Please note that this service will address intimate violence and cultural norms that foster it. As we focus on this emotionally difficult subject we encourage you to take care of yourself in all of the ways that you may need.
Welcome to chapel! We are glad you’ve come to worship and pray with us. During the service, we ask that you keep yourself muted so that everyone can hear our worship leaders. You are welcome to turn your camera on or leave it off. If you’d like to follow along you can find the order of worship at http://www.drewchapel.com. We invite you to greet one another in the chat.
Come, let us worship God together.
“Sacred the Body” by Ruth C. Duck
Dr. Traci West
Sarah Williams, Ken Marino, Moinina Minah
Let us take a moment to recognize those who are experiencing domestic violence, gender violence, sexual harassment and all forms of gender-based abuse and intimidation across racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and expressions, and in local communities around the globe.
What we hear is silence.
Silence is tolerance
What we see is tolerance
and tolerance is complicity
Do you believe this?
John 27, Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Stop doubting and believe for you have seen the Lord.
Victim/survivors of gender violence are among us.
They are among us as we preach from the pulpit on Sundays.
As we sit in class and discuss if they were asking for it or think to ourselves why did he wait so long to report?
As we observe debates on social media that question if and when race and ethnicity are part of gender violence and abuse.
We have seen the Lord because Jesus cries out “Me too” from the cross.
We break the silence . . .
We break the silence . . .
We break the silence.
Matthew 27:27-31 NRSV
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Leah Wandera and Jesse Dicken
Anti-Violence Communion Liturgy
Nate Roark, Christabel Zimbeva, Melissa Vander Plaats, Kirsten Trambley
At this time, feel free to take a moment to gather the elements you will be using during the communion liturgy.
On the night when Jesus was publicly stripped
Clothing violently torn from her body
Nakedness exposed for all to see
her body violated, dominated, penetrated, publicly humiliated
Bystanders and enablers stayed silent.
He exposed the bread, breaking it in metaphor to the way that his body would soon be assaulted by whips, humiliated by the state. When you receive this, remember the violence that Christ suffered, and the violence that is still being perpetuated by institutions of churches, governments, education, and workplaces.
Let us stand up with our siblings, deconstructing systems that cause harm.
Jesus was bare down to their bones with blood gushing from their genitalia. They intended for their body to be the last to experience this vulnerable shame. But, it continues today. We are asked to remember them each time we partake, each time we learn of new acts of sexual violence, each time we break the stigmatized silence.
We will not stand by while people with marginalized gender and sexual identities are abused like Christ, in the name of religion. We recognize ourselves as the body of Christ, and we are not willing to be a sacrifice. Jesus’ execution reminds us that we must oppose the sacrifice of vulnerable members of our communities.
We stand in solidarity with those who have been victimized and commit ourselves to deal with the ways in which we participate in violence through our action, inaction, and words. Let us accept this bread and juice knowing that we are taking on the sexual abuse against the body of Jesus the Christ.
God of the abuser. We come before your body that was given to us. Before your people who have participated in the breaking of your body. Complicit in the ritualizing of your suffering and making it sacred. Salvific for all, except this theology harms. God of the abused. Bodies have been broken through the ages. Grant us the ability to imagine new possibilities that create life and build communities of sacred accountability. Amen.
Dr. Traci West
“Lean on Me” Bill Withers
The liturgy for this service was developed and led by Dr. Traci West and her Spring 2021 Gender Violence Class.