To be vulnerable can have a different meaning for many people. Daring Greatly, a book by researcher and storyteller Dr. Brené Brown, challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, the author argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement and meaningful connection.
I recently visited a congregation that offered two Spanish language worship services and one in English. This community of women–those who speak English and those who speak Spanish–have the support of their pastor to engage in connecting through their faith. Space in the church was provided for conversation and meaningful discussions on the possibilities of supporting and mobilizing one another in their faith community. This was an opportunity and a way to engage and have meaningful connections for each woman. Translation was provided so both groups of women could better understand what was holding them back from growing within their congregational unit. In this gathering, it took courage to come together, and many expressed their gratitude for the opportunity. (See the gathered women in the photo to the right.)
Diversity within a community can bring an enriching experience that supports and affirms the gifts of all women. As a community of women we are called to mobilize women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. If your community has not welcomed new voices to the table, consider taking a risk. Extending outreach to others can make a difference in the lives of many.
How are you using your gift of courage each day? Do women feel welcomed and comfortable in your community?
Eva James Yeo is director for membership. She’d be happy to talk with you about starting a unit of Women of the ELCA in your congregation or revitalizing an existing unit. Contact Eva through the “Contact Us” link in the upper right of this page.