March 7, 2021
As a young adult, I moved to New York City. I wanted to know what it was like to ride in a crowded subway right underneath another person’s armpit. I wanted to know what it was like to walk down a crowded Manhattan street and have to engage with some people who were well and some who were not so well, all co-existing together.
One of my jobs was in the Ratings Department at NBC. People called me regularly to get the ratings. I will never forget the day a famous news anchorwoman called, and I put her on hold! It was great working at Rockefeller Center.
When I lived in New York, I experienced women who were dynamic and inspiring. Many of them worked in nontraditional roles. I became friends with wealthy women and poor women, entering homes, sharing vulnerabilities and championing causes.
Every day, I am thankful to live in an era where I could act on the call from God to become a minister of Word and Sacrament, and for many years now serve as a director in the national church offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). For some, this is a normative experience, but for many women, the road is rocky and filled with pitfalls. There are women, particularly women of color, who struggle, even today, to be ordained and installed as pastors in congregations, yet many of us don’t know this or know their experiences.
We celebrate the gifts of women because, let’s face it, there would be no church without women. And, “Nobody’s free, until everybody’s free,” as civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer once said. God has, indeed, created talented and prophetic women. I am grateful for these women who have nurtured me, befriended me, guided me and loved me. I am grateful, because when I look into their faces, I see the face of God.
Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, Director of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 7, 2021, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year B)
Today’s Focus: Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
God of grace, be present with us as we celebrate women who, with your help, have built communities that reflect your love. For women from different cultural backgrounds who do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with you, O God, we give you thanks and praise. Give us your peace, which surpasses our understanding, and watch over our hearts and our minds, as we rest in Christ Jesus. Amen.