“The Women of the Well” are a group of women ministers from the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), including women from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.
“Consider it, take counsel and speak out!” Judges 19:30b
“The Women of the Well” are a group of women ministers from the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), including women from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. Nineteen of us gathered at our well for a three-day training on Social Justice, led by Rev. Basil Manning. The focus was on racism, sexism and classism and how we as women ministers are called to speak against these types of oppression and discrimination.
There was much venting and sharing of stories where we, as women ministers, are not seen in the same light as men in the African context. We are viewed as being “lesser than,” incompetent, and too emotional. Many of the women shared their deep hurts, anger and pain. But we learned from this training that we have worth, we are of value to the church and that we are well equipped to lead our congregations. We were empowered and uplifted with tools to face and speak out against oppression and discrimination. Our time together concluded with an agape feast where we reflected on our time together and as sisters stepped over the thresholds of racism, classism and sexism, vowing to speak out on these issues in our churches, in our communities and in our homes. Communion was shared and as we drew strength from being together, we bonded as sisters in Christ because we share the same journey. We shared our tears together to cleanse our souls, and we stood proud and tall and left singing, celebrating our unique womanhood as ministers of the UCCSA!
Revs. Jon and Dawn Barnes
Jonathan and Dawn Barnes are missionaries with the Kei Regional Council of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa. They serve as development officers in the Kei region of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.