1. Women and mission
On this page we are collecting contributions to the Edinburgh 2010 study process relating to women's involvement in mission and their contribution to it. You will find information on study processes, articles and links to different groups.
Mission for all: full participation in the mending of creation. Ecumenical women's group
Women gathered at Bossey Ecumenical Institute in Switzerland from November 24-28, 2008 for a consultation ‘Towards Edinburgh 2010: Women’s Perspectives on Mission and Theological Education in the 21st Century.’ They came from 27 countries, 8 regions, 22 denominations, including Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant, and included indigenous women, young women, sexual minorities, and women with disability. The consultation was organized by the Women’s Programme of the World Council of Churches together with Ecumenical Theological Education and Lay Formation Programmes (WCC), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the World Student Christian Federation, Mission 21, and the Lutheran World Federation. The aim was to bring together different women’s perspectives on engagement in mission and theological education with the hope of finding a way to have women’s voices and perspectives be an integral part of the Edinburgh 2010 process.
The consultation affirmed that ‘Since both women and men are made in the image of God, they should both be present, working side by side in mission’ and warned that ‘Failure to fully integrate women will hinder the capacity of Edinburgh 2010 to assess critically the status of the world, to renew our understanding of God’s purpose for creation in Christ, and to further a renewed vision of spirituality and mission for the 21st century’. They concluded with a prayer:
‘Let us all, women together with men, hold up the highest possible vision for this important historical moment and walk together as we open ourselves to the movement of the Triune God’.
Download the 'Feminist statement on mission' prepared by the conference (MS Word file) here.
Dr. Fulata L. Moyo, Programme Executive for Women in Church and Society, World Council of Churches has developed thoughts on Women in Mission based on this consultation and other activities. Her paper 'Who is not at the table? Women's perspectives of holistic mission as mutually inclusive' can be downloaded (MS Word file) here.
Women in 1910 and 2010
There were actually more than 200 women delegates among the 1200 who gathered at Edinburgh in 1910 but their voices were hardly heard. It had been the decision of the organising committee not to appoint a separate commission to study women's work in missions but to 'have women's help on all of the Commissions'. In fact the numbers of women involved was very low and two of the eight commissions had no women members at all (see Brian Stanley, The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910. Eerdmans 2009. pp. 73, 313).
In 2010 all of the groups working on the nine main themes have female as well as male conveners, and women are comparatively well represented in the core groups. Two of the four staff employed by Edinburgh 2010 are female and the aim is to have 50% women at the consultation in June 2010. In order to ensure women's voices are heard, one of the transversal topics is 'Women in mission'.
The following articles have been submitted for inclusion under this topic. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of the sponsors of Edinburgh 2010.
'Who is not at the table? Women's perspectives of holistic mission as mutually inclusive'
Dr. Fulata L. Moyo, Programme Executive for Women in Church and Society, World Council of Churches
Downloaded the paper (MS Word file) here.
'The mission initiative of Tamil Christian women and its resourcing of their gender practice'
Beulah Herbert, faculty member of Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, and visiting professor at Jubilee Memorial Bible College, India
This article is based on recent research about Tamil churchwomen. It brings out how these women are empowered by their female Christian identity and their involvement in the church’s mission and evangelistic initiatives, such as house prayer groups. Featuring oral testimonies from a wide variety of women members of Risen Redeemer’s Church of South India, the study describes women’s mission initiatives, with an emphasis on female participation in church life. The middle section offers a brief overview of three empowering aspects of the informants’ Christianity: family heritage, faith through adversity, and biblical concepts of female entitlement. The final section explores the women’s sense of empowerment through their general involvement in church life by an in-depth analysis of several individual cases.
The article was originally published in the Women's History Review. Download the full article (MS Word file) here.
More to come...
The following links have been suggested for further research on this topic. Edinburgh 2010 is not responsible for their content.
- World Council of Churches project, Women in Church and Society
- Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians
- Dana Lee Robert, American Women in Mission, on Google Books
- Lausanne Movement, Women in Evangelism
If you wish to participate by sharing what you or your group is doing, please send information, documents, papers and suggested links to the Edinburgh 2010 Research Coordinator, Dr. Kirsteen Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org.