I remember when that was considered kind of an edgy-if-not-radical thing: moving "her" feast day out of the shadows into the center ring on Sunday (so to speak.) That was in the pre-Da Vinci Code Days when the work being done to reclaim Mary Magdalene's identity by feminist scholars was finally leaking into the pew and pulpit. It seems a very long time ago.
I'm calling the sermon "Mary Magdalene's Manner of Life" ... and while it's still cooking in the sermon oven ("place rack in center of oven and bake at 325 until done") I've been working at it awhile -- and wondering how to work in the important feminist voice in a way that's appropriately contextual.
I mean really: in a church with a woman Presiding Bishop which just finished a General Convention with a woman President of the House of Deputies and in a parish with a long history -- not to mention current staff & vestry -- of women in leadership ... what was there to say that was "2009"????
And then I checked my email. And there I found this link to a piece by Ruth Gledhill of The (London) Times that included this bit:
Yep. And these are some of the same guys who are blaming the fall of the Church of England into irrelevancy on the Bishop of New Hampshire? Honest to Pete, you can't make this stuff up.
Worshippers at a Church of England cathedral are being offered a two-track Communion service with a separate supply of “untainted” Communion bread for those who object to its being consecrated by a woman priest.
A special container, for the hosts — unleavened bread representing the body of Christ — which have been previously consecrated by a male priest, is brought out during Sunday morning services at Blackburn Cathedral if a woman priest is presiding.
The special arrangements, which have been condemned by supporters of women priests, were introduced because of the recent installation of Dr Sue Penfold as one of three residentiary canons. Even though she is legitimately ordained and employed, it means that when she is celebrating the eucharist those who dispute the validity of her orders can make sure they receive “untainted” sacrament consecrated earlier by a man…
So I'm back to sermon cooking and grateful for the contextual "wake up call" that interlocking oppression is interlocking oppression ... the same root issues that made racism "news" this week connect sexism and heterosexism and ALL the "isms" that keep this human race from being the human family God created us to be.
Hmmm ... that just might preach! :)