ELCL History

13. Oct, 2021

Women’s ordination in Latvian Church history

“The subject and task of Latvian Church history is to know and explain the Latvian people’s coming into contact with the Christian faith, with the spread and consolidation of this faith, as well as what influence and impression it has left upon the life of the Latvian people. In so doing, we continuously remain within the framework of Latvian general history, but at the same time we are inseparably linked to the whole world’s Christian Church life and history, and history in general”, said Roberts Feldmanis [1910-2002, Dr.theol. and pastor, noted Latvian Church historian, enthusiastic supporter of Latvian foreign mission work in India. – transl.]

“The view that Latvian Church history, from the standpoint of general Church history and general world history, as far as breadth and content, is unimportant and provincial, is wrong and testifies to lack of knowledge and of misunderstanding of this issue. We know that in Latvian history events have taken place that have had not only great significance in the lives and destinies of Latvia and the Latvian people, but which have substantially influenced the series of events in world history. In this case, we do not have to specially talk about them, when we think about such events as the Christianization of Latvia which for hundreds of years drew a border between East and West in the cultural, religious and national sense …”, the professor continues.

The issue of women’s ordination in Latvian Church history did not begin with the ordination in the ELCL of the first women in 1975. Rather this was the logical continuation of processes and events through the course of several hundred years right here in Latvia, which are inseparably linked to events in the life of the Christian Church throughout the world. That is the message of this webpage section called “Tradition”.

For the last 15 plus years women’s ordination has been suspended. This phenomenon is not only an issue in ELCL history; it has gained resonance in the entire Lutheran world community and also in other denominations. What will happen in the future is a matter of time. Every moment that passes becomes a part of recent ELCL history, where we are all participants.

So that nothing of this historical developmental process is lost is the aim of this webpage section “History” – to gather in orderly fashion the historical happenings that have led to the present historical situation in the ELCL.

This section offers the following parts:

Women’s ministry in the 18th century

Women’s ministry in the 19th century

Women’s ordination 1920-1940, WO 1945-1982, WO 1983-1992, WO 1993-1999, WO 2000-2010