From Pastor Kenny's Desk
May 9, 2021
Greetings MCC Richmond Family,
This coming Sunday is the day we set aside to honor and remember mothers and those who have served as a loving parent. It is a day that is often filled with a variety of feelings and emotions. Whatever this day holds for you, I trust it will be a day filled with pleasant memories and gratitude for persons who have made positive contributions to your life.
Perhaps it will also be a day of thanksgiving for the lives you have been blessed to guide and touch. May it be a day of gratitude for the many people and relationships that touch your life and the ways you able to make positive contributions in touching the lives of others. May it be a day of realizing God’s presence and transforming love as our ever-present loving parent.
On this day we also celebrate the life and ministry of women … their influence, presence, and gifts in our lives, our community and our world.
As I was reviewing my Mother’s Day folder, I found the following prayer that I have edited over the years, as I have for this letter. Unfortunately, I do not remember the original author or source, or if it was composed as a team effort of pastor colleagues. I hope you will find it meaningful and celebratory in giving thanks for the gifts of women and how God continues to bless our lives through the examples of bold women.
God of all, we give thanks for the witness of bold women. From the earliest times until today - and on into the future, bold women show us how to live as the Beloved of God … embracing our call to work for justice and peace as we care for all God’s creatures.
We walk in the company of the women who have gone before, mothers of the faith both named and unnamed, testifying with passion and faith to the Spirit of wisdom and healing. They are the judges, the prophets, the martyrs, the warriors, poets, lovers, and saints who are near to us in the shadow of awareness, in the crevices of memory, in the landscape of our dreams.
We walk in the company of Deborah, who judged the Israelites with authority and strength.
We walk in the company of Esther, who used her position as queen to ensure the welfare of her people.
We walk in the company of you whose names have been lost and silenced, who kept and cradled the wisdom of the ages.
We walk in the company of the woman with the flow of blood, who audaciously sought her healing and release.
We walk in the company of Mary Magdalene, who wept at the empty tomb until the risen Christ appeared.
We walk in the company of Phoebe, who led an early church in the empire of Rome.
We walk in the company of Perpetua of Carthage, whose witness in the third century led to her martyrdom.
We walk in the company of St. Christina the Astonishing, who resisted death with persistence and wonder.
We walk in the company of Julian of Norwich, who wed imagination and theology, proclaiming, “All shall be well.”
We walk in the company of Sojourner Truth, who stood against oppression, righteously declaring in 1852, “Ain’t I a woman!”
We walk in the company of the Argentine mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who turned their grief to strength, standing together to remember “the disappeared” children of war with a holy indignation.
We walk in the company of Alice Walker, who named the lavender hue of womanish strength.
We walk in the company of you mothers of the faith, who teach us to resist evil with boldness, to lead with wisdom, and to heal.
For the witness of all bold women, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we thank you and praise you. For the work and influence of Vice President Kamala Harris, Justice Ruth Bater Ginsberg, Stacey Abrams, Maggie Walker, Harriet Tubman, Angela Merkel, Dr. Rachel Levine, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Michelle Obama, Danica Roem, Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Rev. Eder Nancy Wilson and countless others we offer our gratitude and love.
God of all, let the boldness of these women and others grow in our own hearts and empower us to live our call to Love God by caring for and serving others with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength. Thank you, God! Amen.
-Pastor Kenny Callaghan