I’m so grateful to Rev. Meghan Janssen for her beautiful Advent I reflection on hope in these violent times. If you missed it, please be sure to listen in on our YouTube channel.
This Sunday is themed with Peace, and I’ll be approaching this from the perspective of how our prayers are active in peacemaking. In preparation, I invite you to reflect on Dr. Gafney’s note on her translation of this beautiful text from Isaiah 54 (see below).
"Some will find the repetition of the word 'woman' in Isaiah 54 challenging, which in turn provides opportunity for reflection and discussion: Does it matter that the poet crafted this text using explicit feminine language repetitiously? How and why does that choice affect how the passage is heard when read in conversation with another translation?”
Can’t wait to see you in church!
Quote from: Gafney, Wilda C.. A Women's Lectionary for the Whole Church (p. 49). Church Publishing Incorporated. Kindle Edition.
Scripture: Isaiah 54:1-8 (Year A, page 45):
1 Sing childless woman,
Woman, break out a song and rejoice, woman,
For more are the children of the devastated woman
than the children of the espoused woman,
says the Giver of Life.
2 Woman expand the place of your tent, woman
and the curtains of your sanctuary, woman,
extend them—do not hold back, woman!
Woman, lengthen your ropes, woman,
and woman, secure your stakes, woman.
3 For right and left you will break through, woman
and your seed, woman, will inherit nations,
and in devastated cities they will dwell.
4 Do not fear, woman
for you will not be ashamed woman;
do not feel humiliated woman
for you will not be disgraced woman.
For the shame of your youth woman,
you will forget woman,
and the stigma of your widowhood, woman,
you will never remember, woman.
5 For your spouse woman,
is the One who made you woman.
SOVEREIGN-COMMANDER of winged warriors
is God’s name.
The Holy One of Israel
will redeem you woman—
who is called God of all the earth.
6 For like a wife abandoned and abject in spirit—
The Faithful God has called you woman—
For you were a rejected young bride,
says your God, woman.
7 For a brief space I abandoned you woman,
but in great mother-love I will gather you woman.
8 For a minute moment
I hid my face briefly from you woman.
But in eternally bonded love
I will mother-love you woman.
Your Redeemer, Woman, has spoken.
In Memory of Estella Pate
October 27 1945 - October 22, 2022
December 18, 2022 1:30 PM, ET
Park Avenue Christian Church
Estella Mame Pate was born on October 27, 1945 in Illinois to Winnie and John Pate, their only child, whom they dearly loved. Estella’s small family was very close. When Estella was quite young they moved from Illinois to Tucson, Arizona, because of her severe asthma. The Pate family settled near Winnie’s sister Flossie Belcher, her husband, and their son Billy. As first cousins, Billy Belcher and Estella were very close and became best friends for life. Billy (now deceased) married Sharon, who kindly provided much of Estella’s earlier life information.