When Ephesians 4:11 refers to ‘pastors’ this denotes the spiritual gift of caring for God’s people. In that sense we are all familiar with both men and women, lay and ordained who are gifted in this way, and express their love for God’s people in a range of ways.
But the LCANZ more commonly reserves to term ‘Pastor’ (with a capital P) for someone who has been ordained for the ministry of word and sacrament within our church.
Some of us have seen and heard female Pastors from other denominations. Some of us know female Lutheran Pastors whose ordination has not yet been recognised within the LCANZ. But for those who have never met a female Pastor, all the conversations and debate about whether both women and men may be ordained remain hypothetical. That’s a lot of years of hypothetical conversations!
So, what might a female Pastor look like? You don’t have to look too far to get an idea: Kathy Matuschka (Assistant Director for Ministry & Mission) first heard God calling her to be a Pastor of the LCANZ over 20 years ago. Since then, she completed theology studies with Australian Lutheran College. In 2018 she left her career as a Physiotherapist and took up her role within LCAQD to further discern this call and has had many wonderful experiences through her service as a lay worker.
Kathy hopes that the decisions at this month’s General Convention of Synod will allow her to keep going on this path. Kathy would love to serve within a parish as it discerns what God would make of it in puzzling times for the church.
I (Rachel) am another example of a female Pastor: I am currently completing a Master of Ministry and have served as the the pastor-coordinator of an inner-city church and mission in another denomination. Writing and preaching are my two great loves, and they are my calling as well.
Just as we see variety among male Pastors, if we become a church that ordains women as well as men those congregations that might choose to call a female Pastor can expect a minister with unique gifts and life experiences.
Would you like to hear more about Kathy’s story? Please feel free to get in touch: email@example.com and Kathy will respond in her off-duty time.