Special from Johanna W.H. Bos
Though you may not know it, we have been going at it summer and fall. Here is a brief report of our activities:
In light of our Acting Director Heather Thiessen’s leave, our graduate Marie McCanless was hired in June to help Johanna in planning specific events. Marie will be working with the Center through December.
June, July, August
In June, a team began meeting to plan for V-week and a performance of the Vagina Monologues in February, 2010. Megan Case, Christine Coy-Fohr, Marie McCanless and I met for evening dinner in the Women’s Center to begin the initial planning. The team has since then expanded, including our Vagina Monologues Director, Katrina Peckich-Bundy, our support guys Marvin Dandurand and Brennan Pearson, our field education student coordinator, Kate Davidson, and others. We are now edging toward audition time which will be in the last week of November. We have great events planned and work with zest to see them come into fruition. The proceeds of the performance for the most part will go to the Louisville Casa Latina.
August and September
Late August we were fortunate to have Kate Davidson join us as the Field Ed Student Coordinator for the Center.
September 11, the Women’s Center participated with gusto in the Seminary Tailgate Party and thereby won first prize! Our prize is proudly displayed in the Women’s Center. Johanna Bos appeared as a 19th century Suffragist, Susie Wiggins as Susan B. Anthony, Kate Davidson as a Flapper, and Megan Case as a bra-burning Women’s Liberationist.
September 13 the Center participated in the Louisville AIDS walk with upward of twenty participants, great signs and a wonderful spirit. Our walking was preceded on Saturday with sign-making and a presentation on the HIV/AIDS epidemic by our alum aaron guldenschuh gatten. Earlier that week we had a movie showing in the Center of the film Life Support, with very good attendance and discussion.
Also during the summer a team started to work to help plan the Fundraising dinner which took place on September 20. A great number of students joined in this effrot which turned into a rousing success. A reception with a small art exhibit preceded dinner. During dinner, which this year was in the Winn Center, Seminary Stars kept the guests entertained, while Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty provided an inspiring speech making clear the need for a Center such as ours on a Seminary campus. For photos of the event are available on the Seminary website under photo galleries.
Right now we are preparing for Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 which is being planned by local representatives of the Transgender community and More Light at LPTS under the able leadership of Kate Davidson and Marie McCanless. Kate is making herself especially responsible for the More Light Group on campus and is planning a number of activities for the near future. Lisa Larges of That All May Freely Serve will be in town October 21-24 and will be speaking on our campus on October 22 from 4:30-6:30. We also hope to host the Rev. Erin Swenson to address the campus on transgender issues, early in December.
Movie showings, panel discussions and a workshop are all part of the plans surrounding Transgender Day of Remembrance.
December 11 we plan to have our Fall Arts and Crafts show in the Winn Center, a major fundraiser for the Center.
As I write this I have just returned with four other representatives from the Women’s Center at LPTS to support and protect women who are having an abortion at the clinic on Market Street. Quite an experience. A crowd of opponents were standing there praying to Mary and God the Father and holding up pictures of fetuses and of Jesus on the cross. A number of them tried to harass the clients as they are walking into the building, coming close, yelling. Supporters tried to form a protective hedge while escorts are surrounding the women who enter the clinic. It became soon apparent to me that the drone of the Hail Mary’s and other prayers and chants would be too hard to bear with for more than two hours, and I aosl thought that theirs should not be the only voices to be heard, so a few students and myself began singing some favorite songs. “Turpitude, Moral Turpitude, Depravity, Depravity, Inherent Baseness,” the song called Calvin’s Round, we sang to the protesters as they were chanting their “Aves.” While women were escorted in we sang “We Are Marching In the Light of God.” We also warbled “This Little Light of Mine,” “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “We Are A Gentle Loving People,” “Hava Nashira,” and “Ubi Caritas et Amor” in harmony. We need to create a regular repertoire and some good singers whose voices carry. We sang the entire time we were standing there. When the Archbishop came with a crowd of followers to stand across the road chanting prayers, we sang “Ubi Caritas et Amor.” Come join us next time. Supporters need to show up in greater numbers! Dress warmly especially socks and warm shoes. It is cold there. What a world!
Johanna W.H. Bos
Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Faculty Liaison to the Women’s Center at LPTS