Easter with a feminine twist

By Jon Sievert

“What has Unitarian Universalism to do with Easter?” asks the Rev. Farley W. Wheelwright in an essay titled “Easter with a Feminist Twist,” to be read by Cynthia Sterling at this Easter Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service.

Unitarian Universalist meeting
“Easter with a Feminine Twist”
Sun, Apr 20, 10:30am
Hotel la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

“Our religion,” he writes, “is a spin-off from Christianity that rejects creeds and especially the miracles of which Easter is the most difficult to find credible. That the Lord Jesus, after his death and burial, rose again on the third day is a fundamental tenet of Christian belief. Without it, in all likelihood, there would have been no break away from Judaism.”

In his essay, Rev. Wheelwright examines a new translation of the Gospel of Mary of Magdala by Harvard biblical scholar Karen L. King, which puts a new and feminist twist on Christian beginnings and the resurrection mystery. In the early church there were many teachings of what eventually became The Christian Way. Most of these teachings were by word of mouth and many did not fit the politics of the church “fathers” and were considered heretical (among these the Gospel of Mary), which caused it to disappear.

In the accepted telling of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene and other women were the first to discover the empty tomb, but the Gospel of Mary appears to suggest the idea of resurrection more in terms of the soul instead of the body. The authenticity of that Gospel relies upon Jesus’s relationship with Magdalene and his teaching her what was important for the salvation of souls—all new concepts to the male Apostles. This puts a feminist twist not only on the Gospels but on the idea of resurrection.

Outstanding San Miguel citizen Rev. Farley W. Wheelwright, age 97, has recently published Twice Told Tales, a collection of 21 sermons from his long career as a Unitarian Universalist minister. His long record of social activism includes marching with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma at the height of the Civil Rights movement.

UUs value the individual spiritual journey. UU faith is of deeds, not creeds. There is perhaps no faith community that affirms more completely the power and potential of people to find and/or create meaning. What brings UUs together is a commitment to community. UUs know that differences need not divide us. UU presentations emphasize the values of community, spirituality, and social justice.

For more information, contact UU President Arlene Van Note at aavannote@msn.com.


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