Justice for Women for the Sake of the Entire Body of Christ

Melissa Pohlman, Pastor For Community Ministry at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN

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Melissa PohlmanThere are moments and times when I expect things to be different and then they are not. When things are exactly the same as they have always been, I chide myself for being fooled once again, for giving people and institutions more credit than they deserve.

Being in spaces where women are working so hard to bring about gender justice has been invigorating and exhausting. Most days I remain hypervigilant to the words I choose and how my choices impact all those who surround me. Words that used to be synonyms in my mind now hold delicate nuances based on the stories from women who have entrusted me with their moments, stories told at times to entire rooms packed full of other women. Continue reading “Justice for Women for the Sake of the Entire Body of Christ”

It is time… To rebuild our culture

What does it mean to change a culture?

Is it even possible?

With a movement that is powerful,

Can we be unstoppable?

To fight and fight and fight some more

May only get us so far.

We need men along for the ride

Supporting us as we are.

To change the stereotypes we have

These are things we must do:

Spread the word about gender equality

And empower ourselves to continue.

The following memes here are provided

By the talented Mikka McCracken.

They show things to consider

And provide ways for action.

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Yes it takes time to build a culture

And rebuilding is even harder.

But using our gifts and talents and passion

With solidarity, we can go farther.

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This double standard must not be ignored

But what are ways we can change this?

Let’s transform our language about these things

And encourage women for leadership.

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Changing an idea is Easy. Changing attitudes is hard. Changing beliefs is harder. Changing values is hardest.

The hardest is changing values

Which form when we are young.

Let’s cut off discrimination and stereotypes

BEFORE they have begun.

Tools to Deconstruct Gender Stereotypes:

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1. Call It Out.

2. Identify the Stereotype and Attitude

3. Use the Research

4. Pay Attention to Intersectionality

5. Use Humor

6. Promote Diversity of Varied Voices to Overcome Stereotypes

If we take these tools and use them daily

What change we could do

Lead with our actions every day

Let us make this culture new.

Keep dreaming. Keep speaking. Keep believing.

Sarah Adam

The Theological Work to be Done

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Language and words are important to me. I am a writer and a speaker. The articulation and presentation of thoughts is something that I take very seriously because it provides the foundation for how ideas are transmitted and relationships are formed. I often start by defining words, phrases and concepts so that a common understanding exist and that there is clarity in the exchange of information.

That being said, let me begin with a word about who I am. I am a self identified womanist theologian. This means nothing to you if you don’t know what a womanist is and how that forms a theological framework. Womanist is a term coined by the venerable Alice Walker in her work In Search of our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose. She defines womanist in the following ways:
  1. From womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. Interested in grown up doings. Acting grown up. Being grown up. Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.” Responsible. In charge. Serious.
  2. A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength. Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health. Traditionally a universalist, as in: “Mama, why are we brown, pink, and yellow, and our cousins are white, beige and black?” Ans. “Well, you know the colored race is just like a flower garden, with every color flower represented.” Traditionally capable, as in: “Mama, I’m walking to Canada and I’m taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me.” Reply: “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
  3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.
  4. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.

I am a theologian – one who studies God and concepts of God. I operate from a practical framework, one that is pastoral in nature. This means that I understand who God is through a pastoral care lens, one that takes seriously the care of, compassion for and fundamental humanity of God’s creation.

So as a womanist theologian, I draw on my experience and the larger experience of black women and their context of experiencing interlocking systems of oppression to understand who God is and how God moves in a caring relationship with God’s people. The purpose of this study is to uncover a fuller understanding of what it means to experience abundant life and ultimately liberation. This does not end with the black woman’s lived experience, it only begins there. A key aspect of womanist theology is that the liberation and wholeness of all of humanity is lifted up. Did you get that?

Continue reading “The Theological Work to be Done”