What a wonderful celebration we had on Sunday for International Woman’s Day! There was powerful and challenging preaching by parishioner Pauline Muchina and the singing of familiar and new hymns written by women at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. At the international marketplace that followed, organized along with our partners at Empowered Women International, we were enriched, cheered, and challenged by the singing poetry of Anna Mwalago and the sharing of stories of the other women entrepreneurs. Across the day, we moved from strength to strength and from joy to joy.

Yet it is also Lent and Lent is a time when we challenge ourselves. And so we were challenged too. We were challenged by Pauline’s personal story to acknowledge our silence on issues of gender-based violence. She reminded us that discrimination based on one’s gender, being female or male, does not just happen “over there” or “long ago.” It happened here in our backyard, it happens still, and it will continue to happen unless we work to break the silence and make the change. It is likely that you know a woman who has experienced some sort of gender based violence – perhaps not physical but verbal, emotional, or professional.

In his book, In God’s Hands, Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks of Christ’s Incarnation and how each person is a God-carrier. How do you recognize and honor the God-carrying women around you? Do you speak to those things and actions which diminish women God-carriers?