Seeking Jesus Faithfully as Women who Proclaim the Gospel
Phillis Wheatley was a poet and an enslaved person who used her voice and pen to speak against slavery from a Christian perspective.
Dialogue with God about the space of solidarity you are holding in this session. Use words, spoken or written, draw, sing, or move your body as ways of engaging/expressing these prayer thoughts, feelings, and questions.
- Give thanks for this Phillis Wheatley’s life. What from their story stands out to you? What gives you encouragement and strength?
- What challenges you?
- Does anything in their story prompt you to desire to live, love, act, and relate differently than you have before?
- Prayerfully hold a posture of awareness of God’s presence with you. In that awareness, consider what a faithful response is for you out of this time of prayerful solidarity.
- Pray now for those who are speaking but not heard. That the world would pay attention to their voices and heed the call to alleviate suffering and injustice. Ask God to make you aware of the voices and stories of women you aren’t hearing or listening for.
"A Litany to Honor Women"‡
We walk in the company of the women who have gone before, mothers of the faith both named and unnamed, testifying with ferocity 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 ow 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. Amen.