A Message from Rev. Maya Landell (May 8, 2020)

Dear Friends,
I have been praying this image of Jesus this week heading into Mother’s Day. It is a modern mosaic of a mother hen protecting her chicks – on the altar of Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Matthew 23:37.

The Roman Catholic church commemorates Jesus weeping over Jerusalem as he entered the city from the East.

We make our way towards a tender Mother’s Day, recognizing separation in new ways and acknowledging that many in our community have recently lost their mothers.

Most recently, Ruth Stowe, long time member of Islington United Church, died peacefully at home with her daughters Mary Jane and Pamela. Ruth has been cremated and her funeral will be at a later date, but Mary Jane will be planting a perennial from Ruth’s garden in the Islington United memory garden.

Small actions this weekend —making a loved recipe that helps you remember, spending time outside, lighting a candle, looking at pictures, and sharing stories — help us stay connected to bigger stories of who we are and where we come from, both in joy and in struggle.

Mothering relationships are complicated. This is one reason why I love that scripture gives us hope in healing images of Jesus mothering as well as examples of strong women of faith, such as the parable of the bakerwoman (Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20-21).

My mom sent me this article, which reminded me that Mother’s day is not sentimental. Rather, it has faith-based, social justice roots — tying us to the strength and power of women working to care for each other, their communities and our world.

“Although I’ve never seen it on a pastel flowered greeting card, Mother’s Day honors a progressive feminist, inclusive, non-violent vision for world community — born in the imagination of women who devoted themselves to God, not Caesar.
Happy Radical Mother’s Day!”
I leave you with a Prayer for Hope from Voices United, written by hymnist Ruth Duck (1992)

A Prayer for Hope

God, like a bakerwoman,
You bring the leaven,
which causes our hopes to rise.
With your strong and gentle hands
shape our lives.
Warm us with your love.
Take our common lives
and touch them with your grace.
that we may nourish hope among humanity.
We pray trusting in your name,
through Jesus our Christ.