On March 4, 2015, I had the honor of being the featured guest on WATERtalks: Feminist Conversations in Religion Series, sponsored by Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual. This teleconference focused on my new book She Lives! Sophia Wisdom Works in the World. Mary E. Hunt, co-founder and co-director of WATER, hosted the teleconference that included people from around the country.
I began by inviting everyone on the call to join in the responsive “Pentecost Prayer: Come, Sophia-Spirit” by Diann L. Neu, co-founder and co-director of WATER. It was a powerful experience to hear the invocation, “Come, Sophia-Spirit, come,” echoing over the phone lines.Divine Wisdom, Sophia-Spirit, calls for the liberation of all from patriarchy and kyriarchy. This is what we celebrate today as we bless bread, wine, juice, and food. Blessed are you, Womb of All Creation, Spirit-Sophia. With joy we give you thanks and praise for creating a diverse world and for creating women in your image. Come, Sophia-Spirit, come. Blessed are you, God of our Mothers, Spirit-Sophia. You call diverse women to participate in salvation history: Eve, Lilith, Sarah, Hagar, Miriam, Naomi and Ruth, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Tecla, Phoebe, Hildegard of Bingen, Sor Juana, Sojourner Truth, Mother Theodore Guerin, all WATER women, and countless others. Come, Sophia-Spirit, come. Blessed are you, Creator of all seasons and all peoples, Spirit-Sophia. You call us to be prophets, teachers, house church leaders, ministers, saints, and to image your loving and challenging presence. Come, Sophia-Spirit, come. Blessed are you, Companion on the Journey, Spirit-Sophia. In your abundant love you welcome all to come and dine. You proclaim from the rooftops, “Come and eat my bread, drink the wine which I have drawn.” Come, Sophia-Spirit, come. Come, Holy Sister, Spirit-Sophia, upon this bread, wine, juice, and food. Come as breath and breathe your life anew into our aching bones. Come as wind and refresh our weary souls. Come as fire and purge us and our communities of sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, and all evils. Come, Sophia-Spirit, come. As we eat, drink, and enjoy the Pentecost banquet, may Sophia-Spirit rise within us like a rushing wind. May Sophia-Spirit spark the churches like a revolutionary fire. May Sophia-Spirit flow through the world like a life-giving breath. Amen. Blessed be. May it be so.
© 2013 Diann L. Neu. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Following this prayer I told a little of my story as a feminist Baptist minister, awakening to my call to pastoral ministry and to writing on the inclusion of multicultural female names and images of the Divine to support social justice and equality. Then I talked about my book She Lives! Sophia Wisdom Works in the World, which features inspiring stories of clergy and laypeople who are bringing transformation through restoring the power of Divine Wisdom and other biblical female images of Deity, and which also provides gender-balanced worship resources and locations of feminist faith communities.
After my presentation, Mary opened the conversation to others on the call. During this time of Q&A, we discussed such topics as resistance to inclusive language in many churches, encouraging signs of many churches and small communities who are including female divine names and images in worship, creating new faith communities that include the Female Divine, inclusive resources for parents and children, and including non-hierarchical as well as female images of the Divine.
Here is the audio recording of the teleconference:
You can also read notes from the teleconference.