For many years I have been writing, researching, preaching, and teaching on the vital connection between inclusion of Divine Feminine images in worship and social justice. But opportunities to experience the Divine Feminine have been limited. At the Indianapolis EEWC-CFT Gathering, She is fully included for three days! She is included in song, sermon, lecture, and liturgy. And I feel anew Her power to bring healing and transformation to us individually and to our world.
Rev. Gail Ricciuti calls God “She” and uses female divine imagery throughout her creative sermon on Jesus’ parables of the woman searching for the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) and of the woman baking bread (Luke 13:20-21). Although in these parables the women are clearly images of God, few preachers or interpreters follow through with the natural references to God as “She.” But Rev. Ricciuti does! The Divine Feminine references bring new meaning to these parables. Rev. Ricciuti proclaims that the bread the woman bakes was “not status-quo bread—it was justice bread bringing joy.”
Listen to her inspiring, witty sermon: “A Quotidian Faith: Stories Sacred, Subversive, and Small” by Rev. Gail Ricciuti
(Rev. Ricciuti is associate professor of homiletics at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York, where she has taught for the past 13 years. Before that, she served as a Presbyterian pastor for 25 years. She coauthored Birthings and Blessings: Liberating Worship Services for the Inclusive Church; and Birthings and Blessings II: More Liberating Worship Services for the Inclusive Church. In addition, she has published articles and reviews in Christian Feminism Today.)
Also in keeping with the conference theme, “Sharing Our Stories, Healing Our Lives,” Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott gives a presentation entitled “The Transformational Stories of Jesus.” She begins with a creative reinterpretation of the parable of the prodigal (Luke 15: 11-32) with “Denise” as the “elder sister” and “Pansy” as the “profligate daughter,” whom the “Mother” welcomes home with loving arms. Dr. Mollenkott interprets parables about workers (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 16:1-12, and Matthew 20:1-16) in light of current economic injustices that serve the interests of the 1%.
Listen to her creative, informative presentation: http://www.eewc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/EEWC-CFT_Podcast_105_Mollenkott.mp3
(Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott is Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at the William Paterson University of New Jersey. Among the many books she has authored or coauthored are Sensuous Spirituality; Women, Men, and the Bible; The Divine Feminine; and Omnigender. Read more about Virginia’s work on her website: http://www.virginiamollenkott.com/; and on my blog: https://jannaldredgeclanton.com/blog/?p=1182.)
Here is a recap of the 2012 EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Gathering: http://www.eewc.com/Conferences/2012-recap/
My deep gratitude goes to the Gathering committee and to everyone in EEWC-CFT for all their diligent, prophetic work. I leave the Gathering with increased longing for the Divine Feminine to be included in worship everywhere and for all the healing, liberating work of EEWC-CFT to spread throughout the world. And I leave with renewed energy for this work of love, peace, and justice.