A few days back I invited two women clergy to join me for a conversation to remember and celebrate the Philadelphia Eleven, the first women ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, July 29, 1974. The Rev. Canon Janet Campbell, ordained 25 years, was in the first group of three women ordained in the Diocese of Long Island. The Rev. Sarah Monroe, at the time of filming, had been ordained as a priest for two months. The conversation ranged from their experience of or interaction with members of the Philadelphia 11, to parallels in the church today, and, if given the chance, what they would say to this group of women today.
It is the greatest honor to be able to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Philadelphia Eleven, Eleven brave, able, brilliant, faithful women who were ordained July 29, 1974, amidst much controversy, and much joy. Their act, and the participation by the bishops willing to take part, was a living icon of the church moving at times, even if those empowered had not decided it should; an incarnation that the spirit, and the leading of it, belongs to all the faithful, not just those of us granted positions of authority. … We can and should celebrate how far we have come; we should celebrate the 11 who put themselves forward, the three bishops willing to ordain them, and even the entire Episcopal Church that listened and eventually came to the same conclusion.
I offer the video for your viewing Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw1BWOC4qQM
Also available is a 20+ minute video with an expanded introduction and entire conversation with Campbell and Monroe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWsXAD2bvkM.