By Elaine Moy
According to Working Mother magazine (October
2011) all of their Working Mother 100 Best
According to MORE magazine (November 2011):
How do these two surveys impact the life of The
United Methodist Church?
First, let’s consider women who work for the church
— local churches, annual conferences, seminaries,
camp sites or general agencies. Does the church
help their employees balance their work and private
life? In the past, middle class and upper class men
worked outside the home and women took care of the home and kids. Now that men and women work
outside the home, who is taking care of the home and
kids? Many surveys find that men are doing more
inside the home and with kids (but not as much as
women). The issue of flexibility is not just a women’s
issue but an issue for all people.
Specifically regarding clergy, does the local church
assist clergy in balancing work and private life?
How much time do the clergy have off each week?
Are clergy on call 24/7? Are there evening meetings
every night of the week? Are the expectations of
clergy realistic? How can the local church support
clergy to be at his or her best?
Let’s look at women who sit in the pew. Most women
work these days, and they are busy trying to balance
work and home. How can the church assist women
who are looking for more flexibility in their lives? Are
we asking the women to do many things that take a
lot of time (program-related ministry)? Do we ask
the men to do those ministries as well? Are meetings
or activities held at times that are convenient to
women? Is the church supporting women who work
outside the home?
Secular work places are changing and trying to
accommodate the needs of their employees because
they want to retain their employees. We at the
church also want to retain our employees and our
members. We need to be active in looking at ways to
support and encourage our employees (clergy and
lay) and congregations.
Elaine Moy is assistant general secretary of
finance and administration for GCSRW.