It’s official! As of last Friday, Roger [my husband] and my youngest daughter, Nina, have joined me at our new home in a lovely neighborhood only a couple of blocks South East of old town Timnath.
It’s also official that I passed my “culminating conversation” last week after presenting my Doctor of Ministry project at The Iliff School of Theology. I am officially a Reverend Doctor! I could not be more thrilled and humbled to be an expert in the work that I deeply love.
For those of you who are curious, the program that I applied to and have spent the past three and half years in is called Doctor of Ministry in Prophetic Leadership. After the first two years of coursework, students pick a specific area of study and research. I chose to research an intersectional feminist approach to worship. The title of my project is:
The Birthing Stool: An Intersectional Feminist Approach to Worship.
To all the pastors birthing something new.
To all the clergy that want to do something different.
To all the churches brave enough to break the mold.
This project is for you.
I know that I will share pieces of this project with this community over time, but here is a nugget:
The Birthing Stool. This image and metaphor of a birthing stool came from feminist scholar Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz. In Muerista's theological and liturgical understanding, church liturgy requires our whole bodies. The birthing stool is a tool that assists with birthing something brand new. It is a deeply spiritual structure that requires relationship and presence. It is an image used to create something new that can be simultaneously exciting but also deeply uncomfortable. The birthing stool was used before male physicians dominated the delivery room and were tended by a community supporting a child's birth. There was always a community of people surrounding the stool. The midwife, doula, grandmothers, and sisters all tend to the new birth around the stool.
I believe that the church can make room for the authentic and lived experiences of intersectional feminism. This work is not individualistic but communal. This work is not perfect, but practiced. This work is necessary and also messy. An intersectional feminist approach to worship will birth something new and incredible within the worshiping community, but it will take the support and care of everyone - like the birthing stool.
In the spirit of the birthing stool - communal ministry and practice, [and now that I am officially here!], I welcome invitations to get to know all of you more deeply. I am open to walks and coffee/lunch [really, any food!] or simply an office visit. My door is always open.