Sunday, September 19, 2004

the W.I.

one of the things about calendar girls that really resonated with me was watching them sit at the back of the lecture on brocolli or tea towels and becoming so bored or in hysterics because of it's innability to connect with their minds, hearts, or god forbid souls.

i know that the WI (women's institute) is not a christian organization, but my own experience with church ministries to women is rarely much different. one of the things that must be readdressed in this new era of reformation in the church is the way in which we minister to women.

everything at our current church, while done beautifully and in order is 'the same' - they target 'the same' audience with each event and almost all of it is based on a consumer mentality, sorry to say, even the bible studies. our church is known in the area as the one to visit for women's events. they are truly breathtaking in their decor and decorum, but i honestly could never see another doily or tablecloth at a woman's event and i'd be okay with that. it's nice to be honored and spoiled every once in a while, but that regular menu of lace and fuff is excessive and overdone.

and i know it's not just my church. when will it ever get past the tablecloth?? when will we ever get farther than the pleasantries and small talk and find the path to our souls?

the powers that be at my church have whittled the only event at that managed to do so, the women's retreat, down from it's full-weekend status, to only one night, and this year, poof, it's gone. now we're going to have 'a one day retreat'. gone is the connection time, the community building and the depth of relationship that is built when you allow women to have their own time and event without men or children around. this was the only event i was even asked to participate in, (and that's because the 'powers that be' had let go of the reigns - they want control back again...) and now it's gone.

as i watched that film i was struck by the desperate need we have as women to break through the mundane and the frills and finally get to the meat of finding each other and sharing our lives together. of doing ropes courses or contemplative retreats, building habitat homes or fighting for social change, or real, rich, extended times of laughter and bonding, tears and support. not show up, be entertained and stuffed with as much fattening, excessive desserts as we can find to put in one place.

that is what our women's ministry has become. it's convinced us that we are as shallow as it is. we've believed the lie that women are just too busy, or too indispensable to take time away from everything to nurture our own souls, god knows that if we don't do it for ourselves nobody else will.

i have a dream, a vision, an inspiration to create something new. to do it differently. they can have their chocolate and their 3 minute devotionals, brocolli arranging and crafts.

i want art, nutrition, inspiration and a challenge. i want to step farther into the unknown and not have all the answers before i do. and i want to be surrounded by amazing, inspiring, challenging females who are all at different places in their lives so i can nurture and be nurtured and challenge and be challenged, inspire and be inspired while surrounded by a tribe of fearless, amazing women.

something different

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