Monday, 30 May 2011

Word of the day - métier à tisser - the loom of peace could also be the ministry of peace

It's difficult with a rather flaky mobile internet connection on my way through Eastern Germany to do the etymological research I need for some passing thoughts about the word "métier à tisser" which is French for a loom. In German it's a Webstuhl - literally a weaving chair. Given how at the Peace Convocation we have thought a great deal about weaving, weaving stories, weaving history, weaving the future ... it is not surprising that I should begin to think about the French word for loom. The French word métier is used today to mean profession. But looking at these etymological defintions I was surprised to see that the word has its origins in the sense of service or ministry. I suppose for the loom this means that that the métier ministers to the tissage, it "serves" the weaving, making it possible for cloth and textile to be woven.
So this set me thinking about how we have been talking about the Convocation, perhaps one of its roles was to be of service to the weaving together of just peace from many diverse contexts. It was a loom, being that loom was part of the WCC's ministry of peace with justice.