It's not official until all the clerks report the votes of the classes, and the General Synod ratifies it this summer but...word on the street is that we have now reached the requisite number of classis votes (30) to remove the conscience clauses from the BCO. A disclaimer: the "word on the street" is mostly coming from me, as I've been tracking the votes of each classis for the last several months. So, I'm not celebrating yet (much), but was inspired to say thank you to some people whose lives have paved the way, regardless of whether the removal has officially passed or not.
Thank you, women who went to seminary before "people" was declared to include both men and women.
Thank you, women who came under care without knowing that ordination would ever be a real possibility.
Thank you, women who were ordained without the certainty that a second call would ever be available to you.
Thank you, men who argued for the inclusion of women in our assemblies before those women were allowed a voice or vote.
Thank you, women who were the first to preach, the first to administer the sacraments, the first to intern, the first to be called, the first to sign the formula as a member of classis, the first to be elected to positions of leadership in the assemblies.
Thank you, women and men alike who proposed and advocated for the conscience clauses to make for peace and protection in a volatile time.
Thank you, commissions, classes, and individuals who worked for the clauses' removal and were defeated in years past.
Thank you, professors and mentors who encouraged women through the challenges of pursuing our calls.
Thank you to all of you who have poured your energy and tears into making the RCA a place where women can live and serve in the full ministry of the Church. May you feel the gratitude of generations.