Origins of Project
When Mennonite Women USA called for an audit of Mennonite institutions in 2009, an opportunity for systemic change was created. After an examination of the numbers of women leaders in Mennonite institutions, it was clear that quantitative analysis was not enough. Thus the Women in Leadership Project (WLP) was born—an initiative to name and transform sexism in Mennonite Church USA.
Women Doing Theology
First WDT conference: On Feb. 20–22, 2014, the Women in Leadership Project hosted a Women Doing Theology conference. All You Need is Love: Honoring the diversity of women’s voices in theology was held in Leesburg, Virginia, with almost 200 women in attendance. Through worship, workshops, paper presentations, large group conversations, circle groups and a slam poetry open mic women embodied their theology.
Participants did not talk about an easy love that tries to gloss over pain, suffering, anger and injustice. They wrestled with what it means to be a Christian community that holds all of these tensions and complexities. A collection of presentations from the conference is now available.
Second WDT conference: On Nov. 4-6, 2016, the WLP organized its second WDT conference, I’ve got the power! Naming and reclaiming power as a force for good, at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia. Over 150 women attended.
Our conversations and presentations focused on the topic of power. Together as Christians and peacemakers, we explored together what it means to recognize the power we possess and how scary it can feel to exercise that power. We journeyed beyond simply recognizing power and took steps towards embracing it — acknowledging that the Spirit of God can and will work in and through us as we do.
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- Engage resources from All You Need is Love, the first WDT conference the WLP organized and the collection of essays based on the presentations there.
- Write on themes of Women in Leadership for the Menno Snapshots blog.
- Encourage your congregation to use the worship resources, Do You See This Woman?, available now.
- Lead a discussion in your congregation or workplace about transforming systemic sexism.