Faith Formation Focus: A Tribute to Women for Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is just around the corner, a day when we honor all of the women who have blessed our lives.  This is good, but I can’t help but think that the world owes more to mothers, more to women, than thank you.  Women have had more to offer throughout history than we’ve been allowed to contribute, and society has suffered greatly for it.

In The Chalice and the Blade, UU Riane Eisler suggests that there are basically two ways to organize society; a partnership model or a dominator model.  Needless to say this world is built on the dominator model. Eisler says, “In order to have a partnership society, we would have to climb down from our various ladders of hierarchy and respect each other as equals in worth and dignity.  Men who have been giving orders would have to stop and learn how to listen to the stories, the needs, the valuable ideas and different ways of doing things of women.  White men and women would have to do the same for our brothers and sisters of color.  Those of us who have been oppressed and have turned the anger inward, who have not valued ourselves enough, would need to learn how to speak up, to make ourselves and our ideas heard.”

Throughout history society has been much like a large vehicle struggling down the rough road, doing the best it can on the power of only one engine.  It has only been in the past few generations that we have discovered this vehicle called society actually has two engines.  Imagine how history would be different if we had utilized the talents and intelligence of women all along rather than marginalizing and silencing them.

In The End of Men, Hanna Rosin reports that where 100 years ago it was extremely rare for a woman to attend college, today there are more women graduating than men. For every two men who gets a graduate degree this spring three women will do the same.  Rosin says, ”As thinking and communicating have come to eclipse physical strength and stamina as the keys to economic success those societies that take advantage of all their adults, not just half of them, have pulled away from the rest.  The greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success.”

In the beginning, God was a woman.  Our ancestors noted that life emerges from the body of a woman so it was natural for them to imagine the universe as a Mother from whose womb all life emerges and to which it returns after death.  In agricultural societies they worshiped Mother Earth and called on her to help them bring forth crops.  Contrast this life giving Goddess to the male God who took her place, the God of the Bible, a warrior’s God who plays favorites and helps His people kill off their enemy.  

In the Dance of the Dissonant Daughter  (I highly recommend reading it) Sue Monk Kidd asks, “How would the world be different if our Deity was one that unified and reunited, one that was non –hierarchical and inclusive?  A God or Goddess that promoted connection instead of power… I know of nothing more needed in the world just now than an image of the Divine presence that affirms the importance of relationship.  A Divine Mother, perhaps, who draws all humanity into her lap and makes us into a global family.”

There is still a lot of work to be done, but I believe we are heading in the right direction, and since we are all in the same vehicle, no one is going to get there without the rest.  It has been noted that men need women, children need women, and women need women.  I am very grateful for all the kind, brave and wise women in my life.

Janen Wright, Director of Religious Education


Looking Forward-

April 29- Culture Night Potluck- from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Sky room.  Bring a foreign dish to share and souvenirs from ancestors or travels.  We’ll have dinner, music, folk dancing and a Show-and-Tell.  

May 14 –Full Church –Transition/COA/Teacher Appreciation Service  

May 17 – Combined Middle and High “Almost Out of School Night!” (Incoming 6th graders invited to join us)

June 4 – Full Church Flower Communion

June 11—Beginning of our Summer Share Your Passion Sundays with Special Guests from our congregation.  There are still a few spots left!