Over on the Higher Things forums, I’ve been asked to explain myself
You know those tests school counselors make you take from time to time that supposedly help guide you into different careers? EVERY single one I took, I got “Priest”, “Rabbi”, “Nun”, “Pastor”. Once I got “Circus Performer” So I guess my interest in ministry to youth is not entirely inappropriate! However, I went to a church where women did things like serve on the Board of Directors (which replaced the Elders), serve communion (usually just the Chalice but I’m pretty sure they did the Host too), read lessons (including the Gospel), serve as Worship Director (selecting the music for the contemporary service), etc. I was personally encouraged to become a pastor from confirmation onward. Anyone who believed women should not do those things, I was taught, was an unenlightened, woman-hating moron and it was just a matter of time until I could preach in my home church.
But becoming a nun always had its appeal, unfortunately Lutherans didn’t have nuns (I didn’t know about deaconesses then). Why stop there though? I mean, if I was going to jump into the ministry and be a nun, why NOT ride the wave all the way to the top and be pope?
In college (Valparaiso University) where I was a pre-Sem Theology major, it was typical for profs in more laid-back classes to ask us to introduce ourselves and share what are career goals were. Always the shy and demure flower of a gal I am, when it got to be my turn, I proudly stated that I planned to become the First Female Lutheran Pope. Everyone laughed, of course.
This prof was also the Dean of the Chapel at the time, and in the sermon on the final Sunday of the school year, with all the parents in town for graduation that afternoon, he was talking about all the wonderful futures students there had ahead of them…engineers, teachers, nurses, pastors, even the World’s First Female Lutheran Pope!
Of course then I had to run into this guy who told me the Gospel and taught me what great creatures God made when He invented woman and everything changed.