Women of Spirit and Faith offers a safe and sacred space where women can explore the edges of women’s spiritual leadership. This vibrant community of intergenerational women from diverse spiritual traditions is engaged in a bold experiment to discover new ways of doing things that are in alignment with feminine principle, always remaining open to guidance from Spirit.
Our work together is grounded in simple yet revolutionary core values:
o Shared leadership – Every woman is valued as a leader.
o Collaboration – Every voice is heard and the wisdom of every woman is invited.
o Circle principles – All of our interactions, meeting, events and offerings are done using
o Honor our spiritual nature – Silence, reflection, divine guidance and prayer are important tools
for discernment and grounding.
o Modeling rather than teaching – We offer a ‘lived experience’ of feminine leadership in action.
o Alert to a default to patriarchy – We observe ourselves individually and collectively, staying alert
to our often unconscious default to hierarchy and patriarchal values.
WSF co-founders recently write in The Interfaith Observer
It is not just women who are marginalized by the long reign of patriarchy on our planet. So much having to do with “the feminine” is also devalued and silenced in the dominant culture of values, language, spirituality, education, politics, leadership and power in which we have been living for many generations. It is the air we have been breathing for so long that we are often unconscious about the ways it has shaped and formed (or deformed) our own personal experiences and expectations.
As women bring forward their gifts and leadership in the coming years – and as the Divine Feminine seeks to bring Her gift of healing to the world through those women – it will be important to consciously make room for new ways of doing things, for feminine wisdom brought in feminine ways. This will require nothing less than radically different definitions of what leadership looks like and how success should be measured.
In the six years since WSF was born at the Parliament of the World’s Religion’s in 2009, we have generated many tangible and celebrated outcomes (see below) … and perhaps our greatest contribution to a new world has been our deep commitment to offering feminine leadership in feminine ways.
VIDEO: Interview with Kathe Schaaf (TRT: 9 Min)
ALT Link: http://youtu.be/o_KX816h_6Q
This Parliament was buzzing with feminine energy. Everywhere we went people were talking about Earth-based spirituality, the Sacred Feminine, feminine principles, women’s leadership and women’s issues. Little pink buttons with the question ‘What happens when women lead?’ showed up sprinkled liberally among the 4,000+ attendees and there was a full page of workshops listed under the Program Cluster ‘Women in Leadership.
We came together in 2010 to explore and nurture the emerging pattern of women’s spiritual leadership. Our first year of exploratory conversation and deep listening led us to several observations:
~ The community of spiritual women in North America is a complex pattern of overlapping networks, initiatives and impulses.
~ Individual women are often strongly identified with a particular segment of the larger community: secular feminists, feminist theologians, women of faith, religious women, and women of spirit not affiliated with religion.
~There are subtle cultural forces at work that lead to separation and tension between these groups.
~Many women’s organizations and networks are structured in linear ‘masculine’ ways utilizing hierarchical leadership models and processes which do not invite the deepest feminine wisdom or effectively catalyze social change.
~ While there are currently many initiatives focusing on women’s leadership, most do not put an emphasis on the spiritual needs and faith-related issues that are unique to women and that may indeed represent some of the most significant barriers to activating their authentic leadership.
As humanity is poised on the cusp of a powerful cultural shift into unity and oneness, it is imperative for women to fully take their place alongside men. The way we work as women adds to the wholeness of leadership and makes possible a new paradigm of balanced, responsible and caring global citizenship. In truth, we women are still learning individually and collectively how to effectively bring forth our leadership. The work of this organization is to support and nurture that learning at every level.