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Proceeds benefit the Intergenerational Ministry of Grace Church
A woman’s right to lead Christian churches made headlines earlier this summer with the Southern Baptist Convention banning women from the most senior leadership roles. They are fighting a battle that some women started 50 years ago.
In 1974, a group of 11 women and their supporters organized their ordination to become Episcopal priests in an act of civil disobedience. This story is told in a compelling new documentary The Philadelphia Eleven.
The feature documentary film will screen here in Haddonfield on December 3, 2023!
This film tells a story that echoes today as women continue this fight for the pulpit. It explores the lives of these remarkable women who succeeded in transforming an age-old institution when they took a stand despite the threats to their personal safety and the risk of rejection by the church they loved. These women are an inspiration for a generation of women in the ministry, and a clarion call for the entire Christian Church.
The Reverend Nancy H. Wittig is one of the Philadelphia Eleven featured in the movie. “It’s amazing that women are still fighting for rights in the church, and continuing to feel blowback, similar to what we experienced 49 years ago,” she reflected, and then went on to comment, “we are proud of the changes we have accomplished through our priesthood and the ordinations in Philadelphia.”
The film’s director, Margo Guernsey, is not Episcopalian. She reminds us “this is a story for all of us. It is about how to break down barriers with grace and be true to oneself in the process. This story reveals ways in which voices that are inconvenient, are often buried. It also provides a vision for what a just and inclusive community looks like in practice.”
In preparation The Right Rev. Sally French’s visit to Grace Church Haddonfield as the first female consecrated bishop in The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey on December 10, 2023 we celebrate the journey that women have taken to the pulpit and altar in The Episcopal Church. We are excited to screen this documentary and share the story of Women’s Ordination which prepared the way for so many. Our hope is to inspire others to break down barriers in their own lives and recognize that all people are beloved by God and ought to be recognized for their God-given talents, whatever they may be regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other basis for discrimination.