Wind Chimes: 8 Mar 2013

March 8th is International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day

Here is a prayer—a prayer I am using today—for all woman on International Women’s Day. This prayer offered by the Sisters of St. Francis to you and me and all who will work for the safety and equality of women.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.

Where there is injury, pardon:

Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.

Where there is division, unity:

Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.

Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:

Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.

Where there is doubt, true faith:

We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.

Where there is despair, hope:

We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men. Transform our hears to celebrate the love and grace of all people.

And may we be blessed with the courage of St. Clare of Assisi to follow our own path of love for you and all sisters and brothers. Amen.

By Deborah Hirt, Intern at Franciscans International

What do you hear in the chimes?
As the wind blows through the chimes today it sounds like praise and hope for women. What do you hear?

Logo: 2013 International Women’s Day – The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum

Resources (print and video) for International Women’s Day past and present

Wind Chimes: 9 Feb 2013

Jimmy Carter at Mercer University, November 2012

Grace is freely given. Grace sings of expansive love. Grace sings of inclusive love. The chimes are singing of Grace today. What do you hear?

Anne Hutchinson would have liked Jimmy Carter

We’ll walk one more day with Anne Hutchinson. See the Wind Chimes for February 7 and February 8, 2013. Anne was at odds with the male leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  She courageously was true to her heart. Though she spoke well and presented a well-reasoned description of what she believed, in 1638 Anne Hutchinson was both excommunicated and banished from the Colony. Nearly 400 years later, in 2000, Jimmy Carter parted ways with the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe Anne would have liked Jimmy Carter.

As the US Congress once again decides whether (and how) to renew the Violence Against Women Act Anne’s witness and Jimmy Carter’s words and witness are reminders of a foundational Christian belief (shared by other world religions as well): “God saw that [all of creation and every part of creation and all that was and would be created by God] was very good.”

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views. —Jimmy Carter

Source: Losing my religion for equality, The Age, July 15, 2009.

Image: Woody Marshall for The Telegraph, November 2012