This Lent we have some really exciting things going on! And I can’t wait to share them with you.In addition to the incredible midweek Lenten services that will invite us in to the stories of incredible women in Scripture who have helped shape our collective story as God’s people, we will also be participating in the churchwide study process on women, faith, and gender justice.
Beginning this Sunday immediately following 8am worship (seriously, we have a lot to cover so we want to start as close to 9am as possible), we will dig into weekly conversations on gender justice using the new ELCA study guide “Faith, Sexism, Justice.” We encourage you to come. Yes– you, any and all of you. This is the work of the Church– young and old, men and women, queer and allied. All. With our feedback, the ELCA will develop a social statement for use throughout the church. These social statements are ways for our Church to express our deeply held theological beliefs in how they help us understand various issues and topics in society.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has this word regarding participation in the study:

“Whatever your experiences and perspectives, you are invited to use this study, “Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations toward a Social Statement.” It is a call to hear new things and to explore together how matters of justice and sexism intersect with faith. I encourage its widespread use across our church – in congregations, conferences, circles, social ministry organizations, campus ministries, youth gatherings, homes, and classrooms. Your participation in this process is important because the feedback you share (due by Aug. 31, 2017) will help the task force continue to think together with our whole church when they sit down to shape the first draft of a social statement.”

There is no greater time, I think, for us to consider this important conversation regarding gender justice. March is Women’s History Month. As I write this today, March 8th, it is International Women’s Day. And many women are struggling with how to react and respond to the political climate where politicians are deciding women’s health. And I truly believe Paul when he says that “when one member of the body suffers, we all suffer” — which means gender inequality, sexism, and theological language that is exclusively male needs to be considered for the sake of God’s people and for the Church.

Adam and I will be facilitating the conversation, but we hope others of you will join us in helping lead. There are seven modules in the study:

1. Why do we need to talk together?
2. What problems do women face, and what does justice require?
3. How is sexism personal, and how are we the body of Christ together?
4. Why do words and images for God matter?
5. What does economic sexism look like, and how can we seek equity for all?
6. How can we address violence against women and girls?
7. How do we challenge the misuse of Scripture against women and girls?

 

If you’d like a peek at the guide we’ll be using, and the contents of each module, check out the website here:
Hope to see many of you in class for this important conversation on Sunday!
peace & blessings,
Pastor Alexis