Florence Li Tim-Oi

January 25, 2014


On January 25 we celebrate the feast of the Conversion of Paul. On January 24 we celebrate the ordination of the first woman priest in the Anglican Communion The Rev. Florence Li Tim-Oi on January 25, 1944. Yes, 1944.

She lived in China through the war and went through re-education, repeatedly as an “intellectual” and as a “religious leader.” In her reflections, she is somewhat matter of fact about the challenges of those years, but she seems stumped by the prejudice against women in the church she encounters in the West.

While she can place a liberated China within the context of other political movements of the time and resistance to other empires, never quite stating where she falls on those issues. She can find no way to understand how the church could choose to deny a ministry to women. A light shines in the darkness, the darkness of the church.

Bible References

  • Isaiah 9:1 - 4
  • Psalm 27:1 - 9
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10 - 18
  • Matthew 4:12 - 23