In 2008 the Church of Sweden is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its decision to ordain women. Festivities were launched on 23 September with an anniversary service in Uppsala Cathedral in conjunction with the Church of Sweden’s annual assembly.
On 27 September 1958, the church assembly passed a resolution that women could also be ordained as priests in the Church of Sweden. The first three women to be ordained for pastoral ministry in the Church of Sweden, on 10 April 1960, were Elisabeth Djurle, Ingrid Persson and Margit Sahlin.
According to sources in the Church of Sweden, festivities surrounding the anniversary will celebrate both women and men, since the matter of the ordination of women is both a theological issue and a question of democracy. As part of the commemoration, a number of worship services, an anniversary book, an exhibition and the publication of a scholarly work on the topic of ordained women are planned. With the anniversary festivities, the church wishes to celebrate that it is a church of equality and, simultaneously, indicate its intention of strengthening that conviction in the future.
An increasing number of women have been ordained since 1960. As of the year 2000, 31 percent of all pastors in the Church of Sweden were women.
With just under 6.9 million members, the Church of Sweden is the largest Lutheran church in the world and has been an LWF member church since 1947. (246 words)