You are invited to in-person worship this Sunday, August 21 at 10 am as we celebrate Women’s Equality Day (Aug. 26). *Masks are optional. The bulletin for this Sunday is available for viewing HERE.
You can also worship online by going to our website “watsonville1stumc.org” and click YouTube or Facebook. It will be uploaded on Sunday afternoon for your viewing.
Worship During Ordinary Time
Sunday, August 21, 2022, 10 am
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day
In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
Children’s Time “Mary, the Mother of God” Pastor John
Message Entering the Word of Icons Rev. John Song
Part 5: “Mary, The Bearer of God”
Patriarchal societies have run their course as a model for power. Endless wars and civil conflicts that foster the arms race, with their insane buildup of nuclear weaponry – not to mention the greed fueling the raping of the environment – are symptoms of masculine aggression reaching its pinnacle of atrocities in a dead end, both literally and figuratively.
However, the case for prehistoric matriarchal societies as inspiration for today’s modern world is less useful if a matriarchy is defined narrowly as simply the opposite of patriarchy, as a society “ruled” by women instead of men. These “matriarchies” were not crude reversals of patriarchal power, but models of peace, plenty, harmony with nature, and, significantly, gender egalitarianism. The evidence available to us regarding gender relations in prehistory is ambiguous at best, and always subject to interpretation. We secure our successes through cooperation. Survival depends on cooperation much more than aggressive behavior. Darwin shared that observation but the whole survival of the fittest got co-opted by dysfunctional aspects of our nature to justify power over.
Instead, women continue to find inspiration in, and continue to embrace, maternal values such as care-taking and nurturing negotiation-oriented communities, with equality for women and men alike. The divine feminine is reawakening throughout the modern world.
This Sunday we will focus on the “Tender Heart” icon of Mary holding Christ child. It illustrates the tender love of the Mother for her Son. This beautiful icon of the heart of Mary, shows her heart is centered in Her Son and His mercy. The icon portrays the profound oneness uniting Mary and Jesus. It shows her tenderness, her love and devotion toward her Son. Such a devotion of love towards her Son would bring her agony and tears as she watched Him later suffer on Good Friday. Like all mothers, she, too, would fulfill the words of the Prophet Simeon, “And a sword shall pierce your heart also.” Christ child moves towards his mother to comfort her and to reassure her that in the end “all shall be made well.”
You are invited to this special service as we delve deeply into the divine feminine that the “Tender Heart” icon evokes in us.
“What shall we offer you, O Christ,
who for our sake has appeared on earth as human?
Every creature made by you offers you thanks.
The angels offer you a hymn; the heavens, stars; the Magi, gifts;
the shepherds, their wonder; the earth, its cave; the animals, the manger;
and we offer you a virgin mother.”
~ From A Prayer for The Orthodox Christmas Vespers Service