What a week we had! First, two snow-days in a row forced the cancellation of our opening worship service, “The Face of Silence.” We feared that the Venite Cafe also would have to be canceled but Megan Case, the main planner for this event, decided together with Kate Davidson and myself, to go ahead since most of the folk coming to this would be on-campus anyway. There was the usual display of talent, song, dance, reading and we had a great evening.
On Wednesday, we began our chapel services for the week with visible reminders of violence that affects women across the world, and with song and imposition of ashes/oil to mark the beginning of the season of Lent. At the lunch hour Drs. Riffat Hassan and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty were joined by Rabbi Laura Metzger to discuss major issues of discrimination against women in religious contexts. Dr. Hassan spoke from the Muslim context about the importance of the Qur’an as a text that supports the full humanity of women, while Rabbi Metzger addressed similar views present in the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Hinson-Hasty, representing the Christian communities, spoke of the positive ways in which women have made progress in some main-line denominations in the last decades and also pointed to gains that still need to be made. A sizable group of students and faculty learned much in the presence of these learned women.
On Thursday morning senior student Kerri Allen preached a powerful sermon on Psalm 22 and the importance of staying with the voice of lament. That night our performances opened with a full dress-rehearsal for which an audience had been invited. Aaron Guldenschuh and Martin Bos had labored mightily to make the stage setting especially attractive and the first performance was a rousing success. Approximately 125 persons attended.
On Friday morning we celebrated the Eucharist with Johanna Bos preaching on Habakkuk 1:1-2:4, a meditation entitled “The Vision Thing.” During that service we were treated to music from the Deanna Witkowski Trio, which greatly enhanced our worship.
And then . . . the BIG NIGHT!! It is hard to describe how impressed I was once again with the display of talent and passion that was poured out by the students in the performance of the Vagina Monologues! People laughed and cried, and at the end treated the cast and its director, Katrina Pekich-Bundy, to a standing ovation. This piece should be performed over and over again and should be seen multiple times to receive it in all its richness. It is an education for cast and audience alike. What an immersion in the pain and pleasure of women’s bodies.
We have not yet counted our revenue but are quite sure that we exceeded $1,000, with Spalding University donating directly to Casa Latina for the value of 36 tickets.