Give a Pastor a Shirt!

front t-shirt image

front t-shirt image

. . . and while you’re at it, talk about what the congregation can do to be part of bringing an end to violence against women.

Seriously.

It’s true, the Women’s Center would like to sell the remaining commemorative t-shirts from Friday’s performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. But it’s occurred to at least one of the staff members here that a good way to do that would be to make them an occasion for bringing the message of the church’s involvement in violence against women to a wider audience. A simple way to do that would be to encourage folks to make a gift of a t-shirt to their pastors.

When you give a pastor a t-shirt that says “V is for Venite — days without violence are coming”, you have an opportunity to talk about why the Women’s Center at LPTS decided to perform The Vagina Monologues here in the first place:

    because violence against women is an issue for the community of faith, because it’s a violation of a part of God’s human creation, and because where the community is called to cry out for justice, the cry against violence against women needs to be part of that message.

    And because the church has for long (by “long,” we mean a couple of millennia) also been complicit in promoting images of and attitudes about women that invite violence, counseling women to bear with violence out of a misplaced understanding of the meaning of love, and slow to name violence against women for the injustice to women and the offense to God that it is.

    And because the pulpits of many, many congregations continue to be places of silence around violence against women, places where the proclamation of the word doesn’t make room for naming and addressing this reality.

This t-shirt is an opportunity and an invitation to say “yes, it’s important to be frank here: we live in a world where considering women’s pleasure is made taboo, where women’s pain is tolerated, and where causing women pain is condoned. This is wrong. As women’s neighbors and as members of the church of Jesus Christ, we need to say so. Transforming this aspect of the world is part of the total transformation that we are hoping for in God’s realm of justice and peace.”

All that for $15 + shipping. We hope you’ll think about it.

Note: Shirts are black, 100% preshrunk cotton, with image above on front and image below on back. Still available in sizes S-M-L-XL.

back shows this image with performance information

back shows this image with performance information

Why the V-Word??

In talking yesterday with a potential audience member for the upcoming Women’s Center-sponsored performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, this objection came up: “It’s fine to be against violence against women, and to raise consciousness, and money, and all that. But why do we have to be so in your face with the word . . . ?” [VAGINA, that is.]

Good question, and there’s a good answer, too.

If we can’t name a part of our body, we also can’t talk about what happens to it. If it’s injured, violated, destroyed, we can’t tell the story of that. Maybe — since we can’t name it, aren’t supposed to mention it — it wasn’t really that important in the first place. Not worth mentioning. Since we can’t talk about it, maybe what happens to it isn’t even anything. Maybe there can’t even be “violence” against something that was nothing worth mentioning in the first place, barely even there . . .

So it’s important to say the word VAGINA, to name it, to insist that the VAGINA is worth mentioning, is valued and valuable rather than nothing much, is protected space in the same way that the face or the hand or the heart is protected space, that it’s better for it to be happy than hurt, and that its stories need to be told.

Because if we can’t say VAGINA, we can’t tell the vagina’s stories, and if we can’t tell the vagina’s stories then we will only have silence with which to call for an end to violence against women and girls. When we need SPEECH.

Read more about “V is for Venite — Come Days without violence!

Tickets On Sale Now

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

Tickets for the Women’s Center’s performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues are on sale now!

This performance will cap a week of dedicated worship and other activities that will focus attention on the problem of violence against women and girls, its religious and theological significance, and the role of the church in ending it. The theme for the week, “V is for Venite,” reminds us that “Days without violence are coming!” and issues a call to us, as the church, to participate.

We hope to see many at

Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues
Friday, February 13
8:00 p.m.
Hundley Hall, Gardencourt, on the LPTS campus
Regular Admission $10.00, Students $7.50

ORDER TICKETS NOW ONLINE

All proceeds from the performance will benefit the Center for Women and Families, and the V-Day 2009 Spotlight Campaign, “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to the Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Images from V-Day.org

Images from V-Day.org

V-Day Cast Assembly TODAY

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

V-Day is an international movement to eliminate violence against women and girls

V-Day is taking shape in reality!

Today, the cast of the Women’s Center’s production of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues will assemble in the Women’s Center and begin work towards the production that will take place Friday, February 13, 2009 (the culmination of V-Week, February 10-14).

[That’s today, 10:00 a.m., in the Women’s Center, for folks checking the details; lunch is on the Women’s Center.]

The enthusiasm for a seminary production of the play keeps taking us by surprise — though it shouldn’t!

Of course, seminarians care about violence against women and girls! It’s wrong, and everything about the call to proclaim good news ought to impel us to be proclaiming the need to end this violence, and to be working in this world to bring it to an end in anticipation of its final end in the world to come.

Of course, that includes using the medium of the arts! Religion and the arts are twin enterprises of the human spirit, drawing on the senses to create spaces in our imaginations where liberating possibilities can take root and flourish. How can we hear that good news, if our ears are stopped up by the bad news of the “that’s just how things are/always have been/always will be” alleged realism of the present?

So we’re looking forward to seeing what a group of creative women seminarians will make of this artistic project to work towards a day without violence against women and girls!

V is for Venite -- days without violence!

V is for Venite -- days without violence!

Fall Arts & Crafts Sale Coming Soon

The Friday after Thanksgiving has gained the moniker “Black Friday,” at least in the United States, because retailers look forward to brisk sales in the weeks before Christmas putting their accounts “in the black.”

The Women’s Center has its retail sights set a bit later: on Friday, December 5, which is the date for the annual

Fall Arts & Crafts Sale

9:00 a.m.

Winn Center Lounge

We are still actively seeking donations of hand-crafted items for the sale. Crafters still have plenty of time (over the long weekend, perhaps!) to complete projects and bring them to the Women’s Center, 100 White Hall, T-F 12:30-2 or by appointment. We are encouraging folks with items to donate to bring them to the Center by Thursday, December 4 at the latest, to give us time to price items before the sale.

This year, folks who browse the art and artisanal works by members of the Seminary community and others at the sale will also have an opportunity to see the film:

Until the Violence Stops
3:00-4:40 p.m.
McAtee A

Until the Violence Stops explains the reasons behind the V-Day movement that has impelled colleges and communities across the nation and the globe to stage their own productions of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as part of the effort to end violence against women and girls. LPTS will join the cause with its own production in February, 2009.

The sale will conclude with an

Informal Reception
7:00 p.m.5:00 p.m.
Winn Center Lounge

featuring light refreshments and libations, as an encouragement to last-minute shoppers.

All proceeds from the Fall Arts & Crafts Sale go to support the Women’s Center and its programs

We hope to see you there!