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rev. beth olker
During my first year as a pastor, there were certain milestones I knew to look forward to. I looked forward to the first time I stood at the Communion table and invited my congregation to share in the feast, and the first time I marked an infant with water and proclaimed how much God loved her in baptism. I looked forward to my first Christmas and first sunrise Easter service. But there were other firsts that I didn’t know about that caught me off guard with their beauty.
The meeting of Mary and Elizabeth in the first chapter of Luke is a treasured story of two women connecting to share an unexpected experience, with love, excitement and probably a little fear. This image, recreated by so many artists, reminds me of the most powerful gifts I have received from other women in my life: connection, a warm embrace, a smile, a knowing glance across a room, a space to sing out my joys and my fears, the knowledge that in the most chaotic moments of life I have people whose embrace and care I can always count on.
On the premier edition of season two of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) online show “Just Talk Live,” Presbyterian women who participated in new video series from Theoacademy on Expanding the Narrative: Women and the Reformation” described why this project is so important to them.