It is necessary to analyze the female clergy as the agents of alteration in church policies. The case I consider is the issue whether the church should provide registered same-sex couples with a blessing on a partnership. It has been a hot issue throughout the beginning of the 21th century, but till now blessings have not been allowed in some churches, for instance, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 2010, the General Synod of the Church made a decision the clergy may perform a prayer with these couples, but it is not synonymous with the Church”˜s blessing. Still, some clergy members have executed these blessings without the Church”˜s consent. According to the Clergy Union Member Survey in 2006, of all clergy, 2 % asserted they had performed these blessings. Practically all of them were female. Females were also far more positive towards a variant to do so even if they had not performed them. As many as 58% of the female church workers reported they could think of doing so.
Of male clergy almost half disagreed completely and only one fifth agreed. The share of male clergy opposed had declined just a little from 2002 to 2010 (from 57% to 45%). During the same time period, the share of women clergy completely agreeing with the issue that had amplified from 20% to 42%, and the percent of those ladies totally disagreeing had declined from 30% to 14%. It should be mentioned that in 2002, the attitudes among female clergy were more positive than the attitudes of male church workers in 2010. The researches demonstrate that this tendency is likely to remain the same. It is also worth attention that the women clergy are not more positive merely as they are younger, but mostly as they are women (Sullins, 243-266).
In this paper I have analyzed female clergy as possible change-makers in church. The article demonstrates the entrance of ladies into the ordained ministry and increase in the number of female ministers have had and will have consequences in different spheres of the Church life. Until now, females have typically been regarded as an undermined minority in the church. Nevertheless, as the quantity of female ministers is increasing quickly, the trends, which are more obvious among ladies will have a greater influence on the church in the future. The research paper also demonstrates that females are brave enough to alter the church in practice. For instance, the information demonstrates that those who have performed blessings of same-sex couples without the Church formally permitting them mainly have been ladies.
In addition, this research paper shows that in general, the optimistic attitudes towards same-sex couples’ chance for a blessing on the partnership have become undoubtedly more positive during the period for which I have collected information: in 2002 – 12%, in 2006 – 23% and in 2010 – 31% of clergy agreed completely that same-sex couples may obtain a Church blessing, whilst the quantity of those who entirely disagreed had declined from 47% to 31%. Nevertheless, the information shows that it is mainly the women clergy, who wish the church to change its policies in favor of same-sex couples. Of the ladies, practically half agreed entirely (42%) and just 14% disagreed completely in 2010 with a question ”“ should the registered same-sex couples obtain a church blessing? At the same time the attitudes among men clergy are almost opposite.
Generally speaking, women are obviously altering church in a far more liberal way. They do it in different ways: they alter the perception of faith, the policies of church and daily practices. Females are particularly more open towards homosexual people rights in the church and have also been more active in acting in favor of them. Clergywomen put more stress on those duties, which may be regarded as ”“ performance whilst many of the males believe the church should concentrate primarily on the function. Females’ approach to work may be seen as characteristically liberal. This may also be treated as a path for the church to preserve an active role in a broad sphere in the social order and far become more active.