The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana) 1964-current, December 10, 1980, Image 13

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- - . LANCE. Wednesday, Decembre 10, f980- 13 Fitch comfortable, but female clergy surprise many gest spiritual celebration gion is growing in world •nc;e while people continue ~ersonal beliefs. By Julie Bryan Features Editor \You mean that women is a min- ister? She sure doesn't - look like one.\ That comment and many like it are common reactions when people see or here of an ordained women minister for the first time. tual tradl .t.·ons Despite flunking her first year of Sunday school, Lynne Fitch pur- sued the career of ministry and now il h I she is an ordained minister with the n te C n 0 0 g y United Church of Christ, and pres- ently works at the Arc as a campus rish faith are somewhat rare in Montana pastor. . lior: said her religion made her feel spe- According to Lynne, women are rent,\ Chessin said , \it's hard sometimes not so uncommon in the field of : mad when if I have to do something for ministry .anymore. lays.\ \People have a variety of images e U\nited States that doesn't fall under any concerning women pastors\ said lformon religion. Lynne \People don't really know 1 is a new one founded by Joseph Smith in . what to expect.\ 1ave had a revelation · about a set of golden '' They have pre-conceptions acred message that Smith translated into about us, such as, women can't bio- n the early founding of the religion Smith logically reproduce and preach at attacked for their beliefs and their prac- the same time. it is like once a lormons who belong to the Church of Lat- · month some think we will be incap- l ter·themselves in Utah, and it is against acitated,\ she added. :~ctice polygamy. \Others think it's not possible for \There are quite a few Mor- women to have a loud enough voice mons in Missoula and they are a to be heard in the back of the close knit group\ according to church.\ said Lynne. McGaughy. \I think the more people see Mormons are known for their women involved, the easier it will strong interest in genealogy. Me- be for others.\ Gaughy explained that in order In fact , according to Lynne the to become the \latter day first women to be ordained as a saints\ Mormons go through main-line protestant minister was their ancestry to find anyone Antoinette Brown in 1853. who was not baptized or needed Lynne remembers first becoming to right their wrongs. When they interested in the field of ministry in find someone, they get a substi- the eighth grade. tute such as themselves or a \I remember we were doing a ca- Photo by A!ise Rudio lynne Fitch, a minister with the United Church of Christ and campus pastor for the University of Montana, first wanted to be a marine chaplain but women couldn't have such positions. Though people don't know what to expect from a woman minister, Fitch said she is comfortable in the church. . gion . Surprisingly enough, Lynne said that there were a number of · · other girls attending the college at the same time she did. and Violence . \We discourage the acceptance of violence among people.\ she said. • small child to get baptized in reers project and I had decided that 1hy their ancestors place . This ins- I wanted to be a marine chaplain, Lynne finished her degree in five years and is presently a cam us y«~•ur ai. tne Arc representing the United Church of Christ, the United Presbyterian, the Christian Church- Disciples of Christ, and the Episco- pal Church . Lynne feels the responsibilities of ner job are, •·to be available, to be able to work with people and help them, and of course to bring the word and sacrament to others.\ Lynne is helping tQ get ~P.!J!!!'.!t -- only they didn't exist then for lollllon, said that, \some people think it's women so I didn't have t d ange to me.\ It seems that eo I .QitE _ !n- -- -1 :-~·-o:>c-}.::~~. expiained Lynne. ~ a ... ..iii iliUstratea when he said he r~ Lynne was motivated to this deci- ~' when he found out I was a Mormon he sion due to the fact that she felt so 1itlt a passion ' and got really angry .\ comfortable in the church . ons Mormons sometimes get to their faith \f felt welcome and accepted and ! who, \just want to put someone down.\ I wanted to be a part of that.\ said hink there are any harsh restriction, such Lynne. rink Coke, coffee and tea. \ Mormons When Lynne first suggested going are supposed to sustain from into the ministry she said most drugs and caffiene is a drug,\ people expected her to be a mis- Hill explained. sionary or a Sunday school teacher, \I like my religion because or something along those lines. it tells me what I should do,\ Lynne, however, had decided that said Hill. she wanted to be a minister . Lynne - \I don't think we'll ever see religion die,\ said McGauighy , \ and right now there is an upswing in it. has now been a minister for 8 years. Although she does not actually preach in a parish, Lynne explained that \the Arc is my parish .\ Lynne started her training at- tending Grinell college. She later went to . the Pacific School of Reli- Religion, Lynne explains, \is a tricky word.\ It's a variety of things, a framework of that set of beliefs for which you live, and it doesn't necessarily have to do with God .\ . .. It is a moral ethical code. I'm not saying it's answers, but a com- munity of learning. Christian reli- gion deals with a community of faith which doesn't need to be proved .\ she continued . Christian religion for me is a basic understanding of human worth, its the source of human strength, its the basis for every- one ,_\ !!he said. \0l.coU!]9 !f pecpl~ :vu't klieve in the same things I do, it doesn't mean that I won't help them. \ she emphasized . Of course being a minority in her field there come many disadvan- tages, such as having to work hard- er to win the peoples respect, but there are many advantages too. \There is different perspectives in religion and I feel that there is a need for both men and women to be involved.\ explained Lynne. There is of course certain things that people would rather talk to men about and certain things they would rather talk to women about. That is why Lynne thinks that both sexes should be involved with the ministry. In addition to her position at the Arc , Lynne also actively serves on the University Task Force for Rape · ees working on projects to help students against such things as rape and violence such as the new 24 hour emergency number in connec- tion with the university. \We encourage a healthy space and place to develop intellectually, and spiritually in this city.\ Lynne added. Lynne also is the mother of two little boys aged nine and 12. When Lynne was 24 she had a very unique and extra-<>rdinary job, she was the personal secretary for Martin Luther King's wife . She traveled with Mrs. King and was a tutor for their kids. When asked what she thought the Christian religion was Lynne re- plied , \Love God and your neigh- bor as yourself. - That's what Jesus said and I can't do any better than that.\ McGaughy said that there are still those who don't be- lieve in God and those who aren't sure. \Atheists deny God exists,\ McGaughy said, \and agnostics admit that they don't know .\ Retreats, choirs, trips are activities available in youth groups McGaughy said that religion is viewed as sort of a patriotic thing in America and people who are atheists will often say they are Catholic, Protestant or Jewish, simply to avoid an uproar from those who would consider an absence of religion un-patriotic. · \I think all of us have inner needs and religion is per- sonally very ijnportant to help cope . with the day to dar.\ McGaughy said tha there are other ways apart from reli- · gion to fulfill inner needs and that is why there is \a great thing with therapy in this coun- try.\ McGaughy said that be- cause of the secular society and people who don't believe in God psychothe~py has be- come sort of a modern reli- gion \ McGaughy said, \ Every- body deals with religion differ- ently .\ If you have ever wondered what a church had to offer besides Christmas and Easter services or lengthy Sunday morning sermons, nearly all churches in Missoula can offer a variety of youth orientated programs, some · of which , surpris- ingly enough you might be interest- ed in. The following are a random pick . of churches and the youth programs available within them. UNIVERSITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH This church has a youth group called the Pilgrim fellowship. They are involved in social activities such as retreats and parties. They also work on service projects to raise money for such · things as world · hunger and crisis centers. The group also has a youth choir which . works with the church music pro- gram . SAINT FRANCIS XAIVER CHUR.CJI The Saint Francis church is ac- tively involved in the division of Catholic Youth Organization of · Western Montana. They hold reli- gious instruction for teens once a month, and they have a religious class for the learning of their faith and the practice of prayer. THE CHRISTIAN CENTER The Christian Life Center has a youth orientated program which .I meets twice a week, in addition to a youth celebration on Sunday even- ings and a midweek meeting at the way-in : They are also involved in many statewide and local activities such as retreats. THE NEW COVENANT CHURCH OF CHRIST Although this church does not have an orientated youth program they do have an outdoor adventure group - ::all'.!<! the Montana Christian Adventure Group. They go on float trips, backpacking trips and other such outdoor outings . GLAD TIDINGS ASSEMBLY OF GOD Glad Tidings has a · youth pro- gram within the church involving the assistant pastor. They also rent gyms , and every Tuesday the youth can come ro p~y volleyball and bas- ketball. In addition they have so- cials for the high school kids such as rollarskating and pizza parties . CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY This church has a youth group . called the Victory Leaders. The · group participates in fund raisers and they have monthly parties. They also play volleyball once a month and sing at Missoula nursing homes at least one Sunday every month. FIRST EVANGELICAL OF NORTH AMERICA The First Evangelical . has a youth group which meets at 5 p . m. on Sundays for youth fellowship . They · also have bible study every other . Wednesday morning . There is also a musical youth choir called Sunrise. FOURSQUARE GOSPEL NORTHSIDE CHAPEL This church has a youth center on Higgins located across from Hellgate . It is open during noon for students who wish to bring a lunch and listen to Christian tapes while they eat. They also offer bible les- sons and are active in volleyball, basketball and camping . During the summer they sponser a youth camp. If your church wasn't included with those above and your interest- ed in what kind of program they might have do not hesitate to call your church office to find out. Or if you don't belong to a church but think you might be interested in joining such a group go ahead and . call the church or go to one of your friends churches and see how you like it. Don't be afraid to try it, you mav like i~. . ,.

The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana), 10 Dec. 1980, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/TheHellgateLance/1980-12-10/ed-1/seq-13/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.