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Presbyterian Women, Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries team up for Wednesday worship service

‘Celebrate the Gifts of Women’ service will be livestreamed at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on the PC(USA)’s Facebook page

by Layton Williams Berkes | Presbyterian News Service

“Adoration” by Daniel Bonnell is the art that illustrates the liturgy resource created by Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri for Wednesday’s “Celebrate the Gifts of Women” service.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — In partnership with Presbyterian Women, Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries will host its annual Celebrate the Gifts of Women worship service at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday via livestream on the PC(USA) Facebook page. Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday is on March 5. It’s always observed on the Sunday closest to International Women’s Day, which occurs on March 8 each year.

The annual celebration has been a part of the work of RE&WIM and Presbyterian Women for many years and was established as an action of the General Assembly more than two and a half decades ago. In addition to the worship service, a new liturgy resource is produced annually. Every year, organizers select a woman scholar to write the liturgy resource and a clergywoman to preach.

This year’s resource includes liturgy for a full worship service as well as a reflection by Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri called “Favorecida.” Cintrón-Olivieri chose this year’s scripture (Luke 1:45-56) as she thought about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and about both her vulnerability and her strength. At the March 1 worship service, the Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop will preach on this same text, with a sermon titled, “Scattering, Shattering, & Mattering.”

Cintrón-Olivieri is a Presbyterian ruling elder and, along with her husband, the Rev. José Manuel Capella-Pratts, serves as Regional Liaison/Mission Co-Worker to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Caribbean & North American Council for Mission. She was Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the PC(USA).

The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina, is slated to preach Wednesday.

Shoop serves as pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. She is the author of “Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ (WJK Press, 2010), and “Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of the Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports” (Cascade Books, 2014). She also co-authored “A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches” (Cascade Books, 2015) with Mary McClintock Fulkerson.

Jewel McRae, head of Women’s Leadership Development and Young Women’s Ministries in RE&WIM, says that even though Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday is observed on March 5, pastors, churches, and women’s groups are encouraged to use the worship resource at any time to celebrate women who have been called by God to lead with love.

All are invited to attend the virtual worship service via the PC(USA)’s Facebook page. The liturgy resource is also free and available to download for all who would like to use it.

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