“Sound Forth the News that Wisdom Comes Christmas Carol Video

Sing and celebrate the good news that Wisdom comes to bring new life to birth!  How we need Wisdom and Her new life in our world! This video comes with the hope that Wisdom will guide us to co-create with Her a world of justice, peace, equality, love, freedom, and joy.

Sound forth the news that Wisdom comes
to bring new life to birth.
Arise with hope, Her labor join,
and peace shall fill the earth,
and peace shall fill the earth,
and peace, and peace shall fill the earth.

No more let fear and custom hide
the path of Wisdom fair.
She leads the way to life and joy,
with gifts for all to share,
with gifts for all to share,
with gifts, with gifts for all to share.

Joyful are we who heed the call
of Wisdom in our souls.
With Her we break oppression’s wall,
so love may freely flow,
so love may freely flow,
so love, so love may freely flow.

Crown Wisdom Queen of heaven and earth;
Her reign will set us free.
Fling wide the gates that all may come
join hands and dance with glee,
join hands and dance with glee,
join hands, join hands and dance with glee.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians

This Christmas season gives us a wonderful opportunity to take action for social justice, peace, and new life. Christmas carols are popular throughout our culture, not only in churches. We can sing these well-loved tunes but with inclusive lyrics. By including biblical female names for Deity and visual images representing diverse races, we contribute to gender and racial justice and equality.

One of the most prominent female names for Deity in the Bible is “Wisdom” (Hokmah in the Hebrew Scriptures and Sophia in the Christian Scriptures.) “Happy are those who find Wisdom. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with Her. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of Her; those who hold Her fast are called happy. Prize Her highly, and She will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace Her. She will place on your head a fair garland; She will bestow on you a beautiful crown” (Proverbs 3:13,15,17-18; 4:8-9).

The first photograph in the video is of Rev. Sheila Sholes-Ross, co-chair of Equity for Women in the Church. Equity for Women in the Church is an ecumenical movement to facilitate equal representation of clergywomen as pastors of multicultural churches in order to transform church and society. Our mission is not only to advocate and network for clergywomen to facilitate access and congregational receptivity, but also to dismantle patriarchal and white supremacist church practices and structures so clergywomen can thrive in pastoral positions.

Through inclusive leadership, as well as inclusive language, churches can help create a culture that gives equal power and value to all genders and races. Churches can help change male-dominated religion and culture at the root of gender injustice and violence. By making changes in leadership and language churches can stop contributing to this culture that gives greatest power, privilege, and value to men. Equal representation of clergywomen and laywomen as leaders and inclusive worship language make powerful contributions to the transformation of church and society. Many churches, along with Equity for Women in the Church, are working toward this transformation.

May we reclaim Wisdom in our churches and our world. She will set us free to be all we’re created to be! “Sound forth the news that Wisdom comes to bring new life to birth”!

Video Credits

Performed by: Shannon Kincaid

Visual Art:

David Clanton: “Tree of Life” and two dancing children photos

Alice Heimsoth: seven photos inside Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco

Mirta Toledo: “Saint Sophia”

Shannon Kincaid: “Oprah & Child” and “Queen Maeve” paintings

Elizabeth Zedaran: “Flow”

Mary Plaster: “Sophia, Divine Wisdom”

Instruments:

Keyboard: Ron DiIulio

Guitar: Danny Hubbard

Bass & Percussion: Jerry Hancock

Produced/Arranged by: Ron DiIulio

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“Celebrate Sophia’s Birth” Christmas Carol Video

Many years ago when I began writing and speaking about expanding divine images, a friend gave me a t-shirt that has on it a manger scene with an arrow pointing down to the baby with these words: “It’s a girl!” With just three words this t-shirt expresses a profound truth in Scripture and Christian tradition. Incarnation comes in all genders.

I grew up hearing, “You may be the only Jesus some people see.” But all the names and visual images of the Divine were male and white. Most churches today still use language and visual imagery that give messages of Incarnation as male, and many churches give messages of Incarnation as white male. Incarnation expresses the truth that Divinity assumes human flesh, not just male flesh, not just white flesh, but all human flesh. Incarnation includes all of us—all genders, all races, all cultures.

“Celebrate Sophia’s Birth” seeks to express the inclusivity of Incarnation. Sophia is the Greek word for “Wisdom,” linked to Christ in Scripture and Christian tradition.

A prominent biblical female divine name and image is “Wisdom,” Hokmah in the Hebrew Scriptures and Sophia in the Christian Scriptures. She was also prominent in early Christian tradition. But most churches have excluded Her and other female divine names and images and continue to exclude them. This exclusion supports male-dominated churches and culture.  Reclaiming Sophia and other biblical female divine images will help dismantle patriarchy and white supremacy in church and society.

Wisdom (Hokmah) in the Hebrew Scriptures is depicted as creator, sister, mother, preacher, liberator, redeemer, establisher of justice and peace. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy” (Proverbs 3:17-18). In the New Testament Wisdom (Sophia) is linked to Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Depictions of Sophia (“Wisdom”) have traditionally been dark or a combination of dark and light. Ruah (“Spirit”) and other female divine images are also often represented as dark. Sophia and other dark female images of the Divine support racial as well as gender equality.

Sing and celebrate Sophia, Tree of Life! Give birth to peace, justice, equality, and love in our world. Celebrate Sophia and give birth to new life!

Video Credits

Performed by: Spiral Muse (Lana Dalberg, Dionne Kohler, Kathleen Neville-Fritz, and Alison Newvine) from album Sing of Peace, recorded at Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA

Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Visual Art:

Mary Plaster: “Sophia, Divine Wisdom”

photo from The Gathering: A Womanist Church

Elaine Chan-Scherer: “Mary Magdalene”

Alice Heimsoth: photo in sanctuary of Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco

Katie Ketchum: Sing of Peace album cover

David Clanton: “Tree of Life”

photo from Equity for Women in the Church event

Sing of Peace
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“Come to Our World, O Christ-Sophia” Christmas Carol Video

Our world is in deep need of healing. As we join together to labor with the Divine and to sing of healing, justice, peace, love, and kindness, we create a better world. We give birth to Christ-Sophia, who provides a foundation for equality and justice. Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the Gospel vision of new creation a reality.

This Christmas carol video expresses longing, hope, and celebration of the birth of Christ-Sophia.

Come to our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
our hearts are longing for Your peaceful way.
Lead us from fear and bondage into freedom;
with You we labor to bring Your new day.

Transform our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
the poor and wounded await healing days.
Give us the power to sound Your call to freedom;
as equal partners, we show Your new way.

Led by Your Truth and Life within us growing,
we follow You on Your pathways of peace.
Filled with Your grace, Your loving kindness showing,
we share our gifts and our visions release.

REFRAIN:

Our weary world still longs for new creation,
for peace and justice coming to the earth.
Hope springs anew; we sing in celebration;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton                                

It’s been a joy to collaborate on “Come to Our World, O Christ-Sophia” and other inclusive carols with “Spiral Muse,” a splendid music group from Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran in San Francisco. Alison Newvine, Dionne Kohler, Kathleen Neville-Fritz, Lana Dalberg, and I had a wonderful time creating an Advent/Christmas album, Sing of Peace. My gratitude also goes to Katie Ketchum and Pastor Stacy Boorn for creating the beautiful album cover, to Elaine Chan-Scherer for contributing her lovely artwork to my videos, and to all the other wonderful people at herchurch for singing my hymns for many years.

“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections between genders, races, and religious traditions, thus providing a foundation for communities based on partnership. Christ-Sophia brings change to church and society by forming a theological foundation for gender and racial equality, dismantling patriarchy and white supremacy and creating egalitarian communities.

Sophia, the Greek word for “Wisdom,” is a biblical female divine image. New Testament writers link Christ to Sophia (“Wisdom”), a feminine symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Wisdom (Hokmah in Hebrew) symbolizes creative, redemptive, and healing power. In their efforts to describe this same power in Christ, the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers draw from the picture of Wisdom. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The book of Proverbs describes Wisdom as the “way,” the “life,” and the “path” (4:11,22,26).  The Gospel of John refers to Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Bringing this biblical connection of Christ and Sophia to our worship can inspire partnerships that contribute to peace, justice, and equity in our world. For a fuller explanation, see In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians.

Video Credits

Performed by: Spiral Muse (Lana Dalberg, Dionne Kohler, Kathleen Neville-Fritz, and Alison Newvine) from album Sing of Peace, recorded at Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA

Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Visual Art:

Mirta Toledo: “Saint Sophia”

photo from Equity for Women in the Church event

Elaine Chan-Scherer: “Black Madonna: Our Lady of Tender Mercies”

photos from Nevertheless She Preached conferences

photo from The Gathering: A Womanist Church

Sande Harte: photo of circle of women, Alchemy of Women’s Collective Wisdom and Power

Alice Heimsoth: photo of candlelight service in Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco

Katherine Skaggs: “Black Madonna”

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“O Come, Christ-Sophia” Christmas Carol Video

The first hymn I wrote was “O Come, Christ-Sophia” to the tune of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” I had written about the biblical and historical connections between Christ and Sophia (Greek word for “Wisdom” in the New Testament), and had been wondering what it would have been like if I’d grown up singing about adoring “Her” (as well as “Him”).

Recently I heard a young girl ask, “What if Mary hadn’t had a boy?” Children notice and learn from our naming of the Divine. What if this young girl and all people had their equal sacred value affirmed through our naming of the Divine? The incarnation of the Divine comes in all genders and races. Christ-Sophia is a divine name and image celebrating the Divine in all people.

Our world longs for the coming of Christ-Sophia, who embodies wisdom, justice, peace, equity, grace, mutual relationship, and new life.

O come, Christ-Sophia, full of grace and wisdom;
come bless us, come challenge us to make life anew.
Come, bring us power, beauty, hope, and harmony.

We long for your coming, labor for your birthing,
for you are our hope of peace, our power for change.
Come, Christ-Sophia, break down walls and free us.

Rejoice all you people, sisters, brothers, join now
to sing of a bright new day just dawning for all.
Sing now a new song; sing with jubilation.

REFRAIN

O come now, Christ-Sophia; O come now, Christ-Sophia;
O come now, Christ-Sophia, Wisdom and peace.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton

“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections among genders, races, and religious traditions, thus providing a foundation for communities based on partnership. Christ-Sophia brings change to church and society by providing a theological foundation for gender and racial equality.

Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom, is a biblical female divine image that opens new possibilities for justice, liberation, and new life. New Testament writers link Christ to Wisdom, a feminine symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The book of Proverbs describes Wisdom as the “way,” the “life,” and the “path” (4:11,22,26).  The Gospel of John refers to Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). My book In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians gives a thorough explanation of the connections between Christ and Sophia (Wisdom) in Scripture and in Christian tradition.

Christ-Sophia inspires continual new birth. Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the Gospel vision of the new creation a reality. Sing of peace and justice and new life! Sing and celebrate the coming of Christ-Sophia!

Video Credits

Performed by: Spiral Muse (formerly Devi Vaani)—Dionne Kohler, Kathleen Neville-Fritz, and Alison Newvine with Lana Dalberg on violin—from album Sing of Peace, recorded at Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA

Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Visual Art:

Katie Ketchum: Sing of Peace album cover

Mary Plaster: “Sophia, Divine Wisdom”

photos from The Gathering: A Womanist Church

Alice Heimsoth: photos in sanctuary of Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco

Elaine Chan-Scherer: “Our Lady of Charity: La Caridad” & “Divine Child”

David Clanton: photo from Equity for Women in the Church “Calling in the Key of She” event, and photos of children dancing & children singing, from Imagine God! A Children’s Musical Exploring and Expressing Images of God events

Elizabeth Zedaran: “Flow”

Mirta Toledo: “Saint Sophia”

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“Sing of Peace, Holy Peace” Video

This holy season invites us to sing of a world of peace. We can envision an end to violence in nations, in schools, on city streets, in homes. We can sing of the change our hearts long for. We can sing our visions of peace into reality. We can sing of peace and justice for all people and all creation.

Through the Holy Darkness of this season, we celebrate the coming of Christ-Sophia to change our world. We celebrate the birth of peace, hope, love, and joy.

Sing of peace, holy peace;
sing of all gifts released.
As we work for peace on earth,
new creation comes to birth;
Christ-Sophia is born;
Christ-Sophia is born.

Sing of peace, holy peace.
When will all violence cease?
Through our justice work each day,
Wisdom comes to show the way;
Christ-Sophia is born;
Christ-Sophia is born.

Sing of peace, holy peace;
hope and joy now increase.
Through our works of love each day,
Holy Wisdom comes to stay;
Christ-Sophia is born;
Christ-Sophia is born.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Christ-Sophia is being re-birthed into our world. Christ-Sophia was present before all time and continues to break into our world with promises of hope and healing for all people and all creation.

“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections among genders, races, and religious traditions, thus laying a foundation for communities based on partnership instead of domination. Christ-Sophia brings change to church and society by providing a foundation for gender and racial equality.

Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom, is a biblical female divine image that opens new possibilities for justice, peace, and new life. New Testament writers link Christ to Wisdom, a female symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Wisdom (Hokmah in Hebrew) symbolizes creative, redemptive, and healing power. In their efforts to describe this same power in Christ, the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers draw from the picture of Wisdom. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The book of Proverbs describes Wisdom as the “way,” the “life,” and the “path” (4:11, 13, 26). The Gospel of John refers to Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Bringing this biblical connection of Christ and Sophia to our worship can inspire partnerships that contribute to peace and justice in our world. Christ-Sophia inspires continual new birth. Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the Gospel vision of the new creation a reality.

Sing of peace and justice and new life! Sing and celebrate the birth of Christ-Sophia!

Video Credits

Performed by: Spiral Muse (formerly Devi Vaani)—Alison Newvine, Dionne Kohler, Lana Dalberg, and Kathleen Neville-Fritz—from album Sing of Peace, recorded at Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA

Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Visual Art:

Katherine Skaggs, “Black Madonna

Mirta Toledo: “Saint Sophia”

Elaine Chan-Scherer: “Guadalupe” and two untitled Sacred Feminine paintings

Katie Ketchum: Sing of Peace album cover

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