Rt Rev Dr Peter Langerman has described challenges facing the church in his second last letter as Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) Moderator. These include sexism and misogyny, natural disasters, and gender-based violence.

He recounted how their women leaders had objected to a plan to “celebrate” four decades of women ordination during the 2018 Assembly, as the experience had been painful for them. Through this anecdote, he shared that he “long(ed) for a day when we will acknowledge our cruel ministerial gender stereotypes and our entrenched patriarchy, truly repent of it, and shatter the glass ceiling that prevents more women from entering leadership positions in our Church.”

As for the gender-based violence, he stressed the men’s responsibility to call out abusers they are aware of, and that the church should provide temporary places of safety for abused women and children.

He concluded with observations on capacity building, saying: “One of our greatest tasks is the empowering of the Presbyteries to enable them to be the places of healing and wholeness they were always intended to be.”

Read his full letter here: https://www.cwmission.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/UPCSA-Moderators-Letter.pdf