Friday, 12 February 2010

Women and Violence a liturgy, a way forwards

I spent some time last night writing a liturgy for the service on Monday morning to launch the campaign to end violence against women. We'll see on Monday whether it works as I hope. We will all have stones which we lay down as part of the prayer of confession, having listened to the story of the woman taken in adultery from John's gospel.
The first week's study is already up, from cries of anguish to stories of hope. I like the way the study focuses of how women are overcoming the violence they face and how transformation of both women and men is what is aimed for.

Anyway you can find the simple but rather tough liturgy I've put together here. Hope it can also go up on the campaign's main site soon. I had the idea of how it should be going around in my head for a while and last night as the deadline approached it did come together. Phew 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration. It's interesting to have to work with the 30 minute limit we have for our chapel services.
Meanwhile Maryann Philbrook has been blogging about the campaign here and here. You can also join the campaign on facebook.
Here's part of the opening litany from the liturgy:

A litany of violence against women from the Bible
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. (Gen 34:2)

Choose life. (Deut. 30.19)

But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. (Judges 19:25)

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

But he refused to listen to Tamar, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
On the day that Amnon raped Tamar, Absalom decided to kill him. (2 Samuel 13:14; 32)

I have set before you life and death.