V-Week 2010

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.


V-week and the Vagina Monologues

by Johanna Bos
V-week is around the corner. A team of students has been working diligently to put it all together and everything now seems to be rolling along!

There will be services every day except Tuesday, beginning on Monday evening at 7. All other worship will be at the regular chapel time which now is 11:30. In worship the theme for the week is the silencing of women’s voices in naming the violence that rages against them across the world and the breaking of this silence. Preventing women from speaking their pleasure is another facet of this problem. Both issues are strongly present in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues.

From Refreshment to Reflection
The Venite Cafe will take place on Tuesday evening in the Winn Center Lounge with the appropriate festivities (open mike, entertainment and refreshment).
Wednesday – Ash Wednesday – returns us to the more somber side of the deep issues of V-Week. This year we welcome Dr. Riffat Hassan, Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, and Rabbi Laura Metzger to the campus for an interfaith discussion on the way different religious traditions foster and perpetuate violence against women. The panel discussion is set for 12:30 p.m. in the Winn Center Lounge.

Performance — Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues
Thursday evening, 8 p.m., a full dress-rehearsal of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues will take place which students will be able to attend for half-price. On Friday during worship we will celebrate communion and look forward to the presence of the Deanne Witkowski Trio from New York City. Finally, the week will culminate in the performance on Friday evening. Performances will be held in Hundley Hall, Gardencourt on the Seminary campus. Regular tickets cost $12. The proceeds of all performances go to La Casita, a part of Casa Latina, a local organization that benefits Hispanic women and their families.

The Women’s Center is once again sponsoring V Week and everything that goes with it. For the Women’s Center these constitute the major events of the spring. While other activities will take place in the Center this semester, there are no other programs planned for this semester of such magnitude. Looking ahead, the Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture will take place on September 12. Also, we look forward to our Artist-in-Residence program in January 2011. More about these plans in another entry!

Lamenting Violence Against Women

candle_bibleAbout 35 people assembled in the chancel of Caldwell Chapel Monday night for a worship service that began this week with prayer, song, and meditation. The worship service, led by Rev. Dr. Johanna Bos and Th.M. student Courtney Hoekstra, included reflections on the many forms taken by violence against women. Images and statistics permitted three specific cases to stand for all violence. Music from Megan Case and Brennan Pearson gave subtle shape to silent reflection and helped the group sing its prayer for healing and relief.

So the week began with lament.

Lament is part of our tradition. It is embedded in scripture — well beyond the book of Lamentations, it constitutes most of Psalms, and much of the prophetic literature. Jesus, famously, laments over Jerusalem, with the marvelous image of gathering its suffering children under a sheltering maternal wing. And while worship planners often pass up lament, looking for more encouraging and upbeat texts and moods, we do well to remember that we live lives in a world that daily makes lament fitting.

Fitting, and therefor, also satisfying worship. Sometimes — often? — we are tempted to pass quickly over the concerns to get to the joys, to hurry through the valley of death to get to the table on the other side. Not everyone can hurry, however. Worship that rushes to rejoice, bypassing lament, leaves behind those whose path winds through that valley. Lament slows us down; we walk together through that rough place, bringing the confidence of hope to that solidarity.

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


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