Seventeen WSF women ranging in age from 21 to 85 traveled to Chicago in August for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions. We spent a full year meeting regularly on Zoom calls to build a strong container for our Parliament events, using circle principles to hear every voice and weaving together the spiritual wisdom we carry individually into a brilliant new collective pattern.
While we are still integrating and processing all that we learned during our week at the Parliament, one new awareness has already risen to the surface. When WSF was created at the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Australia, we came together to nurture ‘women’s spiritual leadership.’ As we prepared for our Parliament engagements, we became aware that our mission had shifted over the past year to nurturing ‘feminine spiritual wisdom’. This is a subtle but powerful evolution.
WSF carried that new awareness into our full day sacred circle gathering for women on the day before the Parliament opened. Branches of the Sacred Feminine: Connecting at our Roots evoked deep sharing of our individual and collective spiritual wisdom.
We invite you to gather women for sacred circle in your own community to continue this exploration with the questions from that gathering:
• What gives you spiritual nourishment and keeps you grounded in these crazy in-between times?
• How does your spiritual lineage nurture and/or challenge you?
• What part of your root system needs your tending now?
• Where is Spirit nudging you to offer your leadership at this time?
• What is your spiritual growing edge right now?
• Where do your unique spiritual gifts meet up with our collective needs?
We also presented three workshops as part of the Parliament program. Participants in all of them told us they were inspired by the shared leadership and the truly intergenerational make-up of our team. They wanted to know more about how we found young women and how we kept them authentically engaged. There is a genuine hunger for the vitality and unique wisdom our young leaders bring and a recognition of the importance of their voices in creating a new world. Yet many organizations find it challenging to create this authentic intergenerational engagement.
As a result, WSF is exploring creative ways to share some of our strategies and practices. As one of our WSF elders, Ginny Matthews, says, “Intergenerational intimacy through working together, holding circle, cooking a meal or simply chatting on the couch is a deeply enriching experience. It is an opportunity for all of us to expand and grow as we share perspectives from our life experiences and time on the cultural continuum. We witness each other’s light and collectively come to trust our innate wisdom.”
The video created by Alison Fast at our 2022 Young Leaders Retreat also gives a glimpse of how we embody authentic intergenerational relationships: Women of Spirit and Faith: Celebrating Feminine Spiritual Leadership Across The Generations
MARY MAGDALENE RESOURCES
One of our Parliament workshops was “The Healing Power of Mary Magdalene”. We had a full room of curious and engaged men and women at 8 am with every chair taken, affirming for us that there is indeed a hunger for the message of love and equality that Magdalene taught and embodied. For a copy of an updated resource list we developed for this workshop, contact us at email@example.com. It is also available here on our website at https://womenofspiritandfaith.org/mary-magdelene-reading-list/.
SUPPORT OUR INTERGENERATIONAL WORK
When Parliament attendees asked how we keep young people actively engaged, we replied that one way is our commitment to fund their travel expenses when we gather in person, recognizing that most of them do not the have the financial means to pay for airline tickets, lodging or meals.
As we begin to plan for the future, we invite you to join us in supporting and nurturing the spiritual growth of young women by making a financial contribution. You can donate here: https://womenofspiritandfaith.org/donate/