I'm back from the Emerging Women's conference in Portland. I was nervous about going as I seldom break away from my Anglican, Episcopal, Lutheran tribe (more about that here). I thought that I, as a progressive Christian, would be hit with the scripture stick by my more conservative sisters. This did not happen, but the conference was difficult for me in an entirely different way. Seeing so many amazing women deeply wounded by the church was really tough. I met a lot of gals who were so deeply faithful and who felt a call from God to be leaders but who were told it was sinful to even presume that God would call a woman to ministry. I met gals who, even within traditions that ordain women, were told that if they were ordained, no man would ever want to marry them. (I see this as a positive selection process myself). I met older women who have engaged this struggle for decades - machete in their hands making the path that much clearer for women behind them. I too came from a religious background in which women were second class citizens, not permitted to even pray aloud if men were present, (that part of my story here), but I left that church 20 years ago and spent ten years exploring the female face of God as a way of reclaiming that of God within myself which I felt in my upbringing had been silenced. It was only after years of seeing Goddess in the world and in myself and not only God (I see these as two faces of one deity), that I was able to go back to the church...that is another story for another time. Many of my tattoos are related to this narrative in my life, including one of The Snake Goddess pictured above...she's so strong and fierce and curvy and beautiful....by claiming her in me when I was in my early twenties, I was able to come back to Christianity having learned, experienced, felt and claimed that I too am a child of the Creator. Many of the women I met this weekend are trying to go through a transformation into their own power within the church and my prayers are with them. I was glad to have been with them all. As for the Lutheran church, we have ordained women for 32 some odd years, but seriously, can 2000 years of male domination be overcome and made right in 32 years?
Send your healing to women who have been told that you don't want their leadership and to those who told them such a lie. Heal your church that we may feel, experience and know the wholeness you intend for us.
In Jesus' name,