Inclusive Worship Resources by Deborah Hall, founder of Sophia Sisters, Chandler, Arizona


Deborah Hall

Deborah Hall founded Sophia Sisters to explore the Divine Feminine through study and ritual. Out of a deep desire for worship including female divine names and images, Deborah plans and leads these rituals. She believes that inclusive divine language and imagery empower not only women but also all people to “use their unique gifts to work for justice in society.”

Here is one of the worship services that Deborah created. This service can be used for Easter celebrations.


CALL TO WORSHIP (lighting of candle)

Leader: We gather together to reflect on peace–in our own life; for our family; for our community and our world.  Christ-Sophia said to the disciples: “Peace I leave with you.”  Yet often our world seems anything but peaceful. Together let us pray for peace.

All:     Lead me to peace,
Lead me from death to life
From falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
From fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
From war to peace.
Let peace fill my heart,
My world, my universe.
Amen. (1)

OPENING HYMN – #36, “Come, Christ-Sophia, Come” (2)


Leader: Sophia, we pray for each other in this room. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 1:            Sophia, we pray for our families—for those struggling with careers, with health issues, with relationships. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 2:            Sophia, we pray for our community—for the mentally ill, for those who are grieving, for children who are bullied in our schools. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 3:            Sophia, we pray for healing—for the emotionally abused, for the physically abused, for the sexually abused and for the spiritually abused. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 4:            Sophia, we pray for fairness—for those mistreated because of the color of their skin, sexual orientation, disability, size or gender. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 5:            Sophia, we pray for knowledge—to assist the undervalued, the underrepresented, the underpaid, and the underdeveloped on this earth. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 6:            Sophia, we pray for action—for those who live in abject poverty and for those suffering the devastation of war. We pray for peace.

All:     May peace prevail on earth.

Voice 7:            Sophia, we pray for organizational assistance—for those suffering from earthquakes, famine and other disasters. We pray for peace.

All:            Sophia, Wisdom of God, in you resides our hope, in you resides our peace.  Amen.


Sirach 1:14-20; Psalm 34:11-14; Galatians 5:22-23; John 14:25-31; John 20:19-23


HYMN OF COMMITMENT – #35, “Our Shepherd Comes in Loving Care”


Leader: Sisters in Christ-Sophia and women of peace, we commune together this evening remembering the words of Wisdom, Sophia, “Peace I leave you.” In Ruach (Spirit), we work for peace in this world.  As we eat this bread and drink this cup, may we walk in peace with one another.

ACTS OF COMMUNION  Each one takes a piece of bread. “Take, eat the bread of new life.” As the grape juice is passed around, dip the bread in the cup. “Drink the cup of the risen Christ-Sophia.” 

Leader: Through this communion ritual, Christ-Sophia offers us the gift of peace.  Let the spirit of Wisdom rise up in each of us as we do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.

Our Mother, by Miriam Therese Winter

Our Mother, who is within us,
we celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come
Your will be done,
unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day You give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits and we let go.
You support us in our power
and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us.
Now and forever.  Amen.

HYMN – #10, “Celebrate the Works of Wisdom”

Leader: Sophia bless you and keep you; Sophia make her face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; Sophia lift up her countenance upon you, and give you peace.

All:     And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ-Sophia.

Leader: Go in Peace.

 All:            Thanks be to Christ-Sophia!


(2)  Aldredge-Clanton, J. & Schultz, L.E. (2011). Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice. All hymns in the service are from this hymnbook.


“But the Advocate,the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:26-27). And then the unthinkable occurred. Jesus was tried before Pontius Pilate and condemned to death. He suffered the horrible death of crucifixion. If we were followers of Jesus during that time, what would we do? The disciples were huddled together in an upper room somewhere “waiting it out” and fearing for their own lives. The disciples’ fearful conduct indicates that they did not credit Mary’s report that she and the other women had seen him in the garden. The Gospel of Mary relates that when the disciples, disheartened and terrified after the crucifixion, asked Mary to encourage them by telling them what the Lord had told her secretly, Peter takes issue with Mary’s teaching and rejects her words. However, the others are encouraged and go out to preach. The Gospel of John continues with a different account: And then in that upper room, “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you’” (John 20:19-21). Here Jesus commissions the faith community to continue the work God sent him to do. The resurrection gives Christianity its universal significance. It moves Christianity out of the past and into the present and the future. Because of the resurrection, Christ-Sophia continues to redeem human beings and all of creation. 

Later in the Gospel of John, we hear these words: “When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:22-23). “Breathed on them” recalls God’s breath of life in Genesis when God “breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life” and suggests a new creation. We see here how Jesus and God send the Paraclete (Holy Spirit, Ruach) to the community as a whole, not just a private possession of an individual believer. The love of God made known in the incarnation continues into the life of post resurrection communities through the gift of Ruach. Christ-Sophia lives as a gracious, transforming Spirit. She continues to become embodied in the individual believer and in the church. The apostle Paul explains how the Spirit of Christ-Sophia comes to life in the believer: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He also 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). Wisdom, Sophia, helps us experience our own wisdom more powerfully. Sophia invites us to develop a partnership relationship with Her.

So what about the verse, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”? According to The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, “sin” here is not the lack of recognizing and embracing the revelation of God in Jesus or the act of penance in relation to individual deeds. Rather, forgiveness of sins is the community’s Spirit-empowered mission to continue Jesus’ work of making God known in the world. So how do we continue this work of the Prince of Peace, Christ-Sophia? I believe it starts with the belief that it’s all about forgiveness. When we think of conflict no matter how great or small, it is that act of forgiveness that allows us to begin the healing process. Forgiving others; forgiving ourselves. And along with that, comes peace. No matter what our calling, Christ-Sophia is breathed into us. We all are connected and as we work together in community, Christ-Sophia is unleashed on this earth!



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