Friday, 2 March 2012
Women's World Day of Prayer
Well, I was going to blog about this but my friend Revd Claire got there first and has said much of what I wanted to say. So, check it out!
Today's service was prepared by the women of Malaysia and had as it's theme "Let Justice Prevail."
I remember this service from when I was a child, and little seems to have changed. As an act of worship, I'm afraid I still find it wordy, and bitty, with too many elements.
But I think it's more the fact that it only appeals to a small section of our congregation, that concerns me. It is actively avoided by men (at least where I am - I was ridiculed for suggesting in a magazine article that the service should be attended by men as well as women) Why should something as important as praying for justice to prevail not be a concern to all of humanity, not just half of us? It still feels slightly (and I could be wrong) as if the women are being allowed to go and have their little service while the men do other, more important stuff.
That's not to say that I don't see the value of a group of women getting together to achieve something. I was a Guider for many years so firmly believe that there is a place for women-only spaces. I'm just not sure that this is one that I particularly feel comfortable in.
Having said all that, there were some really positive moments today- and here's a picture of some of the props that were made - these lovely butterflies to remind us of the colours of Malaysia.
I also love the thought that as our service finished, another one somewhere in the world was just beginning, and that we took up where someone else left off.
And I had a great conversation with a Roman Catholic lady who is in favour of the ordination of women and who was a bit upset by the arrival in the RC church of former Anglicans in the Ordinariate.
So, perhaps as an act of female solidarity, it's worth retaining, but perhaps also the ultimate goal should be that eventually the whole of God's people would recognise that issues that affect women require all of God's people to pray and act - not just the female half.
Claire feels ambivalent about this - and so do I. You?