Liturgy of Women’s Experiences

Written by a team in response to the initial failure of UMC Constitutional Amendment 1 (2018)

Leader Copy

Reader 1: Jesus said “Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  The stories of women are the stories of our faith. And so we remember the mighty women of God and the lessons they have taught us. Along with each, you are invited to name others aloud or in your heart.

Reader 2: In remembering Eve, we rejoice that we are each created in the image of God. We name those who show us God. [silence to name those who show you God]

Reader 3: We remember and rejoice.   In remembering Sarah, we give thanks for the spiritual mothers of churches and nations. We name those who nurture and mentor us. [silence to name those who mentor and nurture]

Reader 4:We remember and give thanks.  In remembering Hagar, we lift up those who have been passed over, forgotten, or cast out.  We name those who are frustrated or have left ministry. [silence to name those who have languished or left ministry]

Reader 5: We remember and lift up.  In remembering Lydia, we celebrate those who heard God’s call and would not take no for an answer.  We name those who opened the way for women in ministry. [silence to name those who opened the way into ministry]

Reader 6:We remember and celebrate.  In remembering Rachel and Leah, we repent for all the times women have competed instead of cooperating and for the times we have been played against one another. We name those women we should have treated better. [silence to name those should have loved better]

Reader 7:We remember and repent.  In remembering Esther, we honor those who take risks and use their power on behalf of others.  We name those who stand up for others. [silence to name those who take risks for others]

Reader 2:We remember and we honor.  In remembering Huldah, we acknowledge all who labored away from the limelight to learn the word of God and restore their communities.  We name those whose diligent work sometimes goes unnoticed. [silence to name those who have been diligent workers]

Reader 3:We remember and acknowledge.  In remembering Priscilla, we give thanks for all the places women’s leadership has been embraced and supported.  We name those places women are welcomed in ministry. [silence to name those who welcome women in ministry]

Reader 4:We remember and are glad.  In remembering Tamar, we grieve with all those who have told their story of neglect, injustice, or abuse and been discounted.  We name those whose stories were dismissed or disbelieved. [silence to name those who have been dismissed or disbelieved]

Reader 5:We remember and we weep.  In remembering the Levite’s Concubine, we lament for for those who are forgotten or who suffer violence yet remain nameless and voiceless. We name those who we often overlook but who are affected by the actions we take, or do not take. [silence to name those we have failed to protect]

Reader 6:We remember and cry out.  In remembering the women at the tomb, Mary, Mary, Joanna and Salome, we recall the first apostles, without whom the world might not have the resurrection story.  We name those who proclaim good news to the world. [silence to name those who proclaim good news]

Reader 7: We remember and proclaim the good news: Christ is risen and is still renewing the world.  In remembering the whole Church, we declare again our love for Christ’s bride.

Reader 8: Though the Church is not perfect it is being made so.  Though the world is broken it is being made whole. Though we have not achieved the promise of equality, we celebrate what God has done and continues to do in and through us.

All: We remember the stories of our foremothers and take up their mantle. We will run but not grow weary, we will rise on wings like eagles, for the spirit of the Lord renews our strength.  So we will continue to preach the good new until its promised glory is a reality for all. Amen

 

Participant Copy

“Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  

[during the prayer you are invited to lift names up silently or aloud]

In remembering Eve…[silence to name those who show you God]…We remember and rejoice

In remembering Sarah… [silence to name those who mentor and nurture]… We remember and give thanks.

In remembering Hagar… [silence to name those who are frustrated or left ministry]…We remember and lift them up

In remembering Lydia, …[silence to name those who opened the way into ministry]…We remember and celebrate

In remembering Rachel and Leah…[silence to name those we should have loved better]…We remember and repent.

In remembering Ester…  [silence to name those who took risks for others]…We remember and we honor

In remembering Huldah…[silence to name those who are diligent workers]…We remember and acknowledge

In remembering Priscilla…[silence to name those who support women in ministry]…We remember and are glad

In remembering Tamar… [silence to name those whose stories were dismissed or disbelieved]…We remember and we weep.

In remembering the Levite’s Concubine… [silence to name those we have failed to protect]… We remember and we cry out

In remembering the women at the tomb, Mary, Mary, Joanna and Salome…[silence to name those who proclaim good news] We remember and proclaim the good news: Christ is risen and is still renewing the world.

…we celebrate what God has done and continues to do in and through us.

All: We remember the stories of our foremothers and take up their mantle. We will run but not grow weary, we will rise on wings like eagles, for the Spirit of the Lord renews our strength.  So we will continue to preach the good new until its promised glory is a reality for all. Amen

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