Sitting in the stands of the Alamodome Wednesday as the discussion of ordination took place, Chris Blake, associate professor of English and communication at Union College, spoke with several women in attendance to get their thoughts on the proceedings. Ten women's responses are below. -Ed
"What gives you hope this morning?"
“Knowing in the midst of chaos the God of my heart holds me in embrace, and promises that He who has called me will continue to lead and guide me. That I’m not alone, that the misogynist speeches reflect the speaker, not me—although it’s hurtful to hear.”
—Kirsten Øster-Lundqvist, Newbold, England
“I want to go with Jesus. Maranatha.”
—Marlene, Marie-Audice, Martinique
“That God has walked with me and this church, and His Spirit will not leave us, if we humble ourselves to His will. He has brought me through many hard times and will continue to be with me.”
—Donna Bacon, Montana, USA
“Jesus Christ is the head of the church today, just like every other day. As Adventists, we agree on far more than we disagree about. This is not a fundamental belief; therefore it should not have power to divide us.”
—Brenda Dickerson, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
“I grew up in Poland; however I never felt limited by my gender. I grew up in a home where I was taught that I can achieve anything in the church and outside it. I was taught this because my parents believe in a God who is limitless. God can overcome any limitation. That’s why I know that if God wishes, He will use His daughters in ways we can’t even imagine. “Be strong and courageous.”
—Anna Radosh, Warszawa, Poland
On the Discussion on the General Conference floor Wednesday:
“The discussion was heated. Both sides made good points, and I’m sticking to my belief that women should be ordained.”
—Brittany Zambrano, Houston, Texas, USA
“This is so divisive, it’s good to hear from people. But the GC Executive Committee should be praying and fasting to make the decision on their own. And if they have no clear decision, they should wait on God.”
—Dorothy Alai, Calgary, Canada
“If we’re not going to allow women to go through the ordination process, we should not require them to go through graduate studies in the seminary. There is value in women being ordained, because women can get into places—such as dealing with domestic violence—where men cannot go. Women need the support of the church.
—Arlene Foster, Conyers, Georgia, USA
“It was a fair discussion. I don’t think anybody said anything offensive. To me, the grounds for wanting to ordain women are not strong enough.
—Pinky Omotoye, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
“The discussion was not representative because of the limited amount of time available—principally because of unwarranted points of order. So, I’m frustrated right now.
—Buffy Halvorsen, Ohio, USA