Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Young Women Preachers Continuing Education Information

This blog has been created to help advertise a new and fabulous project, graciously funded by The Louisville Institute.

The Young Clergywomen Project (TYCWP) is a two part project involving a growing online community for young clergy women (ordained women primarily under the age of 36) and a conference for young women preachers.

The conference is scheduled for August 6-10, and is open for women preachers (ordained or lay) under the age of 40. It will be held at the Cathedral College of Preachers, which is in Washington DC on the grounds of the National Cathedral. To register, or read more about the program, check out their web page. The primary instructor for the conference will be Anna Carter Florence, who will be teaching on the topic of testimony (the topic of her new book). In addition to lectures from the Rev. Dr. Carter Florence, participants will be assigned to small preaching groups where they will workshop two sermons--one previously preached, and one new one. Participants will worship together daily, share communal meals in the refectory and participate in an evening of focus groups on the status of young clergy women.

The conference costs $750 (which covers program, meals and double room). Louisville Institute funds will be used to provide scholarship funds for those young women whose church or institutional budgets would not be able to support their attendance otherwise. Funds will be distributed on a first come-first serve basis, beginning in May. Funds are earmarked primarily for women under 36 who are ordained* (or are exempted**), but remaining funds may be used in July to support those that don't meet those criteria. For scholarship information, please contact project convenor Susan Olson at youngclergywomen@gmail.com.
*Who "counts" as clergy for the purposes of the conference?
  • ordained women
  • probationary elders in the United Methodist Church
  • Deacons (transitional or permanent) in the Episcopal Church, USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or United Methodist Church
**Who "counts" as exempted?
  • Young women from traditions (such as the Society of Friends) that do not ordain anyone, but who are acting in the role similar to that of pastor or chaplain/campus minister.
  • Young women who are serving as pastor or chaplain/campus minister to denominations that do not ordain women. (Examples: Roman Catholic campus minister, minister to young children in various conservative evangelical groups, etc.)
  • Lesbian or bisexual young women who are serving as pastor or chaplain/campus minister in denominations that do not ordain lesbian or bisexual women.

For more information, please contact Susan Olson at youngclergywomen@gmail.com.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 7, 2007

What will happen at the Testimony conference?

The days at the college of preachers have a certain rhythm to them. We'll be following their existing structure, which is basically this:

Monday--things start in the late afternoon with introductions, followed by a reception (drinks and nibbles), dinner (the food is very good), and then the first lecture. After the first lecture, we have evening prayer in the chapel and then are free (usually between 9 and 10)

Tuesday begins with breakfast and then morning prayer. There are two short lectures in the morning with a break in between, then lunch. After lunch we break into small groups, each led by an experienced preacher and give our sermons for feed back (Tuesday, we preach old sermons, and for Thursday we write a new one.) After sermon period, there is reception and dinner. There is an evening program--in our case it will be focus groups on the status of young clergywomen, and then evening prayer and freedom.

Wednesday begins very early. There is an (optional) 7:30 a.m. Eucharist at the Cathedral itself. Our faculty member will be preaching for it, so many people try to go. This is followed by breakfast (we don't usually have morning prayer after that), and another period of 2 short lectures with a break between. Then Wednesday after lecture you are free until Thursday morning. Lunch is served, but not dinner. You may meet up with friends, tour the DC sights, shop, nap, or work on your sermon for Thursday.

Thursday follows the exact same structure as Tuesday. We are in the same small groups.

Friday begins with packing up. Breakfast is followed by a final lecture, a period of evaluation and a eucharist service for just the conference participants. There is lunch provided, and then people drift off toward home.