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New Celebrations is published by CyberMin Resources  Editor and Proprietor, Clyde Griffith

© CyberMin Resources 2016

Alternative Resources for Discovering and Celebrating Emmanuel Throughout the Year!

Reclaim Mothers’ Day

If there ever was a holiday that needs reclamation it is Mothers’ Day!

Churches all over the United States report attendance on Mothers’ Day as one of the top three of the year - surpassing Christmas and/or Easter in some cases.

But, what is celebrated and valued is no longer a common-cultural experience for most people.

Significant numbers of our congregation have not had a positive mothering experience - for one reason or another.  

And, of course, a number of our congregation are male and could never experience motherhood.

Other increasing numbers of folks have experienced a loss that precluded them from ever experiencing motherhood.

Others, through choice, or through no fault of their own, have never and will never experience motherhood.

And, still others experience mothering through persons not typical to a culture of 100 years ago.  

It turns out that mothering is a very sensitive issue to very large numbers of people - and it takes a skillful preacher to be sensitive to their issues and craft a sermon that speaks to the needs of all in this day and age.

It is interesting to note that the one person responsible for creating and encourage the widespread adoption of a nationally recognized mother’s day, Anna Jarvis, lived long enough to see what was happening and spent her latter years trying to change the emphasis.  

As we think of a way of celebrating Mother’s Day in a new way, there is much to give fodder to our thought.

Consider the first call for a mother’s day came from Julia Ward Howe, who dreamed of an international gathering of mothers pledging to protect their sons and daughters by ending all war.

And, most recently, a group of folks in the US call for Mothers for Action to work for peace on Mothers’ Day.

For years, after giving nod to the fact that all of us have mothers, I have proceeded to give homage to the role of women in our church and in our faith.  The preacher doesn’t have to look far for sermon points to lift up the roll of women.

Taking a clue from the original call for a mothers’ day, we would do well to consider mustering interest in supporting a “cause” near and dear to mothers’ hearts:

We received a special offering on Mothers’ Day to support Baby Manna in Philadelphia which supplies baby formula for poor mothers in Southeast Pennsylvania.

Promote awareness of working mother’s issues.

Support a local women’s center.

Get involved in a Big Brothers / Big Sisters project.

Go to a nearby Senior Citizens Center

Support or start a day care center for working women


God of the Women


(Be Thou My Vision)

God of the women who answered your call,

Trust­ing your promises, giv­ing their all,

Women like Sarah and Han­nah and Ruth —

Give us their courage to live in your truth.

God of the women who walked Jesus’ Way,

Giv­ing their resources, learn­ing to pray,

Mary, Joanna, Susanna, and more —

May we give freely as they did before.

God of the women long put to the test,

Left out of sto­ries, for­got­ten, oppressed,

Qui­etly ask­ing: “Who smiled at my birth?” —

In Jesus’ dying you show us our worth.

God of the women who ran from the tomb,

Prayed with the oth­ers in that upper room,

Then felt your Spirit on Pen­te­cost Day —

May we so gladly pro­claim you today.

O God of Phoebe and min­is­ters all,

May we be joy­ful in answer­ing your call.

Give us the strength of your Spirit so near

That we may share in your min­istry here.

Tune: Irish Bal­lad

Text: Copy­right © 1998 by Car­olyn Win­frey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Copied from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Wor­ship by Car­olyn Win­frey Gillette (Geneva Press, 2000).

Email: bcgillette@comcast.net

New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/

Hymn Use Per­mis­sion: Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Wor­ship by Car­olyn Win­frey Gillette (Geneva Press, 2000) includes a per­mis­sion note for those who own this book to use this hymn (along with the 44 other new hymns in the book) in their local church’s wor­ship ser­vices.

Peo­ple who do not own Gifts of Love are asked to con­tact Car­olyn (bcgillette@comcast.net) for per­mis­sion to use the hymn and to get a copy of the hymn for­mat­ted for wor­ship bul­letin use.