abuse; theological perspectives; transformative manhood and womanhood; and living out just gender relationships in our ministries.
The working group worked throughout in a deep dialogical environment facilitated by Revd Canon Terrie Robinson.
Their time together was considered a great moment of learning from each other, fostering deeper connections and commitments and establishing a space of trust where we could agree on the structure, language and contents of the document to be presented.
It was a good time for sharing expertise and experience on issues of gender justice, biblical hermeneutics and intentional theology through sharing stories that enlightened the whole process. An acknowledgement was made to Kwok Pui Lan for her skills in helping the group regarding the editorial process. The result will be shared in due course.
The members of the theological working group are:
- Kwok Pui Lan, United States
- Dorothy Lee, Australia (absent from the meeting)
- Stephen Spencer, Director for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, Anglican Communion Office
- Paula Nesbitt, United States
- Paulo Ueti, Anglican Alliance Theological Advisor, Anglican Communion Office
- Moumita Biswas, India
- Carole Hughes, New Zealand
- Esther Mombo, Kenya
- Gloria Mapangdol, Philippines
- Gerald West, South Africa
- Terrie Robinson, Director for Women in Church & Society, Anglican Communion Office