Archive for the ‘women’ Category

the actress

Friday, January 17th, 2014

She staggered across the stage, double vodka in one hand, the other steadying herself as best she could. Disheveled is the best word I can find to describe her – yet everything about her spoke of class.  She was wearing an elegant white dress – one that would have suited Jacqueline Kennedy – and her pearl necklace showed off her long, aristocratic neck. Her bag, earlier across her – for security more than anything I presumed – had somehow got twisted, and now hung, oddly, down the her back. It was that more than anything that caught my eye, that made me want to discover her story. But instinct caused me to hold back, to drop my gaze and pick up the crossword, surreptitiously keeping her under observation.

Although unsteady on her feet, she walked across the foyer as if she belonged – no owned – it, and slammed her palm onto the bell demanding attention.

more thoughts on hospitality

Friday, August 24th, 2012

On the heels of my previous post I came across this blog article.

Scripture is rife with examples of people welcoming friends and travelers alike into their homes and lives. We are called to greet strangers as friends and to share abundantly with them, and Jesus offers harsh words for people who fail to show adequate hospitality.

In recent decades, the picture has been complicated by Martha Stewart’s magazine and other resources that equate hospitality with handmade place cards and expensive flatware. These magazines miss the point of hospitality. I’ve sat at immaculate dinner tables and felt like an unwelcome afterthought, and I’ve been served wine in a plastic cup and felt like a treasured guest. A spirit of hospitality cannot be faked.

You can read the rest of it here on Fidelia’s sisters: a publication of the Young Clery Women Project. (Very interesting reading over there btw even though I do not qualify to be an offical part of the group. I’m over 40 and not ordained. Sad isn’t it? Grin)

Islands …poetry sung

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I returned from a five day adventure (3 day wedding) in the outer archipelago two days ago. It was a marvellous time away. I came home physically exhausted (sailing is hard work) but mentally and spiritually rested.

There were so many highlights of the wedding … but perhaps the highest highlight was an impromptu sharing of music on the night of the wedding. We were supposed to have had a dance but this happened instead.  And it was wonderful. The highlight for me in it was my friend (and the matron of honour) Minna playing and singing. I had heard her earlier this summer at a gig – but her singing her own composition of a song about small islands and then getting us all to harmonise in …in the setting of this wedding between two of the most wonderful people you can imagine -  well words fail me. I had to leave the party then and go back to the boat to process …

one of the reasons I think I was touched so deeply was a prophetic word given several years ago by a Christian from Pakistan. She talked about Christians in Finland being like small islands and what we needed was some bridges. The wedding I went to in Utö – well it was proof that many of those links and bridges had been formed and were alive and well. My heart broke with joy!

Tonight, Turku had its annual Night of the Arts which is also a lot of fun. Again Minna – Minna Twice – had a gig. This time in a fantastic yoga (?) studio with fabulous light and mirrors and feminine artwork.  You can check out Minna Twice here.

rather than songs, i’m interested in creating sculptures of sound

It’s also possible to contribute to her work by paying a small fee to download the music.  (The songs are in English)

VAW (violence against women) and the Church

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Various Christian organisations are involved in responding to ViolenceAgainstWomen (VAW).  But very little is being done by the church to prevent VAW.  Church leaders are not speaking out about the issue. Our discussions about gender and sexuality are often seen to be negative and inwardly focused. The primary response to VAW has been from feminist and human rights organisations who stress women’s empowerment.  We recognise and respect their efforts over many years to protect and support women.  But we believe that there are two big gaps – firstly in terms of a co-ordinated Christian response based on a model of restored relationships, and secondly in terms of men, and particularly men within the church, taking responsibility and playing their part to prevent VAW.


If this resonates with you – and after the rise in the popularly of the Grey Books -as well as e.g. awareness of the statistics in Sweden mentioned in the Millenium Trilogy series (see previous post) – it probably does. You might want to check out RESTORED.

Some other statistics to make you think …

  • In the UK 167 women are raped everyday
  • Women who are murdered by a partner or former partner number two every day in the UK, three per day in the US and one per hour in Russia!

Check out Restored and see what you – as a Christian, as a Church leader, might do to begin to turn the tide, to transform relationships and end violence against women.


Princess parade

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

In today’s Sunday Times India Knight writes of children’s beauty pagents and concludes ‘It’s not a million miles away from abuse, and I can’t believe it still goes on.’

These Princess parades are light years away from the village fete/county fair’s bonniest baby contests (photographs) and according to Knight the Miss Mini Princess UK title was won by a 3 year old wearing eyeshadow, lipstick and mascara – and dressed in ‘a bikini-style two-piece’ with heels. That’s a far cry from dressing up (which I think almost all kids enjoy) to posing in front of judges and cameras isn’t it? I think so.

Knight asks the provocative question

The little children stand there half-clothed, simpering. To whom do their parents think the look appeals, exactly?

At a time when, again according to Knight, ‘politicians are grappling with the question of s-xualisation of our culture, of young women’s growing problems with self esteem, eating disorders, loathing their own bodies and so on’ isn’t it time that this abusive practice was stopped? Honestly, if we have to have beauty pageants – and I’m not sure we do- at least restrict entry to those who have reached the voting age, and who can determine for themselves whether this is something they really do want to do (or not).

(The Sunday Times is available on-line by subscription here)

coming out in the wash

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

‘jokes’ like this make me sick – they just aren’t funny.

On a more positive note, read some more about the Sophia Network’s visit to the Women’s library in London, and the exhibition on ‘all work and low pay’ there. I’m hoping to go there myself at the end of the month.

Can you make it?

call the midwife

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

There’s been a fabulous short TV series called call the midwife on the BBC recently.

So I was excited to read about these unrecognised midwives this lent.