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The Upside Down Shake Out

There is a current of feminine energy pulsing through the global community right now.  Woman are finding their voices, their strength and their willingness to stand up, speak out and be heard. From the #MeToo movement to the Time’s Up stance, momentum is building as women around the world are joining together to march in the streets with bold, confident strides demanding equality and safety for all women, everywhere. In the last year, the Women’s March has grown into a broad-based movement advocating for causes from reproductive freedom to immigrants’ rights.

Throughout Biblical history, there have always been strong women with equally strong voices. Sarah left her comfortable and familiar surroundings to launch her journey with God. Ruth also left her home to accompany her mother-in-law Naomi and to follow God’s call. Esther modeled bravery and courage when she risked her life to save the lives of her people. Mary Magdalene dared to love Jesus and to proclaim him as the risen Christ. Deborah, prophet, and judge to Israel, is known for her wisdom, courage, and commitment to justice.

And, in the Gospel of Luke, there is Anna, one of the first evangelists. Yet, perhaps simply because she was a woman, her voice was never recorded. However, her prophetic presence was. The power and energy of a woman are not necessarily restricted to the worlds she speaks. Her actions may speak louder than any chosen words.

As women, and men, where is God calling us to? To leadership roles in our cities, our country, our church? To be an advocate for those who are not able to speak for themselves? God calls us all to speak our truth to the surrounding and oppressive powers.  Now, as the power structures of the world begin to re-shape and reform themselves, how do we see God forming and re-forming us, and all Creation? These are times the likes of which we have not seen before. The poet Hafez writes,

“The Beloved sometimes wants
to do us a great favour:

 Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.”

Perhaps this is the beginning of the great upside down shake out.

To celebrate with one another as women and to talk about issues that are on our minds, join us for Soup Sisters in the Salons, a monthly event for women beginning on Sunday, February 18th, right after 10:30am service. We will prepare, eat and take home, soup made by the hands of our STAW Sisters.

Lorraine Ashdown

Lorraine often refers to herself as a “Prairie Girl” even though she left her hometown of Winnipeg fifteen years ago. Lorraine graduated from Vancouver School of Theology with a Masters of Arts in Public and Pastoral Leadership and a diploma in Indigenous and Interreligious Studies. She is the Minister of Pastoral Care, Elders and Outreach with St. Andrew’s Wesley. Lorraine was Ordained on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 at BC Conference in Penticton,B.C. Lorraine brings to St. Andrew’s Wesley an authentic love of the United Church and a desire to create community and a sense of belonging within the faith community of St. Andrew’s Wesley and beyond.

Comments (3)

  1. Yes! Sisters and Soup!!!!! This was a beautifully written message Lorraine. Thank you.

  2. Timely message as I noticed a women’s energy this week too, Lorraine, with the Women’s March for a second year in Vancouver.

  3. Thanks Lorraine. I liked your powerful message.
    Sorry I will be away and miss our first STAW Women’s Soup Kitchen

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