herchurch -- a part of Interfaith/Christian/Lutheran Feminist Movements

(The Lutheran) Feminist Movements exists to celebrate feminine dimensions of the sacred as expressed in worship, learning, mutual care, and acts of justice.

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We are a Eucharistic Community
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photo by: Pastor Stacy

 WELCOME to Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran! 
 
In Christ-Sophia we gather for sacred ritual, communion(ity) and acts of justice.  Our mission is to embody and voice the prophetic word of the divine feminine to "self," "Church," and "world!"

“EBENEZER” refers to the Hebrew name in the book of Samuel for the memorial rock he called “Stone of Help.”  Samuel took a stone and set it up and called the name Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, Thus far our Sovereign God/dess has helped us.”  (I Samuel 7:12)  Like the immigrants who founded this congregation, we rely on God/dess' help, grace and guidance in our daily lives. "Ezer" (helper) is used in Hebrew Scripture to describe only God and Woman!

We gather for worship each Sunday because we are happiest when the center of life is not ourselves, but the Holy One.  It is God/dess who created this world and all its blessings.  It is the Ever Living One who has forgiven us, restored us, and blessed us with new life through the saving act of Jesus' death and resurrection.  And it is God/dess who enables us to turn from lives of self-absorption to live in partnership with God/dess for the sake of the neighbor.  At least every Sunday we need to be reminded of the focus and purpose of life, and we are grateful that the Spirit of the Living One blesses us through our sharing of the Word of Grace and the Holy Communion Meal.  We are sent into the world to be bearers of that divine word that can raise the dead to new life.

 

WE STRIVE to be an open and affirming community.  All persons are welcomed and loved in the love of Christ.  This is an exciting time.  Even though we have been in God’s service since 1882 in the City, we are now in the process of birthing a new congregation.  We are becoming a community of hospitality, which expresses inclusivity through word and worship, deed and ministry programming. Presently we are offering our neighborhoods fellowship, education and faith development opportunities through small group experiences such as our Lite-hikes, Bible Studies, Bay Area Ventures, Spirituality, Photo-treks, Embracing the Feminine Face of God, Faith Discussions and our Spiritual Quest/Journeys. OUR WORSHIPPING COMMUNITY is challenging and exciting!  We invite you to join us, as you are able in these endeavors. 

 

Lutheran sisters and brothers: if you are visiting our website for the first time and read or see something that seems incongruent with our theological heritage please be sure you note the whole picture of our ministry and GOSPEL proclamation by looking at each page.  Especially reflect on our mission statement on our home page or the info about us or the brief article about language for God.  Including masculine and feminine references to God/dess in worship lays the foundation for including women and men as equal leaders in the church and in soiciety and embraces the priesthood of all believers initiated in our baptisms.  God/dess is beyond gender and at the same time inclusive of both genders.  Using exclusively masculine terms and systems of domination is contrary to the Gospel and the heart of the risen Christ and the mission of the church. 

 
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"Jesus' redemptive power lies ultimately in ideal liberated-humanity, not in his maleness.  Christ's maleness is significant only insofar as he renounced the privileges that accompany it."
 
RECOMMENDED Reading:
 
Cross Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross
Marit A. Trelstad (Editor)
Minneapolis, Fortress - 336 Paperback
 
Consider Jesus - Waves of Renewal in Christology
by Elizabeth A. Johnson
Crossroad, New York
 
The Chalice and the Blade
by Riane Eisler
Harper

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Everyone welcome in this communion!

Stacy Boorn is the pastor of herchurch, San Francisco which is an emerging liberating feminist congregation in the Christian-Lutheran denomination.

 

Stacy, an ordained Lutheran pastor for 25 years, claims her malestream theological education opened the door to her presently building a Goddess inclusive congregation and ministry.  Her tradition, which teaches a good-news grounded in liberating love and free grace from the Holy Other, provided a rich soil for growing a new vision.

 

Pastor and congregation were first challenged by what it meant to lead a liturgy – sacred ritual and community building – that truly included the voices and experiences of both women and the divine feminine.  This led to more than just changing words and putting a feminine face on the icons.  Of course this “rocked the boat,” creating an a fertile ground for new growth and transformation.

 

The voice of the Divine Feminine is not only being mined in the pages of scriptures and the stories trapped between the lines but also from ancient and modern Goddess traditions.  A few members of the congregation joined Carol Christ in Crete for a pilgrimage in a land where Goddess and women lead a peaceful civilization. 

 

herchurch initiated a new ritual:  The Goddess Rosary.  Using the numeration of the Anglican Rosary congregants bead rosaries and use them in their personal devotional life and every Wednesday at 7 – 8 PM during a public reciting of the Goddess Rosary which includes prayers that are liberating and empowering (Our Mother Who is within us by Mariam Teresa Winters, a Roman Catholic Feminist and Hail Goddess Full of Grace by Carol Christ a Goddess Feminist). 

 

During the hour Tibetan bowls, bells, incense, water, she-icons, Goddess Rosaries, candles, stones, and sacred space are provided for individual meditation and movement. Minister of Embodiment Judith Lavender Dancer teaches movemt for the Our Mother and Hail Goddess prayers. She also brings sacred dance and the body into the Sunday liturgy.

 

Individuals from all over the globe have visited www.herchurch.org and fund hope for finding a spiritual journey that need not be oppressed within or trapped by a domination or patriarchal system or presentation of “faith/God”.  To help connect these folks and enrich their spiritual journey herchurch coordinates, onsite, an annual Faith and Feminism, Womanist, Mujerista Conference (feast) in November.  The next conference will be November 6-8, 2009

 

The liturgy, community and ministry of the congregation reflects diverse thealogical works and voices hoping to be a part of the prophetic voice of the divine feminine that will deconstruct Christianity and other patriarchal religions so that both a new paradigm and worldview may emerge that truly creates egalitarian just society and eco-sensitivities that tend to mending the web of life. 

 

Many Christians, even those who are a part of the progressive movement, often question the congregation’s Goddess focus.  But more important are the voices of persons who had felt alienated and isolated by the church prior to learning about the work of herchurch.

 

Pastor Stacy, and the congregation, who are embodying the Goddess, are convinced that the nature of the sacred and divine presented in feminist-inclusive understandings can and will help facilitate a caring culture. 

 

The present church building is painted purple and periwinkle in hopes to help proclaim this liberating love. Sacred dance and chants, classical hymnody with liberating lyrics, beautiful art, children everywhere and engaging faith conversations and acts of justice are a regular part of this worshipping community.

Affirmation of Welcome  - for Reconciling in Christ Communities
As a community of the people of God/dess, we are called to minister to all people of our world, knowing that the world is often an unloving place. Our world is a place of alienation and brokenness. Christ-Sophia calls us to reconciliation and wholeness. We are challenged by the Gospel to be agents of healing within our society.

We affirm with the apostle Paul that in Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female" (Galatians 3:28). Christ-Sophia has made us one. We acknowledge this reconciliation extends to all people.

Because gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered persons are often scorned by society and alienated from the Church, we wish to make known our caring and concern. It is for this purpose that we affirm the following:

         that people of all sexual orientations share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God/dess;

         that GLBT people are welcome within the membership of this congregation (organization or synod); and

  • That together with others in church and society we work towards changing policies that deny full acceptance and human dignity to all peoples especially GLBT persons who bear the brunt of the churches patriarchal discriminatory policies.
 

“A theology that includes female and male brings liberation and justice when we apply it in our worship services. To contribute to a new egalitarian church and society, we need to go beyond biblical explanation to ritual experience in community. Rituals touch the heart and soul. When our worship includes female and male divine names and images, we experience a change of heart. Our actions also change as these liberating rituals change us at the deepest level.”  –Jann Aldredge-Clanton

 

Suggested resources by Aldredge-Clanton

Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians
Praying with Christ-Sophia: Services for Healing and Renewal
In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians
In Whose Image? God and Gender

God, A Word for Girls and Boys
God, A Word for Girls and Boys Coloring Book


Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran
678 Portola Dr. San Francisco, CA 94127
Call 415-731-2953

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