Holy One, we come before you this day, all of us, as creatures of God and as individuals located within the experience of the feminine. We bring our lives, stories, families, relationships, and our very existence to this place, all of which is shaped and touched by women.
We praise you, Creator, for the gift of women, not to the exclusion of other sex and gender identities, but as invaluable members of humanity designed to be in right relationship with all people. Sovereign One, we thank you for women’s experiences with you in and through:
the divine image within women; the divine claim upon women in baptism; the divine welcome received by women from your table; the divine commissioning which invites the lives and gifts of women for ministry; and the divine covenant which binds women with all people in the one promise to bless and redeem humankind.
We give thanks for the mothers of our faith heritage and for all Biblical women who tell the story of God’s everlasting love and righteousness. We remember mothers and poets like Eve, Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Mary-
Women who laugh at mysteries of life, pray without ceasing, sing songs of praise, ponder your words, and whose womb housed the Word.
We remember leaders: liberators, judges, prophets, and queens like Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Esther- Women who lead people out of the house of bondage, rule with equity and wisdom, redirect our attention toward your word, and risk their lives for their people.
We remember disciples, apostles, and builders of the Church like Mary Magdalene, Martha, Anna, Priscilla, Dorca, Lydia, and Phoebe-
Women who are witnesses to Christ’s resurrection, proclaim the good news of the gospel, stand on the side of the poor and oppressed, heal the sick, and offer their homes, money, and resources to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
We remain in solidarity with women whose stories are heavy with pain, who long for dignity and justice-
Women like Hagar who are scorned; women like Dinah and Bathsheba who are raped and objectified; women like Delilah and Jezebel who are demonized; women like Rahab who are disdained.
We honor nameless women, remembered not by name, but for their actions and life circumstances: the woman at the well, the woman who anointed Jesus, the Syro-Phoenician woman, all daughters of Israel, and all sisters in Christ.
Generous and Loving God, we witness your on-going commitment to women whose lives you dwell in to continue telling the story of your eternal love. We join you in delighting in the many gifts of women.
We give thanks for gifts of intuition, integrity, and imagination; wisdom, authenticity, and compassion; expressiveness, openness, and humility.
We give thanks for dedication to being mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, godmothers, daughters, partners, friends, mentors, and pillars of society.
We give thanks for women’s commitment to life itself: as givers of life who carry, labor with, and give birth to many things; as sustainers of life who nourish, abide with, protect, and empower; as respecters of life who celebrate maturation and mourn loss of life.
God of justice, we recognize the divine image in womankind and your partnership with them in ministry, therefore, we denounce: violence against women; rape and all attempts to dominate and coerce women; sexual exploitation of women; silencing of women; actions and words which seek to diminish women’s value, esteem, and importance; all attempts to limit women, to restrict their rights, and to segregate them from any realm of society.
We pray for the day when all tears will be wiped away and for world in which: communities are shaped by gender equality and justice; womanhood is revered and honored; femininity can be embraced and celebrated by all; and women are restored to lives of dignity, wholeness, and joy in the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, one God, forever and ever, Amen.