25 September 2013

Mary E. Hunt Teaches in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Mary E. Hunt taught an intensive course in feminist theology at Universidade Metodista in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and was guest speaker at the university’s conference, XVII Semana de Estudos de Religiao on Hermeneutics. Here are a few photos.

Students and faculty
Brazil conferenceSpeaking at the conference 
Students in intensive classcropped
Students in an intensive course
Marjorie from Columbia and Mary
prof sandra duarte
Professor Sandra Duarte
students in intensive fem theo class 
Students in an intensive feminist theology course with Mary

20 September 2013

What The Church Needs More Than a ‘Good Pope’ by Mary E. Hunt

pope-francis popWhat The Church Needs More Than a ‘Good Pope’ by Mary E. Hunt
The Jesuit journalistic coup, quickly known as the Pope’s interview—officially “A Big Heart Open to God”—will take years to parse. Early headlines heralding a new moment in church history are largely correct, but not necessarily for the reasons cited. While it is true that Pope Francis has downplayed some of the hot button issues: “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” it’s also true that in no way did he disavow them: “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church…”
I would not advise holding one’s breath until those official teachings are replaced with sensible, respectful recognitions that adults make their own choices on matters of personal morality. Rather, I observe that the trajectory that millions of lay Catholics have set is finally being joined by some clerics, including this most highly placed one. My caution is simply not to miss the forest for the trees.
Catholics have been voting with their feet for decades. In the U.S., for example, former Catholics are the second largest denomination right behind current Catholics. Catholics use birth control, have abortions, and love in same-sex relationships along with everyone else. This pope seems to recognize these facts, and given his predecessors’ actions, that is news.
It remains important, however, not to think that simply because the pope says something that it is so—even if one likes it. To do so is to fall into the trap of giving even more weight to the papacy, more deference to the hierarchy, more power to those in power. No, something is sobecause the people, whom this pope freely admits are at the core of the church along with bishops and himself, have discerned and lived into new Catholic ways of thinking and being. That is what the sensus fidelium means.
This interview strikes a chord not because the pope has suddenly figured out that postmodern people do not take kindly to being treated disrespectfully. Rather, it’s caught fire because he’s articulating what groups like DignityUSACatholics for ChoiceWomen-Church Convergence, and others have been saying for decades; namely, that the heart of Catholicism is divine love and the soul of Catholicism is divine justice. If the church is “the holy, faithful people of God,” then it’s the many voices and not only the papal voice that speak truths, in the plural.
Three Things Leave Me Warm...
The interview’s complexity arises from the overlay of Ignation spirituality that forms Francis’ spirit and psyche. It’s a language and symbol set all its own—heavy with “discernment” and reliant on prayer as a means of knowing. The interviewer tries to interpret it at times (who knew that Peter Faber [1506-46] was such an influential fellow?), but what stands out is how Francis is imbued with the customs and governance style of the Society of Jesus.
The notion of a “superior” is not foreign to him. Every Jesuit has one. But he understands the need for collegiality in decision-making, respect for individuals as they figure out (read: discern) their way. What remains to be seen is if structural changes in the institutional church, inclusive forms of participation—yes, democracy—will flow from his words. There is a logical contradiction in imposing a new model, even a democratic one, from on high. Will Francis be as good a theo-politician as he is a pastor? It will take some doing to transform without repeating the autocratic ways of the past. One can only hope.
I found three things in the interview that I could affirm warmly, and three that left me cold. Each one invites far more reflection than a “day after” commentary is capable of, but I offer them to add different dynamics to the global discussion unleashed by this interview.
First, Pope Francis is a person who freely admits that he can change his ways. I admire that. Having been wrong more times than I can count, I understand a person who admits that while at the time s/he did what s/he thought was right, in retrospect it was dead wrong. Pope Francis acknowledges that when he was the provincial of the Jesuits in Buenos Aires his leadership style was authoritarian. He chalks it up to his youthfulness and circumstances, but he has the good sense not to repeat that mistake now, when it could do even more damage. This is welcome. He is correct that based on his history many of his Latin American colleagues fear that he will not make doctrinal changes. Authoritarianism is not simply how one treats people, but also how one treats ideas.
Second, the compassion, humanity, and simple lifestyle that Pope Francis manifests is refreshing after decades of John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s personalities and actions. At the same time, Francis demonstrates in the interview that he is a highly cultured man. He takes music, art, literature, and film seriously as culture shapers, as rich gifts for enjoyment and insight into the human condition. He’s very Argentine that way. Going to the movies in Buenos Aires is as common as going to mass. Teatro Colon is a world-class opera house of which Portenos (residents of Buenos Aires) are justifiably proud.
Third, postmodernity is not lost on Francis. Woven through the discourse of this lengthy interview are indications that the many sciences, not just theology and philosophy, are sources for religious reflection. Obviously his experience at the World Youth Day in Brazil was formative. He understands the differing roles of people of varying ages; he realizes that younger churches have unique characteristics, older churches their own charm; that vigor and wisdom, ancient and new, all have their place; and he affirms “real, not ceremonial consultation” as the way forward. These are contemporary ideas that his immediate predecessors did not understand—or if they did, they did not accept them.
All of this, and many other strands of a rich and provocative interview portend something new for Catholicism. Still, I would be remiss as a theologian if I did not also offer a critical view of some aspects that I find troubling.
...And Three Cold
The weakest part of the interview is the section on women. It is amazing how little this pope seems to know about women, other than his grandmother Rosa whom he places right next to the Virgin Mary. The very fact that women are set apart as special, different, seems to imply that everything else he says about church, morality etc. is for and about men. This is a serious methodological flaw. Either women are part of “the holy, faithful people of God,” and thus the church in the full sense, or they are not.
If women are human beings like men, not different from men in some mystical way that can result in discrimination, then ordination, reproductive justice, contraception and the like are choices women can and should make. Catholics do not need “a profound theology of the woman,” but a clear, engaged reading of feminist work in religion that is among the most exciting theological production today. The very framing of the question about women is dubious. Difference unto discrimination is a slippery slope.
Little change will come to the injustices a kyriarchal church perpetrates on women until there are more insights than endless references to women’s motherhood, Mary as more important than bishops, the institutional Church as Mother, and so forth. Francis might consult some women for clarity. I had a fine mother and I try to be a good mother, but enough is enough on mothers. What about seeing women as persons, human beings, agents of their own lives? Likewise, I await a clear definition of ‘female machismo’ that has him so worried. How about worrying instead about plan old ‘machismo’ that has caused such havoc in the world?
It is intellectually embarrassing to hear a man who is so conversant with music, literature, and poetry have such a paltry vocabulary when it comes to women. Thus far, Francis has not had any public conversation with a woman church leader of any sort. The continued oppression of U.S. women religious, allegedly approved by him, is a negative sign as well. But maybe it will fall into the category of small things to which he will pay little attention. Regardless, on the day the papal interview came out the Church of Ireland, part of the Anglican Communion, appointed its first woman bishop ever in Britain or Ireland. Note that her diocese is Kildare and Meath where St. Brigit was ordained a bishop in the fifth century. I hope the Pope noticed and sent congratulations.
A second issue I find troubling is the lack of transparency about the shape of the institutional church. The cardinals realized on the resignation of Benedict XVI that the institutional church was in ruins. Its creditability is gone due to financial scandals, pedophilia by priests, and cover-ups by bishops. Frankly, no one cares much what the Catholic Church officials think on the big issues—war, the economy, racism, ecology, etc. Sometimes I wish they did! So from a purely business perspective, they have chosen a CEO who is leading a charm offensive that is working. Why not admit it? Perhaps this will be the subject of the next interview if the Jesuits have the gumption to ask him.
Moreover, it’s important to realize that “election” of a pope is not very different from election of a president or other top-ranking official in a hierarchical organization. S/he brings with her/him a whole entourage of lower ranking officials, much like in the U.S. when the Republicans are defeated by the Democrats or vice versa. The winner brings a team. So now it’s time for the people who lost the election to get out of the way and let Francis govern.
Conservatives are not pleased with his views, and while progressives generally like his tone and content they want structural changes to back them up. My hope is that out of all of this will come not more emphasis on Good Pope Francis, and by extension more papal power, but a new model of church in which his role as pope is as a symbol of unity, not authority.
A third area of concern is the major matter of church doctrine—what this pope jesuitically says he affirms as a “son” of the church. If that’s the case, what hope is there that things will be substantively and structurally different in years to come? If some issues are closed—not just the ordination of women but how other faith traditions are understood; not just same-sex love, but what we mean by Eucharist—is this interview simply a puff piece, a case of the Jesuits promoting their own and their own promoting Jesuits? Is it meant as a way to attract people back to a church that may have a kinder face but just as steely a heart? Is the good will it has engendered trustworthy? The Roman Catholic Church has been around for several thousand years for a reason. I hope this interview is a beginning not an end of a new moment.
These serious reservations notwithstanding, my early read of “A Big Heart Open to God” is hopeful—to be otherwise would not be Catholic. Moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire gets it right when he says here on RD, “Never before has so much fresh air flowed through musty Vatican halls.” Let the dialogue get bigger and the table grow more crowded.

19 September 2013

Mary E. Hunt Responds to Pope Francis

MaryHuntbio (1)
Mary E. Hunt and other faith leaders respond to Pope Francis' comments on LGBT people.

“Reflections by Pope Francis on reordering Catholic moral and theological priorities are welcome. Decades of focus by institutional church officials on what Catholic theologian Daniel C. Maguire baptized ‘the pelvic zone issues’ have rendered the Roman Catholic Church outdated and unhelpful when it comes to dealing with today’s moral dilemmas: war, ecological crisis, poverty, racism, healthcare, and the wellbeing of women and dependent children. Progressive Catholics, especially women, have been working on these issues for a long time. It is good to see some members of the hierarchy begin to join the struggle."

“What needs to happen next is for Francis’ words about the church as ‘the holy, faithful people of God’ to become the basis of new ecclesial structures, new forms of shared ministry, leadership, and authority. Then, rather than applauding a pope for saying obvious and necessary things that bring Catholicism into the twentieth, if not twenty-first century, the world can take seriously the voices of all Catholics who engage in the sacred work of doing justice.”

18 September 2013

October 9 Teleconference with Nancy Sylvester

"Contemplation: An Invitation to Faith-filled Feminists"NancySylvesterIHM
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 1 -2 PM EDT

Nancy Sylvester, IHM, is the Founder and President of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue (ICCD) which began in 2002.  Nancy is committed to the transforming power of communal contemplation in one’s life and the life of the community. She believes it invites the shifts in consciousness so necessary to embrace our evolutionary journey and engage the critical issues facing us in ways that foster dialogue, relationships, compassion and justice.

Nancy is a past President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and past vice-president of her religious congregation the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, MI. She served on the staff of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, for fifteen years, first as researcher, then lobbyist and ten years as National Coordinator. Prior to coming to NETWORK, Nancy taught secondary education in and around Detroit, Michigan.

Nancy has served on numerous Boards and committees including: the National Board of Mary’s Pence, the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice where she was a founding member, the National Board of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, the National Governing Board of Common Cause, the Board of Trustees of Marygrove College, Detroit, MI, and has served as an advisor on the United States Bishops’ International Policy Committee. She currently chairs her congregation’s Responsible Investment Committee and Mission Integration Sponsorship Committee.

Recommended resources related to this teleconference include sections from The Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue:

17 September 2013

In Memory of Her

You can remember or honor someone special or an occasion by giving a donation in their name to WATER's In Memory of Her Fund. You are invited to send your donation with a check and an accompanying note, or donate on our website via PayPal and send us an email to honoring your loved one.

Where does "in memory of her" come from? According to Mark (14:9), Jesus said of the faithful woman who anointed him "and truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." Church history has since conveniently forgotten her name. In Memory of Her honors people from all religious or non-religious traditions.

The following is our current list of remembrance:
From Anna Beth Roeschley of Washington, DC: In honor of the union of Emily Derstine and Christopher Friesen
From Darlene Clements of San Antonio, TX: In memory of John J. Murnin
From  Martha Di Domenico of Oceanside, NY: In memory of Carol Murdock Scinto

16 September 2013

WATER Congratulates Maureen Fielder, SL, in Celebrating Her 50th Jubilee

Maureen and Mary
Mary E. Hunt gave the following remarks at Maureen Fielder's Interfaith Jubilee Service.

Breaking news! Call CNN! All four of the readings Maureen chose for her service are focused on women! And well they should be, as we celebrate Maureen’s fifty years of committed religious service to the world through her faithful membership in two Catholic-rooted women’s communities.

The powerful words of Ruth and Naomi that Rabbi Fred Scherlinder-Dobb read, and now “The Magnificat” that I have just shared, are classic examples of women’s religious agency, women making clear what they think and believe. I daresay Maureen carries on this tradition, weekly on the radio no less!  In the Christian tale, Mary and her cousin Elizabeth are chatting about their respective, chosen pregnancies. According to the story, Elizabeth acknowledges something about Mary’s unique motherhood. Something new and wonderful is afoot here. Then Mary launches into her faith statement that still has powerful echo today.

This passage from Luke 1 is a canticle, a song that has been set to music by Bach and Mozart among others. It is a catalogue of divine actions that Mary, the mother of Jesus, holds up as exemplary. Read in our context, on the brink of war and in the midst of unbridled plenty for some and unspeakable want for others, the words take on fresh allure. Read in tandem with Maureen’s life, the text becomes very concrete.

“Your mercy reaches from age to age”—a good motto for Congress and the military to redouble efforts for a peaceful, diplomatic solution in Syria—save everybody’s face and their bodies too.

“You have scattered the proud in their conceit”—good luck showing up for your “Interfaith Voices” radio show interview with a large ego. Maureen the moderator will make sure you are focused, respectful, and brief like everyone else.

“You have deposed the mighty from their thrones”—is that what Mr. Putin was trying to do in his New York Times op ed? Who knew!

“You have filled the hungry with good things”—Maureen’s radio show, an audio magazine, is a veritable smorgasbord of nutritious religious news, commentary, and personal stories.

The Magnificat captures not only important things about God’s actions in the world, but also important aspects of us. Maureen’s jubilee gives us a chance to pay attention to them. The poet Mary Oliver asks: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” In Catholic speak, that is a question about vocation—who will you become, what will you do?

I believe that vocation, not just in terms of religious life but wholesale, is what you or I can do that literally no one else in the world can do. And if we don't do it, the world will be diminished. Today we celebrate someone who fulfills her vocation with style. Maureen’s life is an invitation to us to fulfill our own vocations.

Maureen is a dear friend, a colleague, a sister, a neighbor, a brilliant, committed religious woman who embraces her unique and remarkable vocation, and by so doing adds new dimensions to the world. Who else brings such energy to her workplace that interns a third her age pant breathlessly behind trying to keep up the pace? Who else lavishes such attention on God’s own chosen cats? Who else speaks truth to episcopal “powers that think they are” but does it in ways so direct and compelling that bishops can only nod their heads? Who else enjoys such a sterling reputation for interfaith work that many religions want to claim her as their own? Who else serves both her Loretto community and national television audiences with equal ease and effectiveness?

We’re talking about one of a kind, Maureen Fiedler. That is what it means to fulfill one’s own vocation, not live to somebody else’s life. It is something for all of us to aspire to. Elizabeth and Mary fulfilled their vocations in their ways, and Maureen is doing it her way. The challenge is for us to do the same with out lives.

In Mercy and Loretto circles (and by now all of us are one community, I think!), fifty years of committed membership is notable, but not even close to the end. I know virtually everywhere else, 50 years—of marriage or work, for example—is considered an achievement. But these Mercy and Loretto women are of pioneer stock and they have so much fun that fifty years for them is just getting started.

How many of us can say that choices we made at age 18 or 20 are choices we continue to affirm today? A 50th anniversary is less an endurance prize and more like the biblical sense of jubilee, seven times seven, when the land rests, debts are erased, property is redistributed, the world is different. The world can and will be different because some people—like Maureen—make it happen by living fully their “one wild and precious life.” Today’s celebration invites us to all to recommit to living fully our own lives.

Thanks, Maureen, for the vivid reminder. With the biblical writer we say, “All generations will call you blessed.” Thank you. Amen. Blessed be.

13 September 2013

Mary & Diann Deliver Buehrig and Kaehler Archives in Switzerland

Gosteli Cropped

Diann L. Neu and Mary E. Hunt packed and delivered papers of pioneering Swiss feminist theologians Marga Buehrig and Else Kaehler to the Gosteli-Stiftung Archiv near Bern, Switzerland. Frau Marthe Gosteli received the materials enthusiastically for the Institute's extensive collection of Swiss women's history.

For more information on the Gosteli Foundation:

01 September 2013

October 7 WATER Meditation/Contemplative Prayer

ferncroppedContemplative Prayer at WATER with Mary E. Hunt
"Practice Awareness"

Monday, October 7, 2013
7:30 PM (EDT)

WATER offers a regular contemplative prayer opportunity each month. This is a communal meditation, a time of silence and reflection followed by a short discussion. Mary E. Hunt will lead the meditation on “Practice Awareness.”

RSVP by sending an email with the words “Register Me Contemplative” by Friday, October 4, 2013 to or call 301.589.2509 so that we can expect you. If you wish to join by phone, please indicate that so we can send you the phone-in number.

The office will be open at 7 PM (EDT) for a cup of tea and conversation. Silence will commence promptly at 7:30 PM, so please be here by then. We will finish and be on our way by 8:30 PM.

Parking is free in the garage behind the office after 7 PM. The front door of the building has a phone entry system; find “WATER” and dial the office to be buzzed in.

All are welcome. Some of us have been involved in the Engaging Impasse process (, which combines meditation with community dialogue. No experience required! Just come with a contemplative spirit. Your presence will enrich us all. Donations are always welcome.

September Ritual: The World Needs Peacemakers by Diann L. Neu

power-of-lightPeople worldwide are praying and working for peace, especially in the midst of the Syrian crisis and in the wake of the Navy Yard mass shooting. Most have a desperate desire to end violence in all forms. 

What kind of peacemakers do we need today?  Where are they?  How will we know them?  Now more than ever, we must call one another to be peacemakers.  Let us glimpse what peacemakers throughout the ages have passed on to us.

For this ritual, pick three favorite candles for the "Call to Gather" and provide a candle for each participant.

Circle of Peacemakers
We gather in a world at war.  We come not to debate politics but to pray for peace, not to create military strategies but to open our hearts to the Spirit of Love and Justice and to be part of the force that creates peace.  We gather to call forth peacemakers. (Light a candle)

We gather in the spirit of those who have died—may they rest in peace.  We gather in the spirit of those who are making decisions, hopeful that our prayers will warm their hearts and open their minds to a moral creativity that will bring peace without bombing and killing.  We gather in the spirit of the Divine who calls us to live in peace from generation to generation.  We gather to call forth peacemakers. (Light a candle)

We gather because we must.  We can’t keep from singing for peace.  We can’t keep from praying for an end to violence and the beginning of a new day for our children’s children and for us.  We gather linked in a special way to the people in Syria, praying for their safety, and hoping with them that this war will end. We gather mourning all who are killed in mass shootings. We gather to call forth peacemakers. (Light a candle) 

triad candles cropped

Naming the Circle
Let us create a circle of peacemakers.  When you hear the word “peacemakers,” who do you think of?  Speak your name and say, “I am a peacemaker.” (Sharing)

Chant: “Give Peace a Chance,” John Lennon
All we are saying is give peace a chance...

All merciful God of Many Names,
Yahweh, Allah, Holy One, Wisdom-Sophia,
Your power and grace, not ours, sustain the universe.
Teach us to hallow your names throughout the world.
Response:  In your mercy, grant us peace.

You chose Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar
to birth many nations.
And you continue to speak through prophets and peacemakers in every land.
Forgive us, their offspring, for our wars and misdeeds toward one another.
Save us from further terrorism and destruction that all children may live in peace.
Response:  In your mercy, grant us peace.

Compassionate and merciful God,
Change the hearts of extremist organizations, hate groups,
And those who turn to violence as a solution.
Help us find together a way to peace that serves each nation and its people.
Response:  In your mercy, grant us peace.

Guardian of all life,
Guide the leaders of the United States and its allies,
Guide the rulers of Syria, Russia, and the Middle East
To act responsibly to bring peace and welfare to humankind.
Response:  In your mercy, grant us peace.

God of Peace and Justice,
Guide all religious communities around the world
To work for peace with justice
So that all may have food, housing, prosperity, and peace.
Response:  In your mercy, grant us peace.

Chant: “Give Peace a Chance,” John Lennon
All we are saying is give peace a chance...

Calls for Peace
Women have long called for peace.
Listen to some of them.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
--Eleanor Roosevelt, radio broadcast (1951), in Joseph P. Lash, Eleanor: The Years Alone (1972)

“You can’t shake hands with a clinched fist.”
--Indira Ghandi, in The Christian Science Monitor (1952)

“September 11 changed the world.  Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States.”
--Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) who cast the only  vote in opposition to S. J. Res. 23, Authorizing the Use of  Military Force (2001)

“New horrors require new moral creativity. The tragic events of September 11 challenge people of good will, especially religious people, to find new ways of handling conflict and dealing with difference… Moral creativity requires the deepest resources of our various religious traditions and the most profound insights we can muster. It is a process that prioritizes careful listening over reactive speech.”
--Mary E. Hunt, “A Call for Moral Creativity,” WATERwheel (2001)

“The quietly pacifist peaceful / always die / to make room for men / who shout.”
--Alice Walker, “The QPP,” Revolutionary Petunias (1971)

“Peace is when time doesn’t matter as it passes by.”
--Maria Schell, in Time (1958)

“Peace as a goal is an ideal which will not be contested by any government or nation, not even the most belligerent.”
--Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize, (1991)

“The struggle to maintain peace is immeasurably more difficult than any military operation.”
--Anne O’Hare McCormick, in Julia Edwards, Women of the World (1988)

“Indeed women have a place to fill and a stake to claim and a role to play in the world’s pursuit of peace. Indeed women have a right to … demand the feminine alternatives of listening and seeing and caring and relating and reaching out and feeling for the other that lead the world away from war.”
--Joan Chittister, OSB, Women & Power Conference, Omega Institute (2004)

“Acquire inner peace and a multitude will find their salvation near you.”
--Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Poustinia (1975)

Chant: “Dona Nobis Pacem,” 16th Century, Anonymous
Dona nobis pacem pacem, Dona nobis pacem.
Give to us peace…

Sharing and Candle Lighting
Take a candle, light it for world peace, and share your reflections, if you wish? (Sharing)

many candles cropped

Litany of Peacemakers
Let us remember those women and men who, down through the ages, have worked for peace.  Let us ask them to pray with us for peace at home and in the world.

Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed, pray for peace.
Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham, pray for peace.
Anne Frank and Rabbi Heschel, pray for peace.
Mary of Nazareth and Francis of Assisi, pray for peace.
Martin Luther King and Mary McLeod Bethune,
pray for peace.
Pope John XXIII and Dorothy Day, pray for peace.
Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clark, and Jean Donovan, pray for peace.
The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and Mahatma Ghandi, pray for peace.
Please share the names of other peacemakers,
pray for peace.

Chant: “Dona Nobis Pacem,” 16th Century, Anonymous
Dona nobis pacem pacem, Dona nobis pacem.
Give to us peace…

Greeting of Peace: The Prayer of St. Francis
Let us pray together:
All merciful God of Many Names,
Yahweh, Allah, Holy One, Wisdom-Sophia,
Make us instruments of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let us sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Let us exchange a greeting of peace with one another. (Peace greetings)

Sending Forth
Go forth committed to work for peace.
May peace be before us and behind us,
beside us and around us.
May peace be above us and below us,
inside us and throughout the world.
So that all generations may live in peace forever and ever. Amen.  Blessed Be.  Let It Be So.

© Diann L. Neu is co-founder and co-directior of WATER. A variation of this ritual is published in Peace Liturgies, WATERworks Press.