Caroling for Change

Many good men and other good people are asking what they can do to stop the pervasive violence against women, continuing to be uncovered by the “Me, too” campaign. Churches are also asking what they can do.

Churches can listen to women and believe them, follow clear policies and procedures on sexual harassment, and offer tangible help to victims of sexual violence. Just as important, churches can help change male-dominated religion and culture at the root of this violence. By making changes in leadership and language churches can stop contributing to this culture that gives greatest power, privilege, and value to men.

Through inclusive leadership and language churches can help create a culture that gives equal power and value to all genders. Equal representation of clergywomen and laywomen as leaders and inclusive worship language make powerful contributions to the transformation of church and society. Equity for Women in the Church and Christian Feminism Today, along with many churches, are taking part in this transformation.

 

 

In this Christmas season, we have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to changing church and society. Christmas carols are popular throughout our culture, not only in churches.  We love to sing these time-honored songs. But the exclusively male language for Deity in most traditional Christmas carols lays a foundation for violence against females by giving support to the dominance of males and by devaluing females through exclusion.

Painting by Katie Ketchum, photography and image effects by Stacy Boorn

By including biblical female names for Deity in Christmas carols we can contribute to gender justice and equality. We can sing carols for change.

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.) The book of Proverbs depicts Wisdom as a female image of the Divine: “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” (Proverbs 3: 15, 17-18).

“Sound Forth the News That Wisdom Comes” calls us to co-create with Wisdom a world of justice, peace, equality, love, freedom, and joy. This Christmas carol comes with the hope that Wisdom will guide us to change our violent culture and to co-create with Her a peaceful world. Let us join together in our churches, communities, and home in caroling for change.

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

Vocal Artist: Shannon Kincaid

Visual Artists:

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

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

Mirta Toledo: “Sophia” painting

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

Elizabeth Zedaran: “Flow”

Instrumentalists:

Keyboard: Ron DiIulio

Guitar: Danny Hubbard

Bass & Percussion: Jerry Hancock

Music Producer/Arranger: Ron DiIulio

 

 

 

 

 

 

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