03 December 2009
American Nuns Under the Vatican Microscope
Read the full article by Mary E. Hunt in Religion Dispatches.
29 October 2009
Vatican's Come-Hither to Anglicans: A Theological Scandal
Read the full article by Mary E. Hunt in Religion Dispatches.
24 July 2009
Faithful and Fabulous: Dignity on the Road at Forty
09 July 2009
Pink Menno calls for an inclusive and welcoming church
The "pink presence" at the Mennonite Church USA Convention was initiated by a campaign called Pink Menno, which began a few months ago in response to an open letter written to Mennonite Church USA by pastors calling for LGBTQ inclusion in the church. Pink Menno supporters wore pink as a way to be a visible presence of LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies in the Mennonite Church. At an essential level, wearing pink was a way of reopening dialogue about how the church is called to be an inclusive and welcoming body.
Momentum for Pink Menno grew on the website, http://www.pinkmenno.org, prior to convention, and continued to spread as the week went on, culminating with a "sea of pink" in the center of the Columbus Nationwide Arena, where 4,000+ Mennonites gathered to sing at the traditional convention-wide hymn sing.
The mid-week prayer service and press conference drew a crowd of over 100 people, and the story was picked up by several local news services and the Associated Press. By 9:00pm that night over 150 sites had picked up the story, like the Washington Post.
Needless to say, a success like this coverage was thrilling. But simpler graces were just as thrilling -- the packed workshops and film screenings we led (in a hotel across the street since Pink Menno was banned from the convention center); the "pink demand" that rid us of all our shirts, bandanas, and bracelets and sent us to Goodwill to buy out their pink gear; the positive, welcoming spirit which the whole movement embodied. Opposing forces expected radical protest and disruptive disobedience; instead they got Pink Mennos singing hymns outside the worship hall, meeting for prayer, sharing communion, engaging in dialogue.
The Mennonite Church has a long way to go. There are many who don't want to go there. But Pink Menno's presence and movement at Columbus ensures that the Mennonite Church cannot ignore this issue any longer. Church leaders are now coming to us, asking us to help them deal with it. People are talking. Baby pink steps forward.
--Anna B. Roeschley
25 June 2009
Online Recordings from WATER's Creative Feminist Ministers Institute
In efforts to make these much-needed resources more widely accessible, and to broaden the scope of our conversation, we recorded the sessions for use online. We hope you will view/listen to them, connect from afar, and continue the conversations by posting comments to this blog. We invite you to donate to WATER as you use these resources.
Click on the links below to download. If the download does not begin automatically, right-click and choose "save target as" in order to start the download, which may take some time given the size of the video.
Liberation Beyond Borders: Dalit Feminist Hermeneutics and Four Gospel Women
A conversation with Surekha Nelavala and Mary Kate Birge, Download video here.
Challenges for Feminist Ministers
A conversation with Cindy Lapp and Mari Castellanos, Download video here.
Theological Education for Feminist Ministry
A conference call with Emilie Townes, Download audio recording here.
Feminist Ministry and Sexual Violence
A conference call with Marie Fortune, Download audio recording here.
This inaugural series was a success, and the exciting part is that it is just beginning! Stay tuned for future opportunities to connect, cooperate, and learn together on issues surrounding feminist ministry.
-- Anna B. Roeschley
16 June 2009
Keep it Catholic, Catholics
I debated in Catholic high school and Jesuit college. We practiced by taking positions other than our own so we would understand the ins and outs of our opponents’ ways of thinking. We were taught that gratuitous slams at the other side were never acceptable, and that they certainly were no substitute for reasoned arguments. We were coached to avoid ad hominem (in those days we did not imagine ad feminam) arguments at all costs since they insulted our worthy opponents and made clear that we were out of ideas to bolster our own positions. In the rough and tumble of real world debates, it is training that has stood me in good stead.
Imagine my surprise to read on the Jesuit magazine America’s blog a recent post by Michael Sean Winters in which he violated all the rules. His attack on Frances Kissling and her recent article in Salon began with a gratuitous slam.
(Read the rest of the article by Mary E. Hunt posted on Religion Dispatches.)
09 June 2009
Post to our blog and see FSR, Inc.
Another place to discuss feminist issues is http://fir-publicvoice.blogspot.com/ which is sponsored by Feminist Studies in Religion, Inc. The two groups have collaborated on several projects over the years.
Your voice is important. Raise it here.
Mary E. Hunt
05 June 2009
Feminist Theology 101
27 May 2009
The Unsung Speech at Notre Dame, A Postmortem
Read the full article by Mary E. Hunt on Religion Dispatches.
15 May 2009
Article of Faith
04 May 2009
Mother's Day 2009: What She Means to Me
Share a story in her honor this Mother's Day. Tell us what she means to you by posting a comment below.
30 April 2009
Spring Lobby Days in DC
Speakers included Debra Haffner of the Institute who provided an overview of the issues and Bill Smith of SIECUS who explained the importance of passing REAL Sex Education, the Responsible Education About Life Act (S.611, H.R. 1551), which would provide the first federal money ($50 million) for sex education. The $1.5 billion (yes, billion) in federal and state money for abstinence-only programs of the previous administration failed utterly to teach young people how to be sexually responsible.
Ann Hanson of the United Church of Christ (UCC) informed the staffers and others present about the Our Whole Lives religious education curriculum that the UCC and Unitarian Universalists have developed with great results. Emily Goodstein of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice brought the wise voice of young women to the table. Cedric Harmon of City of Refuge Church added pastoral insight from within communities hard hit by HIV/AIDS. Ignacio Castuera, the first National Chaplain of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spoke of the need for sex education within Hispanic communities.
The message of the day was that progressive religious groups are foursquare behind federal funding for sex education and also perfectly wiling to let those whose religious views keep them from supporting it to opt out of programs for their own children. In a democratic society that seems like a fair and prudent way forward.
I walked across the Capitol lawn to Union Station on a gorgeous sunny day to return to the office. I ran into the protest by ADAPT, dozens of people in wheelchairs lined up across busy Capital Hill streets on both the House and Senate sides of the area. They seek passage of legislation to make more choices available to people who receive disability funding (Community Choice Act, S. 683, H.B.1670). They want to be able to live at home rather than have to go to nursing homes or other institutions. Almost 200 people were arrested and hundreds more scaled the steps of the Capitol, some leaving their chairs below, to dramatize their views (http://www.adapt.org/freeourpeople/cca09/report04.htm).
At the same time, colleagues from the third annual Transgender Religious Leaders Summit, co-sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in religion and Ministry (CLGS) and the National Center for Transgender Equality were lobbying their representatives for trans rights. I could not help but think what a new day it is in DC, how there is hope in the air that some of these basic justice issues will be solved in the near future. Ah, spring in a new era.
-- Mary E. Hunt
Feminist Studies in Religion Blog
-- Mary E. Hunt
02 April 2009
A Radical Act of Presence in the Face of Femicide
What are we to do in the face of femicide?
Last night, people in the WATER community responded in a radical act of presence. Our gathering was small, no more than fifteen of us, but we were present nonetheless. We came from around the Washington, DC area on a damp and drizzly night to say, through our gathering, that gathering matters; to say, through our coming together, that we know the horrific injustices done to women in the Congo and we are not silent.
Stories were read and heard, candles were lit, prayers were prayed. Our silence was sacred and our solidarity was shared. What stands out to me, though, is the reminder that presence is powerful. Solidarity is no small thing. In the face of something as hopeless and overwhelming as femicide, sometimes the act of gathering is all we can muster. Let us find hope in what is radical about such an act, not in what is lacking.
We are reminded that we do not gather alone. Our circle of solidarity at WATER is part of a broader campaign called the Congo Sabbath Initiative, an effort to engage faith communities in educating people about sexual violence in the Congo. Services, teach-ins, programs similar to ours are being held across the country between January and April 2009. Money raised goes to build a greatly-needed center for survivors of rape and torture in Bukavu.
I hope that radical acts of presence will continue, small and simple may they be. May our solidarity speak loudly in efforts to end sexual violence in the Congo and around the world.
To learn more and get involved, visit the V-day website.
--Anna B. Roeschley
30 March 2009
Pro-Life Tempest Over Obama’s Notre Dame Speech
(Read the full article by Mary E. Hunt at ReligionDispatches.com.)
10 March 2009
Excommunicating the Victims
(Read full article by Mary E. Hunt on Religion Dispatches.)
19 February 2009
New Administration, Old Initiative
Liberation Theology is Alive and Well
Get out your map: Belem is in the north of Brazil... (read full article by Mary E. Hunt on Religion Dispatches).