Women of Spirit and Faith exists to invite the many brilliant threads of feminine spiritual leadership into relationship and to support emerging patterns for transformation.
Our Earth is in crisis and it seems that many are looking to women to heal the planet and to foster the flourishing of our human family. Before women can step into our full potential as leaders and guides in this moment:
- we must individually reconnect with our deepest wisdom and with our spiritual roots;
- we must collectively heal the many dimensions of separation that keep us fragmented and ineffective as agents of social change; and
- we must globally reclaim our rightful place as spiritual leaders in service of a balanced and compassionate new paradigm.
- Strengthen and nurture the leadership capacities of women of spirit and faith for the sake of the human community
- Encourage collaboration and understanding among women’s organizations and networks
- Create an environment of trust, inviting women’s voices to be heard, telling and witnessing each other’s stories, respecting each other’s spiritual perspectives
- Offer multiple opportunities to explore potent questions about the current state of women’s spiritual leadership, thus redefining leadership and power in light of a new paradigm.
- Practice and model a feminine way, creating a structure based upon shared leadership, collaborative practices, circle processes, deep listening, mindfulness and compassionate action
- Allow space for the emergence of divine guidance and collective wisdom.
VIDEO: Interview with Kathe Schaaf (TRT: 9 Min)
ALT Link: http://youtu.be/o_KX816h_6Q
The founders of Women of Spirit and Faith were among the thousands gathered at the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, where we had a lived experience of the feminine rising.
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.
WSF discovered that there is a hunger among women to engage in this conversation at the intersection of women’s spirituality and transformative leadership.
In just two years, we have anchored numerous events, media platforms and publications:
- Convened a series of Exploratory Conversations so that we could listen deeply to the needs, concerns and hopes of many women from diverse faith and spiritual perspectives.
- Convened a Leadership Retreat in November 2010 bringing together 30 diverse spiritual leaders from the U.S. and Canada for connection and action planning
- Convened “The Alchemy of our Spiritual Leadership: Women Redefining Power” – a large conference held in San Francisco in April 2011 Alchemy 1
- Published, collaboratively, the book Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power in November 2011
- Hosted more than 40 book events connecting with women across the U.S. and Canada – and more on the horizon.
- Launched The Divine Feminine blog as a collaborative platform for women’s voices
- Convened a Young Leaders Retreat bringing together 28 women in April 2012 in Atlanta
- Produced a series of short inspirational videos featuring dynamic spiritual leaders and activists
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.