Please click above to watch Sr. Liz Colver, Sr. Clare Josef-Maier and Aubrey Thonvold talk about gender justice, Sr. Clare’s piece in Cafe, and why gender justice matters to the church.


Gender Justice: Why it Matters

Gender Justice is not just identifying and combating injustice and pain. It is an intentional focus on the beauty and importance of diversity as seen in each person and how they define their gender.

Sr. Clare Josef-Maier, a member of the Deaconess Community, wrote about this in Cafe, the electronic magazine of the Women of the ELCA.

  • “For the past seven years, I have served my denomination in dialogue about gender justice.”
  • Gender justice from a faith perspective names the pain of our story, but necessarily must name the beauty.
  • “In a gender-just world, I belong and I am beloved. My child belongs and is beloved. You belong and are beloved.”

This belonging is centered in a radical welcoming of each person that celebrates their beauty and diversity while opposing discrimination.

This is hard to do because we have a tendency to want to tell people who they are and how they should view their experience. Aubrey Thonvold, Executive Director of Reconciling Works, explained this in a recent conversation:

“People want to be able to tell someone who they are. Rather than creating space for people to arrive at who they are.”

  • “When we do our best to be intentional and thoughtful around gender justice, I think that we are actually allowing ourselves to see the fullest division of any sort of kingdom that can possibly exist.”
  • “For the church to be having a conversation about how important it is to be creating space for people who identify as female or folks who are gender non-conforming, gender non-binary to be able to trust their truth and for the church to actually hear it and believe it … this is what actually has to happen for us to actually be the hands of Christ in the world.”

The Deaconess Community is committed to celebrating the beauty of God’s creation as seen in the diversity of gender. We are thrilled to be a Reconciling in Christ Community.