I'm a member of an evangelical network for ordained women, Awesome, who have been meeting over the past 12 months with Reform, a large conservative evangelical network in the UK, for talks over differences between views of the ordination of women as priests and as bishops in the Church of England.
For now, the talks are over, and a final statement has been published on the Awesome website and on the Reform website. From the statement on the Awesome website:
"...it is clear to us that our ongoing differences are not only in relation to the exegesis of the specific biblical texts where we have focussed our studies. Further areas which have arisen in our conversations and which we believe require ongoing discussion among evangelicals include:
1. The effect on biblical interpretation of different understandings of the relationship between exegesis of specific texts in their original contexts, wider biblical theology, and the role of doctrine and systematic theology.
2. The form and significance of creation order in relation to being made male and female, especially as revealed in Genesis 2 and later biblical appeals to it.
3. The doctrine of the Trinity, in particular whether or not language of submission and obedience is to be used for the eternal intra-Trinitarian relationship of the Son to the Father and the significance of any such order within the Trinity for the ordering of relationships between men and women in the church and husband and wife in marriage.
4. The relationship between submission and obedience and whether there is a universal Christ-like mutual submission among Christians or a specific submission of wives to husbands whose position as head is to be understood in terms of Christ-like authority.
5. The connection between any ordering in relationship between husband and wife and any ordering of men and women within the ministries and offices of the church.
6. The nature of episcopal jurisdiction and the provision therefore required for evangelicals opposed to women bishops when women become bishops."
As ever, encouragement of ongoing dialogue is important among God's people, especially where differences result in damage to the body of Christ.
I affirm my commitment to the following ideals from the statement:
•• to sustain each other in prayer
•• to work for charitable best practice in all our relationships and discussions
•• to recognise and nurture the gifts of all fellow evangelicals, both male and female.