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Exclusion of women from ordination and other church leadership roles made headlines earlier this summer when the Southern Baptist Convention banned women from the most senior leadership roles. Women in many parts of the Christian church continue a struggle for full inclusion in the sacraments and leadership of the church, a struggle that some women started 50 years ago.  

 

In 1974, there was a dramatic breakthrough of the so-called stained glass ceiling that gave hope to Christian women everywhere. At a church in Philadelphia, a group of eleven women were ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in violation of the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church – which at the time stated that only men were eligible for ordination. This story is told in a compelling new documentary The Philadelphia Eleven

 

The feature documentary film will screen here in Falls Church on Sunday, February 25th! The screening will start at 4 p.m. at The Falls Church Episcopal. This event if FREE and open to ALL. 

This film tells a story that continues to resonate today as women seeking ordination continue to face resistance, disrespect and exclusion from roles reserved by men for men. The documentary explores the lives of these remarkable women who succeeded in transforming an age-old institution despite the threats to their personal safety and the risk of rejection by the church they loved. These women became and remain an inspiration for generations of women in the ministry, and a clarion call for the entire Christian Church. 

 

Following the screening, we are excited to welcome back five former female clergy of The Falls Church for a panel discussion on the film, and their experience and reflections as ordained women in the church.

This screening is hosted by The Falls Church Episcopal, a welcoming community called to be an enduring beacon of faith, hope, and love to all. 

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