Joining scholars like Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and Letty Russell and a growing number of feminist theologians
in reconceptualizing the canon and biblical authority ... connect with the Holy Other in holy writings and sacred rites.
Goddess Rosary Meditation
every Wednesday - scoll down for info.
A new Rosary made each morning!
ORDER a Custom Made Rosary!
Each morning Pastor Stacy and members of herchurch pray the Goddess
Rosary, remembering the struggles of women everywhere, while adding a bead at each prayer.
info about your self and journey so we can customize your rosary for you. Donate $35 for each Rosary (includes shipping).
We now offer secure online payments through Paypal! You may use your credit card through Paypal
at this site. Send us info on your life/faith journey to help us create your Goddess Rosary -- firstname.lastname@example.org
International orders: we have had some of your email addresses blocked, but if paypal has taken your
order we will get it!
Or you can mail a check made out to Ebenezer Lutheran Church, return address, something about yourself, and your Rosary
will be custom made and sent to you immediately! Stones/colors chosen specifically for you.
or mail check/request to:
Ebenezer Lutheran Church
678 Portola Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94127
gemstones beads are used for each rosary. We attempt to get fair trade beads, especially those made by women.
Proceeds go toward the development of this ministry and projects that promote justice and peace.
Gemstones may include: Rose
Quartz, Unikite, Amethyst, Agates, Hematite, Jasper, Tiger Eye, Sodalite, Carnelian, Natural Mother of Pearl, Aventurine,
Jades, Rhodinite, Obsidians, Bloodstone, and others.
Suggested prayers included. You may also commission Goddess Rosaries for others - share your
stories with us.
are made the day the order arrives in our hands. Send yours today!
Each rosary comes packed in a presentation package which includes suggestions for creating your own Goddess ritual.
And of course each rosary includes our heartfelt invitation to join with us Wednesday evenings and add your voice
to ours as we honor, 'she who Is.' Beautifully wrapped and perfect for gifting.
Goddess Rosary, Meditation Time -- Wednesdays 7:00 PM
EVERY WEDNESDAY, the sanctuary of Ebenezer/herchurch is open from Goddess Rosary Beads will be available for use during that time.
Prayers and suggested meditations will be on hand as well as incense, candles and bells. Community spoken Goddess Rosary will
be conducted at twenty minute intervals: ,
and .You may come and go as you wish, and use the prayer stations at any time.In an attempt to use Biblical, century-old images and developing connections with the Holy Other, the Goddess
rosary is grounded in traditions of the Christian Church and the proclamation of the gospel which is a vision of release from
bondage for a new creation.Midweek is a good time for you to re-center your
hectic paced week and allow the sacred to surround and embrace you!
Come share this spiritual and awe-filled experience.
Design/make your own Goddess Rosary on the 3rd Wednesday
of the month. Beads, instructions and tea provided! 8:00 PM
FEMININE IMAGES, METAPHORS, NAMES AND SYMBOLS
are not new but found in scripture, Christian tradition and faith experiences. These treasures
that have helped people connect with the Divine for centuries have often been hidden, buried, “white-washed,”
denied, or banished from Judeo-Christian communities and along with them the dignity, equality and voices of women.
the Christian tradition, God as Father plays an important role.Worship in the congregations of almost
every denomination is addressed to God as Father.But an exclusive emphasis on speaking of God as Father
contributes to a limited understanding of God, an understanding that supports a domination structure that oppresses and subordinates
women.Jesus’ use of “Abba” was offered as a revolutionary deconstruction of domination
structures of his day in both religious and social institutions.
“Christian theology has always recognized, theoretically, that all language
for God is analogical or metaphorical, not literal …. To take one image drawn from one gender and in one sociological
context as normative for God is to legitimate this gender and social group as the normative possessors of the image of God
and the representatives of God on earth.This is idolatry.” – Rosemary Radford Ruether.
It is not the intent or goal of the
Sunday liturgy in this place to seek the eradication of masculine metaphors for God from Christendom but rather to speak and
seek the holy liberation that is the core of the church and the One to whom the church gives witness.
One might suggest, then, that it is better
to eliminate sexual references to the Divine altogether.However, until the feminine is revalued and women
are seen as valuable in the image of the Divine (in all places on the planet), we are left with an imbalance of understanding
of the godhead.Neutral names or images for the Divine would be heard as masculine, and women would still
be viewed in the image of the Divine in some secondary kind of way.
Claiming and celebrating female images of God in the scripture and the continued
revelation of the presence of the Divine is an attempt to balance the predominantly androcentric and hierarchical images of
God that abound in our biblical tradition.However, we need to also confront the biblical texts, products
of their day and cultures, for the blatant patriarchal biases and misogynist attitudes.
The use of “feminine” images and language for the Divine
underscores the issue of justice.There is a direct correspondence between the Church’s attitudes
and actions towards women and the abuse of women.God-language
is about relationship.None of the individual names, images, symbols, or concepts for God/dess in Christian
talk can ever capture who or what God/dess is.But the exclusive use of some will distort and manipulate
the presentation ofGod/dess, either by deliberative choice or misintentions.
The symbols (metaphors and naming) of God/dess gives way to ways
of thought and patterns for behavior.The core symbols we use for the Divine represent what we take to
be true and of the highest good.They become “the ultimate point of reference for understanding experience,
life and the world.”(Elizabeth A. Johnson)
These symbols or images shape our worldview, our ethical system,
and our social practice. For example, if the key symbol for God is a male king we gravitate towards a culture
that values and enthrones domination and masculinity.Is that the intention of the Church or the Holy One?
Word in Jesus and the scriptures makes clear the certainty that God/dess resides with the oppressed. And so must we.Exclusively male God-language undermines human dignity for woman, and ultimately men as well.The result is a fractured community.
The inclusion and the return to the feminine divine is a necessary part of the spiritual journey
for both women and men. WE HOPE our liturgy and community will be of great help to you in that journey!
the Goddess Rosary
on the outside of EbenezerLutheranChurch boldly proclaims “Goddess Rosary Every Wednesday 7 p.m.” Doubtless this precipitates questions in the
minds of passers-by: a rosary at a Lutheran church? A feminist take on a ritual indigenous to a denomination with an especially
strong patriarchal foundation? I was eager to experience this new phenomenon, and it was with open mind and heart that I entered
Ebenezer on my first Wednesday evening in the City. Thought the church was empty, I felt that I had stepped into a Presence,
like a mother’s warm embrace. The attendees were few in number, yet there was a sense of fullness in this welcoming
space. I inhaled deeply the earthy scent of the incense, sending up delicate tendrils of smoke which curled around the altar
in a nimbus visible against the warm rays of the evening sun filtering through the stained-glass windows.
From the basket of rosaries, I took into my hand a strand of vibrantly-colored beads with a silver goddess
icon in place of the traditional cross. The goddesses came in a variety of shapes and sizes, celebrating the beauty of the
feminine form; I found reflections of my own figure in the full hips and Rubenesque curves of my goddess. Once gathered, we
began to recite together the “Our Mother” and “Hail Goddess” prayers. At first, it was awkward as
we broke the silence together, yet as our lips became accustomed to the shape and rhythm of the words, a lyrical and rhythmic
unison chant emerged. I felt my own voice fortified, made fuller by the others. As we made our way around the rosary, the
words flowed easily, and the text itself receded into the background, becoming a gently murmuring accompaniment to our silent
prayers and meditations.
Between rosaries, we were afforded a moment for personal reflection; some women went to the altar to light incense
or candles, some rang bells or sounded the Tibetan bowls, which resounded vibrantly, others kneeled. I closed my eyes and
leaned back my head, as a child leans back into a mother’s lap, drinking in the calm and the peace, sending my prayers
and thoughts skyward. The church became a true sanctuary: the rumble of the traffic outside, the sounds of the daily grind
had receded, and we were gathered in a precious moment of stillness and repose, a rare moment where we were in the now,
savoring the depth of the moment, our minds freed and our souls opened up as blossoms. Following a third and final recitation
of the rosary, we remained still, and slowly everyone rose and headed home, perhaps an hour later than usual, but refreshed,
nourished, and ready to embrace the world again.
Our God/dess Rosary is not a prayer
of contrition or act of penance but a celebration and liberation as one enters into holy communion with “She Who Is”
in order to journey inward, journey outward and journey together with people of justice and faith.
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 ourhome pageor 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.
children participate in the WORD...
A few comments from our rosary recipients:
Thank you so much for making such a lovely rosary.The green stones are
just beautiful.It was much more than I expected.–Karen
I was so inspired and hope-filled to discover your website.I hadn’t
dreamed I’d see the embrace of feminine images of God in the Lutheran church this “soon.”-Christine
I think men are longing for a return to the Goddess and want their worship to be focused on Her.–Steve
I am so very grateful for and excited about what your church is doing!Bringing
the Goddess deeper into my life will help heal my pent up anger ... and to resolve my feelings of despise toward the “male
God” figure I was brought up with.– Mary
The Goddess Rosary has finally given me the ability to focus in prayer.–Marci
I live among a family and a climate that silences my longings for feminine images of God, but the rosary now brings
a wonderful connection.--Annie
Praying the Goddess rosary has made the aspects of liberation and empowerment real for my Christian life.–Doris
Thanks again for the Goddess Rosary -Karolina (Carol Christ)
The colors and stones touched my heart and soul. The prayers are beautiful. I wish I lived closer to share
in the community prayer, but for now each day I pray the rosary whereever I am. I loved ording on line! Thanks - Terry
Goddess Rosary Beads
My Rosary is so beautiful and the note included brought me to tears...picturing a circle of women at the goddess
rosary praying for me makes me feel very comforted. -NW
I minored in religion at college and have a great interest in all religions. I have been a feminist since 1972
and find patriarchal language at church to be very offensive. I look forward to reciving the rosary. - Mary
WOW - coming from RC tradition I thought I'd never return to the Rosary. But here it is and here SHE IS.
Blessed be, Mairly
Hail Goddess full of grace.
Blessed are you
and blessed are all the fruits
of your womb.
For you are the MOTHER
of us all.
and in all our needs.
O blessed be, O blessed
(adapted from Carol Christ)
ROSARY: The word
Rosary comes from the Latin for "rose garden," and it is the general term used both for the prayer beads of the Christian,
Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim traditions and for sets of prayers said with the beads. As a tool of meditation, it is meant,
by its repetitions, to free up the mind so that it focuses on the sole act of pray.
JESUS, incarnating God/dess
in word, deed and being prayed often!
Beads of Faithby Susannah Marriot
and Gray Henery
A String and A Prayer, How to make and Use
Prayer Beads by Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon.
A Book of Women's Altars by Nancy Cunningham
and Denise Geddes
Altars Made Easy by Peg Streep
Introducing Feminist Theology by Anne M.
feminist theologians seeking a liberating theological core for women within the Christian tradition, while also envisioning
a deeper transformation, a true reconstruction, not only of their church structures but also of civil society. Reinterpreting the traditional symbols and ideas of Christianity without abandoning God revealed in Jesus
Christ is possible and desirable.
What makes a Reconstructionist feminist theology Christian?
The short answer is Jesus.The somewhat longer answer is the gospel vision of
release from bondage for a new creation – the realization of the reign of God, proclaimed by Jesus, the Christ, in word
and deed.Jesus’ powerful social vision was incarnate in the inclusive
community of women and men, drawn together and empowered by Jesus to preach the good news of God’s coming reign…
Feminist interpretation of the Bible and church teachings
requires that attention be given to what does and does not liberate women and men from the effects of patriarchy.If a biblical text, church teaching, or an interpretation of either does not liberate, then it either must
not be true or has been misinterpreted.This insight is rooted in the words of
Jesus, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -Anne
M. Clifford,Introducing Feminist Theology pp. 33-37
Exclusively masculine God-language is oppressive and idolatrous. It undermines the human equality of women
made in the divine image, resulting in social and economic injustice. We also create an idol when we worship only a
masculine deity, breaking the commandment against idolatry (Exodus 20:4). If we look closely at the worship language
and the visual images in most churches, we see that we worship a white male God. Although the bible pictures God as
Father, it gives a wide variety of other pictures. It is thus unbiblical, idolatrous, and oppressive to use only masculine
images... Jan Aldredge-Clanton, In Wose Image, God and Gender. -introduction.
"It is a fact that the Christian tradition has overemphasized masculine images of Christ to the detriment of both
men and women. Men still bear a disportionate burden of leadership in both church and society, and women still lack
equal decision-making power and opportunities to develop fully their gifts. Adding CHRIST-SOPHIA and SHE to the language
of Christian belief and worship brings home Jesus' message of good news for the poor and oppressed in a new and powerful way.
These feminine references also serve as a vivid reminder to christian men to model their lives on the feminist Jesus,
who overcame the temptation to exercise male domination so that he might liberate and empower women and men, and enable them
to work as equal partners toward the reign of God." -- Jan Aldredge-Clanton, In Search of the Christ-Sophia,
An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians. p. 53
“The metaphor “Father,”
used for God, occurs in every book of the New Testament except its shortest work, 3 John.It is used for God over one hundred times in the Gospel of John alone.It
is, of course, a male metaphor, and leads those who read it to repeatedly think of God as a male being... By repetition. however,
all metaphors tend to lose their metaphorical meaning, and begin to be understood as propositions, as literal statements.This has happened in the church with the New Testament metaphor, “Father.”By speaking to God, and referring to God again and again, as “Father,”
one may begin to think of God, literally, as a “Father,” hence also as a male being...”