Submitted by Linda Bieze
Fifteen women and men met on June 29, 2015 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for dinner and a discussion of feminism and womanism facilitated by the Rev. Katherine Baker, minister for lifelong learning and adult discipleship at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.
The event, organized by Christian Feminism Today members Mark and Rebecca Mattison and Linda Bieze, also provided an opportunity to invite those attending to join CFT and help form a Michigan Chapter of the organization.
Rev. Baker initiated the discussion by asking participants to name ways in which feminism and womanism are present in modern culture. From there, the discussion moved to the social “landscape” of Grand Rapids, since all present were from the Grand Rapids area, and to ways for Christian feminists and womanists to have an evolutionary effect on this landscape.
The group felt that the local landscape is highly church-oriented, but also highly divided along lines of gender, race, and socio-economic class. Rev. Baker noted that “We are not the pioneers of feminism/womanism; we are the preachers” and encouraged the group to share the good news of feminism/womanism to help change the community.
The discussion closed with Rev. Baker challenging all to view the Triune God in terms of periochoresis, or an intimate and egalitarian oneness among the persons of the Trinity, rather than the more common hierarchical view of the Trinity, and to use this as a model for our interactions as Christian feminists/womanists.
All who attended received information about EEWC/CFT and a copy of The Divine Feminine Version of the New Testament, along with a warm invitation to become members. The event organizers hope to know soon whether a chapter will be able to form.