Summer Gifts – Yours, Perhaps?

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One of the gifts of summer is time. In the hiatus in the academic year marked by summer, students have time to pursue internships or clinical pastoral education, faculty have additional hours to devote scholarship, and administrators have a window in the calendar that opens for the indispensible work of planning and preparation on which the academic year depends.

That means that summer is a busy time that looks quiet. It is as true of the Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as it is of the larger seminary where we live and work. We will be busy putting all plans in place for the Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture and the related events scheduled for September 18 and 19, organizing a team for the Louisville AIDS Walk on September 25, lining up speakers for the Fall Light+Lunch series, collaborating with the team working on Louisville’s Transgender Day of Remembrance observance and collecting nominations for the 2011 Butterfly Award, sketching out the particulars of activities for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence November 25 – December 10, getting a jump on spring’s V-Week program, which will focus theological reflection and ecclesial resources on the problem of violence against women and girls, and culminate with the 3rd seminary production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, looking ahead to Women’s History Month and to another cycle of the Margaret Hopper Taylor Seminars Challenging Domestic Violence, and thinking about what else needs to be on the 2011-2012 calendar, and about how to make it happen.

Because another of the gifts of summer is inspiration. Perhaps it has something to do with the brilliantly sunny days, or the blooming, burgeoning gardens that bespeak tremendous possibilities. Perhaps the ideas for initiatives, and the excitement such ideas breed, spring from the soil of planning and preparation. Thinking in a concerted and directed way about the Women’s Center’s mission of working for the equality and dignity of all people, with a focus on religious professions, and how to articulate the vital role played by gender in that vision of equality and dignity, may put people in a receptive mood. Whatever the cause, summer seems to be a time when the potential of a Women’s Center, as a center for cultivating the church’s conversation around gender, for moving our vision of justice and peace in the direction of full inclusion, and for building transformative community, strikes us as particularly clear and beautiful.

Realizing these plans and visions relies on a different kind of gift: the financial kind. June marks the begining of a new fiscal year at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and so also at the Women’s Center which lives and works there. That means that we are beginning another annual cycle of asking for the donations that keep the Women’s Center open and its programs happening. Because while the Women’s Center lives and works at LPTS, and enjoys many benefits from that location, including our rent-free space (WE LOVE IT) and the skilled support of the seminary’s staff, we do not receive an allowance from the seminary. The full cost of Women’s Center programs, as well as the cost of a staff to help plan and execute them, comes from contributions from the Women’s Center’s friends and supporters.

Summer is an especially good time for friends of the Women’s Center to make a gift, as we are looking ahead to the coming year, and asking ourselves which of the summer’s ideas we can try to realize. We can only say “yes” to the good ideas we can afford.

Please make a gift to the Women’s Center today. You can use our ONLINE DONATION SITE, or the Seminary’s online site (designate your gift to The Women’s Center Fund), or you can send your check, payable to LPTS-Women’s Center Fund, to The Women’s Center at Louisville Seminary, 1044 Alta Vista Rd., Louisville, KY 40205.

Thank you, and remember: during these lengthening summer days, you can take a moment to give to the Women’s Center, and still have plenty of time left to enjoy the rest of the gifts of summer has in store for you.

This entry was posted in Activities & Events, Points of Information and tagged , , , by Ha_Qohelet. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ha_Qohelet

Ha_Qohelet is a transliteration of Hebrew definite article plus a feminine participle, all together meaning "the (feminine) one who assembles" or who calls together. Qohelet is the title of one of the books of the Hebrew Scripture, known in English as Ecclesiastes. The Women's Center at LPTS feels the epithet of Qohelet is a fitting one for what we do and are. The Women's Center is, indeed, a caller-together, a caller-to-wisdom, and an assembler -- of people, of ideas, of actions, and ultimately, we hope, of transformations in the world. In this context, Ha_Qohelet is the Director of the Women's Center, and Editor-in-Chief of Wimminwise.

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