New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 14

Letters To The Editors Letters may be sent to the Editors of New Church Life at Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009 or e-mailed to Bruce.Henderson@newchurch.org. Bridging the Gaps To the Editors: This is in response to the letter from Barrie Ridgway in the November/ December 2016 issue. His letter was in three parts and I have some comments on the first two. In his first part he takes exception to a letter from Martin Klein, and I think he may misunderstand Mr. Klein’s point. His letter was about the controversy concerning women being ordained as priests in the General church, which extended from September 2013 to June 2015. Mr. Klein praised the Council of the Clergy for its decision at its meeting of February 2016, when it strongly agreed that the policy for a male priesthood should remain. Mr. Ridgway felt that we should not put our trust in the councils of men, but should rely on the counsel of the teachings of the Word. The problem in this case, as he says, is that there is no specific, clear-cut teaching that says no, though there are teachings about the correspondences of what is male and what is female that suggest it. I think that Mr. Klein’s praise of the Council was for pondering this question seriously and giving individual arguments for their positions and then making the decision, when they knew very well that no matter what the decision was it would alienate some people in the Church, and I agree with him that it required courage to make a decision. In such a case and with such a controversy, I see no other way to close the issue for our Church, at least for now. I find it interesting to see that Mr. Klein and Mr. Ridgway end up saying almost the same thing in their respective letters, though not respecting the same subject. Mr. Klein’s letter says near the end: “Isn’t ‘accommodating’ our 80