|The following comment was made by simplegifts3 to my "Masculine Piety" post. While referencing the GodMen movement and their website, she wrote:|
Right off the bat, I think this site is hitting on a problem that plagues both men and women, and that is we cover up so much when we go to church, and we sit in pews and listen, and anything most people in church get to say is according to the script of a liturgy, or a hymn book or overhead screen lyrics.
I had heard of GodMen and decided to check out their website. As I read what they were about, I couldn't help but wonder what sort of outrage would be raised if someone created a similar organization for women...
Welcome to GodWomen, where you'll find power, honesty, courage and your tribe of sisters.In some ways this would appeal to me. It would certainly appeal to me far more than many of the women's events I'm familiar with, that seem so cloying. I can't help but think it would be a wonderful thing to be in a setting where being a woman is thought of as a good thing, where we do not have to make apology for our femininity, where everything is not centered around men, where we are defined as being ourselves rather than defined by our relationships with men.
The truth is that on any given Sunday, 60% of church attendees are women, and yet something about church today is not meeting the deepest needs of women. We are attempting to create a worship place for women that looks nothing like church. It is a place where women of no religion and women who have left the church break bread with followers of Jesus. Where simply being a woman, created in God's image, is celebrated. An environment familiar with and conducive to the way women are made comfortable and the unique way women interact.
We have committed to see what would happen if, for one day, our faith and its struggles would be discussed with absolute honesty, transparency and openness - not sugar coated or framed in church language but instead spoken in frankness and maturity where women can see their innermost fears, shames, and secrets brought to light in a safe environment. Not for judgment but instead to reveal a commonality of unique female struggles shared with their own tribe, a band of sisters who promise to walk this journey with them to the end. The GodWomen event is:
- More powerful, raw, and real than any other women's event you know.
- A place to explore issues like fear, isolation, numbness, aimlessness, sexual temptation, passivity and more.
- An opportunity to discuss sensitive subjects without using sugar coated or safe church language.
- Speakers who speak honestly about their struggles through short messages.
- A place to ask questions and receive honest answers.
- A chance to celebrate the feminine spirit.
This is a place of worship where we engage in laughter for laughter's sake, music for the sake of music, and female-specific elements that let women be women. We are unique in that we provide audience-speaker dialogue and interaction in order to teach women how to shoulder each others’ burdens, never to be alone again. Our ultimate desire is to encourage women to leave committed to daily acts of courage, guiding them into a new and fresh journey. Does this resonate with you and your search for meaning and truth? Then you are of our tribe - come walk with us and bring your unique life experience and perspective to our journey.
We don't want you....we need you.
Welcome to GodWomen!
Frankly, I would want our worship to be one in which we engage in music not for music's sake, but for the sake of Him Whom we worship. I would want the focus to be more on God than on me and my gender.
At the same time, I am drawn to the idea of a band of sisters who will shoulder each other's burdens, who will be honest about our struggles --- even the ones that make us appear less than the current ideal of godly womanhood --- and who will encourage each other to acts of courage.
Simplegifts3 is right: we have an issue of isolation in the church, a lack of real and meaningful fellowship and soul ministry, and this plagues women as well as men.
But isn't it funny how I can't shake the nagging feeling that the very idea of GodWomen seems dangerous and subversive?