Earlier this year we posted in celebration of International Women’s Day. While this important day provides a natural opportunity to celebrate women, we want to honour the contributions of women to the church and the world throughout the whole year. We hope that starting these profiles in ministry with our female staff and faculty demonstrates just some of our appreciation of women in the ACTS community. Today's profile is in celebration of Gloria Woodland, Director of the Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Program.
I am part of a denominational structure who since its inception believed in women as equal in ministry. I grew up in a Pastoring family and witnessed my parents co-pastor many congregations. My Mother was fully involved in ministry and preached on a regular basis.
I am also a woman who grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s and was always conscious of the movement for a woman’s right to equality. Perhaps, putting all that together, is the reason why I never wondered if I could be in ministry. Of course, I could!
I have had many great experiences in ministry. For many years, I served in ministry alongside my husband in congregational ministry. To have a husband who not only considered me equal but who encouraged me to go deeper in ministry, is a blessing. Whether, preaching on a Sunday, leading Christian education or sitting on church councils I always had the assurance that I belonged. God had called me, and my husband and denomination recognized and honored the call.
The founder of my denomination, William Booth said, “Some of my best men are women”. What I appreciate in this is that he doesn’t discount men in making the statement. As women, who often have to prove we can, I believe we can be strong enough to take our place without forgetting that God created two equal yet uniquely different creations in men and women. We as women in ministry need to be mindful that others matter and that many are watching.
God would not have called if he did not want us in ministry.