As we build the Beloved Community, we pray for you every day that you might continue to bring it about in your little corner of the world.
Today's Meditation features a report ("We painted the town Purple") from the representatives of The Women's Ordination Conference who have travelled from around the world to Rome to witness to the priestly call that many women experience.
They are present outside the hall where the Synod on Synodality is taking place. Their report speaks of archeological evidence in the catacombs and in the mosaics recording women presiding at Eucharist in the letters of Paul and in the early church communities. They are calling the Church back to that pristine wisdom in its early beginnings. Please join us in praying the prayer for the Synod throughout October as the Synod meets in Rome. Today October 6 is also the day that all are invited to "Walk with Women" in spirit expressing their solidarity with those processing in Rome by using their voices and their hearts and their feet right in their own little corner of the world to speak out for what they cherish and believe.
We invite you to join us as we commit
ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.
In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.
We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!
With our love and care,
Ron and Jean
Dear Jean and Ron,
It’s a moment we will not soon forget: Last night, supporters of women’s ordination from around the world were welcomed into the historic Basilica of St. Praxedes in Rome, for a vigil to pray for women’s voices to carry throughout the synod process.
Steps away from the mosaic of Theodora episcopa, we prayed together for courage, for persistence, and for the church to recognize the valid calls of women and people of all genders to ordained ministry. The Spirit-filled gathering marked our entrance into this time of synod as hopeful people, willing partners in dialogue, believing that the Holy Spirit can enlarge the tent to include our voices.
Watch the full video of the prayer service on our YouTube channel.
And then this morning, we recalled the words of Isaiah that inspired the theme of the Document for the Continental Stage of the synod:
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back;
lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
- Isaiah 54:2
WOC members gathered in the sight of the Vatican as the synod opened, bearing our symbolic “tent” as our encouragement to the hierarchy to “enlarge the tent” to include the voices of those who support opening all ordained ministries to all genders.
In the synod documents, the architects of the synod write that the “tent” that is to be enlarged is a “space of communion, a place of participation, and a foundation for mission.”
We say: Communion must include recognizing the equal dignity of women and all genders.
We say: Participation must include welcoming and nourishing the vocations of women called to priesthood.
We say: Mission must include the Gospel example of radical inclusion in order to make an impact.
The documents also say: "Enlarging the tent requires welcoming others into it, making room for their diversity."
And it encourages us to imagine the church as "the tent of meeting that accompanied people on their journey through the desert; Called to stretch out, therefore, but also to move."
So we have spread wide our tent, letting the message blow in the wind and carry to the doors of the synod hall. Those inside must be open to the wind of the Holy Spirit moving them, enlarging the tent.
P.S. As we enter fully into the synodal journey in Rome, we are especially grateful for your support in these ways:
By journeying with us in prayer. Below you will find WOC's own synod prayer for you to use and share.
By making a donation to WOC. Your gift will go directly to ensuring our creative and bold actions in Rome will truly make an impact.
WOC in the news as synod opens
WOC has appeared in multiple national and international news outlets as a leading voice for women's representation at the synod. Listen to Kate McElwee's interview with Leila Fadel on NPR Morning Edition, watch an interview with NewsNation, and see WOC in Associated Press coverage of the synod. Plus, France24 captured the dynamism of this morning's banner action on video!
Join our global "Walk With Women" on October 6!
We are getting ready to process through Rome to the synod hall on October 6 to encourage the church to walk alongside women as equals throughout the synod and beyond. Together with our global sisters, we will begin at the site of the relic of the foot of St. Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, and walk peacefully to St. Peter’s Square.
This is a global, grassroots movement, and we invite you to join your footsteps and your voices in our global chorus for justice! We have 10 walks happening around the world, and encourage you to participate wherever you are by praying the prayer for the synod below and walking, or rolling, or riding as an individual. Take photos and use the hashtags #OrdainWomen #LetHerVoiceCarry!
Find information about our walks taking place around the U.S. and the globe here.