WomanWord

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WomanWord

A Feminist Lectionary and Psalter: Women of the New Testament

Miriam Therese Winter's enlightening resource explores and celebrates the tales of the women of the New Testament, helping us to understand the experiences of these dynamic personalities and to embrace the wisdom and transformation that their stories offer.

Get to know the holy women of Jesus's time—Mary, Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, Jairus's daughter, and lesser-known characters like the high priest's maid, Phoebe, and Nympha.

With reading sections for liturgies, call and response psalms, and personal reflections, this book is bursting with evocative content that can be easily integrated into the worship services of any Christian denomination. Individual seekers will find a wealth of material that fleshes out the participation and importance of women in Christian history.

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"'Who were the women with Jesus? Who were the women who were present during the birthpangs of the church? We need to tell their stories. We need to remember their names.' Such is Miriam Theresa Winter’s goal in this collection of prayers, readings, and original psalms celebrating the women of the New Testament. Winter applies her considerable gifts of liturgy and song to developing their stories.

Each woman or group of women is introduced with lectionary readings (in a contemporary, inclusive language translation), biography, and historical context.  I found this very helpful, since many New Testament women are mentioned only in passing and appear without names or biographical data. Solid theological work shows in the background information, though at times I wished Winter had acknowledged that she presents only one of a number of current views. The book’s preface discusses the importance of ritual in our spiritual journeys and our experience of community.

WomanWord is divided into three sections. The first focuses on Mary and her relationship to the life of Jesus; the second women in the early church. Winter fills in some gaps in what the biblical narrative tells us, as with Mary’s reflections on Jesus’s ministry. One selection I particularly appreciated was from Luke 24, seeing the two disciples from Emmaus as husband and wife.

Sometimes the connection between the biblical woman and the contemporary application seems a bit forced, as when the psalm connected with Mary’s sister celebrates international and cross-cultural sisterhood, and the demon-possessed slave of Acts 16 represents women experiencing any type of abuse. The reflection questions are quite perceptive, but sometimes present a Roman Catholic perspective which may not connect with the experience of other readers.

This is a powerful and useful book, a natural for worship or study groups of women, and would work well in church services to introduce these often underappreciated women in our heritage. Winter’s talents in liturgy are put to good use—she provides presentations for the psalms which use a variety of different groups and voices, not just Leader/People responsive readings. And, as usual, her gift for imagery opens up a storehouse of material for reflection. The song 'Wellsprings of Women' kept me going for days, pondering God as 'the source of our resourcefulness.' . . .

[This book provides] a valuable tool for celebrating God’s work in women’s lives in the past and present."
Dulcie Gannett, chaplain and book review editor for Daughters of Sarah


9780824510541
Paperback / 336 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9
CROSSROAD, 1990